Case details

Cape Intermediate Ltd (Appellant/Cross Respondent) v Dring (for and on behalf of Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK) (Respondent/Cross Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0184

Case summary


What are the powers of the court pursuant to the Civil Procedure Rules or its inherent jurisdiction to permit access to documents used in litigation to which the applicant was not a party?


Pursuant to rule 5.4C of the Civil Procedure Rules, the Forum, an unincorporated association providing support to those who suffer from asbestos-related diseases, applied for copies of documents used in two sets of proceedings involving Cape, which settled after trial but before judgment. Master McCloud allowed the Forum’s application. Mr Justice Martin Spencer granted Cape permission to appeal and ordered that the appeal be heard by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal allowed Cape’s appeal holding that, for the purposes of CPR 5.4C(2), "records of the court" did not extend to witness statements, expert reports, trial bundles, transcripts or written submissions (all of which were subject to Master McCloud’s original order). This part of the decision is being challenged by the Forum and forms subject of the cross-appeal to the Supreme Court.

At the same time, the Court held that the court has inherent jurisdiction to allow non-parties inspection of

  1. witness statements;
  2. expert reports;
  3. documents, which were read out in open court, the judge was invited to read in or outside of court or which it is clear or stated that the judge has read;
  4. written submissions deployed at hearing; and
  5. any specific documents which it is necessary for a non-party to inspect in order to meet the principle of open justice. This part of the decision is being challenged by Cape and forms subject of the appeal to the Supreme Court.
Judgment appealed

[2018] EWCA Civ 1795



Cape Intermediate Ltd


Graham Dring (for and on behalf of Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK)



Lady Hale, Lord Briggs, Lady Arden, Lord Kitchin, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

18 Feb 2019

Hearing finish date

19 Feb 2019

Watch hearing
18 Feb 2019 Morning session Afternoon session
19 Feb 2019 Morning session