The Secretary of State for the Home Department v Yagnesh Devani [2020] EWCA Civ 612 (6 May 2020)

Discusses the uses of the “slip rule” and in particular the proposition that the “The ‘Slip Rule’, rule 31 of the First-tier Tribunal Procedure Rules, cannot be used to reverse the effect of a decision.”

Per Lord Justice Underhill paragraph 23

“The essential distinction to bear in mind in considering the application of the slip rule, in any of its legislative formulations, is between the case where the order in question does not express what the Court actually intended at the moment of promulgation and the case where it does express what the Court intended at the time but it subsequently appreciates that it should have intended something different: see, most recently, para. 18 of my judgment in AS (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 208[2019] 1 WLR 3065 (p. 3071C). As I say there, how the distinction applies in a particular case may not always be straightforward, but the concept is clear. The proposition which the UT drew from the case to which it referred and from the White Book commentary, namely that the slip rule “cannot be used to change the substance of a judgment or order”, is perfectly apt as a reference to the second of the two classes of case that I have mentioned; but it appears from the UT’s actual decision that it understood it to mean that the slip rule could not be used in a case where the correction would produce a decision with the opposite effect to that promulgated. With all respect, that is simply wrong. In the case of a simple failure of expression – most obviously a straightforward slip of the pen – the error can and should be corrected even if it alters the outcome (as initially expressed) by 180°.”

In the instant case it was clear from the judgement that Judge Sullivan intended to allow the appeal however in error the formal notice of decision recorded that the appeal was dismissed; Underhill LJ confirmed that it was not necessary for this error to be the subject of an appeal and an application under the “Slip Rule” should have been made.



Miss Josephine Spratt-Dawson

Trinity Chambers

9 May 2020