english bulldog

As published on our Talking Business blog last week, we thought you might appreciate a light-hearted post, to ease you into your weekend…

In a decision that will have Lassie, Petra and Shep barking from their graves, the High Court has ruled that a dog is not a person.

The shock ruling arose out of a claim made against HSBC Bank by a Mrs Moosun. The claim was purportedly made by Mrs Moosun, her two children and her two dogs – Goldie, aged 18 months, and Diamond, aged 2 years.

At the relevant hearing, the bank’s barrister argued that dogs are not capable of bringing legal proceedings. The relevant court procedure rules define ‘claimant’ as a person who makes a claim, and a dog is not a person. Whilst many dog owners may feel they have a special ability to communicate with their canine friend, as the judge pointed out it is difficult to see how a dog could give instructions for a claim to be brought on its behalf or indeed be liable for any orders made against it.

In ordering that the claim on behalf of the two dogs should be struck out, the judge also stated that there are a ‘whole host of other reasons why proceedings by dogs must be void’ although he declined to elaborate on what these may be.

Goldie and Diamond were unavailable for comment.

Happy Friday everyone!

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This blog is intended only as a synopsis of certain recent developments. If any matter referred to in this blog is sought to be relied upon, further advice should be obtained.