Castrol Limited v John Michael Motors Limited (SC. CIV. APP. 1/98)  SLSC 1 (11 November 1998);
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF SIERRA lEONE SC. CIV. APP. 1/98
CASTROL LIMITED - APPELLANTS
JOHN MICHAEL MOTORS LIMITED -RESPONDENTS
HON. MR. JUSTICE D.E.F. LUKE - C.J. - PRESIDING
HON. MR. JUSTICE H.M. JOKO SMART, J.S.C.
HON. MR. JUSTICE N.D. ALHADI, A.
APPELLANTS SOLICITORS - BASMA & MACAULEY RESPONDENT' SOLICITOR - F.A. GABBIDON. ESQ.
DESMOND E.F, LUKE. CJ.
A Notice of Appeal herein dated 10th November 1998 was lodged (filed) on the 11th November 1998. Thereafter no further steps were taken.
Pursuant to Rule 31 (1) of the Rales of the Supreme Court the appeal was entered on a list of the Supreme Court for mention on the 18th December 1998. Due notice whereof was given to the parties.
On the 18th December 1998 the matter was adjourned to 6th January 1999 when the invasion of Freetown prevented the Courts from sitting on that date and for some time thereafter. The matter was subsequently listed for mention on Tuesday 21st September, 1999.
When counsel for the Appellant,Berthan Macauley (Jnr.) was asked to address the Court on compliance or non-compliance with Rule 33 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, he conceded that Rule 35(2) had not been complied with. Whereupon he requested and was granted an adjourment to with a view to remedy the said non-compliance.
The case of Gatti & Shoesmith is authority for the unfettered discretion of the Court where dealing with mistake on the part of a legal adviser but does not otherwise provide solace for non-compliance with the Rules of Court - especially where there is no ambiguity.
Parties seeking to cone before the Court would be well advised not to think that the discretion provided by Rule 103 will necessarily be exercised in every situation. Whether the matter shall be so treated must depend upon the facts of each individual case.
I am satisfied that the interest of justice was served by our allowing the appellant to remedy the non-compliance.
In as orach as it appears that on the facts of this case it is one where the discretion of the Court ought to be exercised, the appellant will accordingly be allowed to prosecute the appeal.