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Locus
classicus is the legal right or stand a person has to prosecute or be a witness
in a matter.

Cases that supports
these are: Rondel v Worsley(House of Lords)
Lord Reid, Lord  Morris of borth -Y- Gest.


Lord Pearce


Lord Upjohn


Lord Pearson. Nov. 22,1967.

Summary
-In May 1959, the appellant was tried on charges of causing bodily harm to one
M with intent to do so. He pleaded that the acts (which he did not deny) were
justified. His defence was undertaken on a dock brief by the respondent a
barrister- at- law but he was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment and his
application for leave to appeal which included complaints against his counsel
was refused.
Nearly six years later in February 1965, he issued a writ claiming damages for
professional negligence against his Counsel,followed by a statement of claim
drawn by himself which was in all respects defective and which the master
ordered to be struck out . The appellant appealed from that order to a Judge in
chambers who after hearing argument on behalf of the Official Solicitor as
amicus curiae on the question “whether an action for negligence could lie
against a barrister and after giving the appellant full opportunity to amend
his Statement of Claim ,dismissed the action ,expressing the opinion that ,for
reasons of public policy ,an advocate whether Barrister or Solicitor was immune
from actions for negligence in and about the conduct of a client’s case in
court.

On
appeal:
 Held, dismissing the appeal that a Barrister was immune from an action
for negligence at the suit of a client in respect of his conduct and management
of a case in court and the preliminary work connected therewith such as the
drawing of pleadings . That immunity was not based on the absence of contract
between barrister and client but on public policy and long usage in that (a)
the administration of justice required that a barrister should be able to carry
out his duty to the court fearlessly and independently;
(b) actions for negligence against barristers 1ould make the retrying of the
original actions inevitable and so prolong litigation, contrary to the public
interest; and

(c)
a barrister was obliged to accept any client, however difficult who sought his
services..

LORD
REID: Had this to say :My Lords,in 1959 the appellant was charged at the
central criminal court with causing grievous bodily harm to one Manning. He was
not given legal aid but after the case had proceeded for sometimes, he was
informed  that he could have a “dock brief “. He chose the
respondent His counsel and in accordance with his duty as a barrister ,the
respondent agreed to act for him. During an adjournment he gave to the
respondent his account of the affair. The respondent then cross- examined the
Crown witnesses and called the appellant and another witness. The appellant was
convicted and it is plain that he had no real defence but he was much aggrieved
by evidence that he had used a knife;he wanted to establish that he had
inflicted Manning’s injuries with his hands alone or by biting and apparently,
the respondent did not ask all the questions or lead all the evidence he had
suggested.
In February 1965,the appellant raised the present action -His original
statement of clam ,apparently prepared by himself was barely intelligible. In
April,the respondent sought an order that the statement of claim be struck out
as disclosing no cause of action and also as being irregular. In May,the master
ordered that the statement of claim be struck out and the action dismissed. The
appellant appealed and Browne J. asked the official Solicitor to instruct
Counsel to act as amicus curiae.

In
November 1965,Lawton J. heard argument for five days on the question whether
the statement of claim disclosed any cause of action and held that it did not
because a barrister cannot be sued by his client for negligence or lack of
skill in presenting his client’s case in court. I shall not deal with attempts
to improve the statement of claim by amendment. And I shall not deal with the
facts beyond saying that possibly a case could be made out to the effect that
the respondent made some error of judgment -I am not in a position to express
an opinion about that -but there is nothing in the facts before us to indicate
any professional negligence or lack of skill on his part, and nothing to
indicate that the appellant would have been any better off if the respondent
had acted differently.

Leave
to appeal was given and the Court of Appeal (Lord Denning M.R and Danckwerts
& Salmon L.J J) on Oct 20,1966 dismissed the appeal. Salmon L.J said ,I
think justly that the appellant’s claim was clearly as devoid of merit as it
was of any prospect of success, but in view of the importance of the question
of law involved this House gave leave to the appellant to appeal.

The argument before your Lordships has been
directed to the general question of barristers’ liability and has ranged
widely. For the appellant it was said that all other professional men, including
Solicitors are liable to be sued for damages if loss is caused to their clients
by their lack of professional skill or by their failure to exercise due care,
so why should not barristers be under the same liability. For the respondent it
has been shown that for at least two hundred years no judge or text writer has
questioned the fact that barristers cannot be so sued and a variety of reasons
have been adduced why the present position should continue.