30th January, 2020

High Court Claim an abuse of process

Following an investigation into alleged misconduct on the part of Abbot Cuthbert Madden OSB (C) (which allegations were not maintained) a negative decision was made concerning his return to office as Abbot of Ampleforth. The decision was made by Abbot Christopher Jamison OSB (D1) with input from a Safeguarding Commission (D2) and an independent Review Panel. The advice given to D1 was obtained as part of the National Safeguarding arrangements for the investigation and resolution of safeguarding concerns within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

C issued proceedings in the High Court challenging D1's decision and claiming declaratory relief and specific performance (including reinstatement to office). The claim was also directed against a number of additional defendants; including the Catholic Trust of England & Wales (D4). C alleged D4 was primarily or vicariously liable for the decision made and/or the process which led to it.

Each of the defendants applied for summary judgment and/or strike out on the grounds that the claims lacked any reasonable prospect of success. On behalf of D4, it was also submitted that the proceedings were an "abuse of process".

Following a two-day hearing before the Senior Master, the claims were struck out and summary judgment granted. The claim against D4 was struck out on the grounds that it lacked any reasonable prospect of success and constituted an abuse of process. The claimant was ordered to pay the Defendants' costs.

Ed Morgan appeared on behalf of D4.



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