Privy Council Judgment in the matter of Chhina v Nazim

May 14, 2024

The Privy Council has today handed down judgment in Chhina v Nazim [2024] UKPC 10 on appeal from the British Virgin Islands (BVI), setting out the principles for determining where an appeal as of right to the Privy Council arises.

The Appellant, who had been unsuccessful at trial before the BVI Commercial Court, had brought an appeal before the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean. This appeal had been struck out for want of prosecution. The Appellant contended that the decision to strike out her appeal was a “final” decision and that, therefore, she had an automatic right to appeal to the Privy Council without needing to apply for leave.

As the question of what constituted a “final” decision for these purposes had not previously been considered by the Privy Council, a panel of five justices was convened to hear the matter. The Board held that, under BVI law, a decision to strike out a claim or appeal was not a “final” decision, and that the Appellant was required to seek leave to appeal in the normal manner. Significantly, the judgment further sets out general principles as to how questions of appeal as of right will be assessed for all jurisdictions from which the Privy Council hears appeals.

Alexander Cook KC and Hossein Sharafi acted for the successful Respondents, instructed by Simon Rayment of Edwin Coe LLP.

Download the judgment.