Duncanson & Co. (Beryn Duncanson DBA) v East Wind Development Company Ltd and Ors.; Beryn Duncanson (DBA Duncanson & Co.) v The Registrar of Lands and Anor. (CL 150 of 2022; CL 97 of 2022) [2023] TCASC 54 (11 April 2023)



Case summary

The application was refused, Gruchot J held: In my judgment the Directions Hearing Complaint is unsustainable [28]. The Affidavit Complaint is without merit [35]. I do not see that the Particularisation Complaint has any merit [45]. The email complaint is entirely misconceived [45]. It is disingenuous for Mr Duncanson to suggest that listing the matter is an indicator of bias (the Recusal hearing complaint) [59]. Nothing in Mr Duncanson’s expanded grounds as set out in his letter of 27th February 2023 has persuaded me away from my position on bias [60]. Notwithstanding the submission that the application is based on actual bias, given the absence of any such allegations, the test is whether the fair-minded and informed observer would form the view that there could be a real possibility of bias, based on the facts that have been put forward i.e., an appearance of bias, ‘apparent bias’ [112]. In my view, I am under a duty to hear matters that are listed before me, without fear or favour. It is therefore only in circumstances where I am of the view there are good and proper reasons for me to recuse, that I should and must do so. [116]. Few of the matters raised are directed at this case in particular and therefore I must consider whether there are grounds for my general recusal which Mr Duncanson forcefully urges exist and is, in essence, the main thrust of this application [117]. I am not of the view that any of the matters raised by Mr Duncanson meet the relevant threshold to give rise to apparent bias and I am not of the view that there are any grounds for my general recusal. For some reason Mr Duncanson does not want me to hear his matters but that is not the test. The approach of the fair-minded observer must not be confused with that of the person who brings the complaint [118].   Beryn Duncanson -v- The President of the Court of Appeal and The Attorney General(CL-7/21; [2021] TCASC 18);  Resolution Chemicals Ltd v H Lundbeck A/S [2013] EWCA Civ 1515; Michel and Others -v- Dhanjee and Others [2013] LRC 131; Raymond Rolle -v- Michael Preuss SCCivApp No 70 of 2020; Watts -v- Watts [2015] EWCA Civ 1297; Locabail (UK) Ltd -v- Bayfield Properties Ltd & Anor. [1999] EWCA Civ 3004; Mr Ashley Dobbs -v- Triodos Bank NV[2005] EWCA Civ 468; Otkritie International Investment Management Ltd -v- Urumov [2014] EWCA Civ 1315; Wilmot Perkins -v- Noel B Irving (1997) 34 J.L.R.396; Barry Hansen and others -v- Vincent Warner and others (Civil appeal No. 22 of 2001 Turks and Caicos Islands Court of Appeal); Porter -v- Magill [2002] 2 AC 357;  Johnson -v- Johnson[2000] HCA 48; In RBTT Trust -v- Flowers [2012] 80 WIR 139; Helow -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department and another [2008] UKHL 62;  AWG Group Limited -v- Morrison [2006] EWCA Civ 6; considered.

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