Marc Willems QC and Stefanie Cochrane Successful in the Privy Council

Marc Willems QC and Stefanie Cochrane have been successful in an appeal before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council with judgment handed down today.

The appeal, heard in November by five Supreme Court Justices, related to an attempt by the Attorney General of Saint Helena to limit General Damages for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity to a proportion of the awards given in the Courts of England and Wales based upon a comparison of relevant wages in both Jurisdictions. The Attorney General had argued that a previous Privy Council authority had suggested that awards should be fair to a Defendant as well as a Claimant. The Judicial Board of the Privy Council rejected that argument and a comprehensive Judgment has clarified that awards should be tailored to a Claimant’s circumstances and should only objectively consider what society considers is just and reasonable for a defendant to pay.

The cases could not have involved more serious allegations. The claims involved two women who had been sterilised without consent by the Chief Medical officer on island employed by the Saint Helena Government. The negligence of the Chief Medical Officer also caused the death of a child during the Caesarean Section.

This appeal brings to a close Marc’s involvement in these 3 case which began in 2015 including the First instance trials on St Helena in 2017.

A copy of the judgement can be downloaded here:       2020_ukpc_1_-_ag_v_ab_and_others.pdf