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Last updated: 01-Jun-2016

In Air Canada v Secretary of State for Trade (No. 2), [1983] 1 All ER 910, Lord Wilberforce inferred at p. 919 that:

In a contest purely between one litigant and another, such as the present, the task of the court is to do … justice between the parties … There is no higher or additional duty to ascertain some independent truth. It often happens, from the imperfection of evidence, or the withholding of it, sometimes by the party in whose favour it would tell if presented, that an adjudication has to be made which is not and is known not to be, the whole truth of the matter; yet if the decision has been in accordance with the available evidence, and with the law, justice will have been fairly done.

In Ketteman v Hansel [1987] AC 189 Lord Griffiths said at page 220:

But justice cannot always be measured in terms of money and in my view a judge is entitled to weigh in the balance the strain the litigation imposes on litigants, particularly if they are personal litigants rather than business corporations, the anxieties occasioned by facing new issues, the raising of false hopes, and the legitimate expectation that the trial will determine the issues one way or the other.


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