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Counsel reports on the hearing before
the Bankruptcy Court:
London, March 6, 2002
OUR tribunal was Deputy Registrar Christine Derrett [...].
She has not been sitting as a deputy registrar for very long, and was very reluctant to go behind a High Court judge's order, stating quite explicitly that she "did not think it her place to go behind Gray J.'s order".
Influenced by what is in my opinion a seriously mistaken view of her discretion and her duty in such a case as yours, her approach was that I had to justify in very short order (because she had a busy list: a wholly irrelevant consideration, which worked strongly against you in a most unfair way) why she should not make an order as prayed.
She would not even listen to my submissions on the effect of a case called Dawodu v. American Express Bank  B.P.I.R. 983 (which is authority for the proposition that she had a broad discretion to look again at our case on maintenance, and that, at the very least, she ought to have heard detailed submission on why she should do so).
In my view the Deputy Registrar misunderstood the extent of her own discretion, and the principles on which she ought to exercise it, and really did not exercise her discretion at all. Her decision is deeply flawed, and should be reversed on appeal.
There is an absolute right to appeal without leave to a judge of the Chancery Division [...] we shall proceed with an appeal.