Neil Block QC, Stephen Kosmin and Jack Holborn successfully acted for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Kimathi and others v Foreign and Commonwealth Office  EWHC 2066 (QB). Stewart J dismissed the first of 25 test claims arising from the alleged actions of the British colonial administration in Kenya during the State of Emergency declared in 1952 to deal with the Mau Mau uprising.
Stewart J dismissed the first claim to be tried to conclusion, declining to exercise his discretion under section 33 Limitation Act 1980 to extend time in the test claimant’s favour. Stewart J held: “What is clear is that there cannot now be a fair trial of any of the core allegations. That is because of the delay.” The judgment provides detailed guidance for the trial of ‘stale’ claims. It is of particular importance where a defendant alleges that, by reason of lapse of time, it has sustained such prejudice that a court should not proceed to determine the claim on its merits. The hearing of the case has lasted in excess of 220 days.
To read the full judgment, please click here.