Spencer Bower and Handley: Res Judicata

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SOURCE CURRENCY: Sixth Edition, February 2024
Spencer Bower and Handley: Res Judicata is the most authoritative and comprehensive book available on the limitations imposed by the doctrine of res judicata. First published in the 1920s, the work has been updated to ensure readers understand how the doctrine of res judicata is enforced and also how it does not apply. It gives essential information on what constitutes a Res Judicata decision, how judicial decisions apply in rem and in personam, in taxation and rating cases, in criminal cases (autrefois acquit), in matrimonial cases, in prima facie cases of estoppel and in merger judgments. The text is fully supported by extensive footnotes and appropriate cases to demonstrate each point.

Part One deals with res judicata estoppel in its three forms: cause of action estoppel, issue estoppel and the binding force of a judgment when it is the foundation of a new action. Part Two deals with merger in judgment including its application in criminal cases under the plea of autrefois convict. Each Part concludes with a chapter on procedure.

Since the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union there have been changes in the statute law of the United Kingdom in relation to the exercise of jurisdiction and the recognition of foreign judgments which may give rise to issues of res judicata. These statutory changes are noted and discussed in this update. Further reference is made in this edition to the significant decisions of the courts relating to res judicata that have been delivered since the previous edition, including:

R (DN (Rwanda)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] 2 WLR 611; Test Claimants in the FII Group Litigation v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2020] WLR 1369; Gol Linhas Aereas SA v Matlin Patterson Global Opportunities Partners (Layman) 11 LR [2022] UKPC 21; and Clayton v Bant (2020) 272 CLR 1.

This book is indispensable for any practitioner involved in litigation in all areas of law in the UK and all common law jurisdictions especially Australia and New Zealand. It is of further use to academics and students as they study this complex area of law.


The Honourable  K R Handley Contributor