Day 182 - 02 Nov 95 - Page 03
2 The second thing is this: when we come to questions of law,
3 I have grave doubt as to whether Mr. Jenssen, no matter how
4 much he may know about Norwegian employment law, can give
5 me admissible evidence about it. It is not just a
6 technical problem, and it is not one I can run away from,
7 because there are rules of evidence in this country as to
8 how you prove what foreign law is; and it requires the
9 evidence of an expert in foreign law. No matter how well
10 acquainted with it he is, unless Mr. Jenssen is a qualified
11 Norwegian lawyer, it would not be evidence that I can
14 I mention it not to put difficulties in your way, but just
15 to explain that if I accepted that what Mr. Jenssen said
16 was the position under Norwegian employment law, if
17 I worked on that basis, I would be making a finding I was
18 absolutely unentitled to make on the material put before
19 me; and if it was on a crucial point, McDonald's would
20 have, if it ever came to it, a copper bottom ground of
21 appeal in relation to that finding.
23 MR. MORRIS: I think -----
25 MR. JUSTICE BELL: All I am saying this for is to bear it in
28 MR. MORRIS: I understand that.
30 MR. JUSTICE BELL: My caution, my anxiety, may be entirely
31 misplaced because we may never come to that situation.
33 MR. MORRIS: I think this was something that was obviously going
34 to arise. We just felt it was better to have the official
35 statutes and the agreements available, that it would help.
36 If anything, it would help Mr. Jenssen refresh his memory
37 to the detail.
39 MR. RAMPTON: I am not sure that is admissible, you see. The
40 trouble is, this being an adversarial proceeding, there is
41 no obligation on a party who discloses documents to have
42 them translated -- none at all. When it comes to giving
43 evidence, if they are to form part of the case -- and as
44 soon as a witness looks at a document in a foreign language
45 to refresh his memory while giving evidence, they do become
46 part of the case -- I am at a disadvantage because I do not
47 know what it means.
49 MR. JUSTICE BELL: What I think the best thing to do is see how
50 we go, but I may have to just put out of my mind parts of
51 Mr. Jenssen's evidence if they are based or arise from
52 documents which remain in Norwegian. That is all.
54 MR. MORRIS: Right.
56 MR. JUSTICE BELL: If he gives his evidence, and one takes stock
57 at the end of the day, the occasions where that happens may
58 be small in relation to the overall thrust of his evidence,
59 and it may not matter anyway.