Case Summaries

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THE FOLLOWING notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Committal proceedings

R v Liverpool Magistrates' Court, ex p Quantrell; QBD, Div Ct (Buxton LJ, Collins J); 19 Jan 1999.

EXAMINING JUSTICES had the power to commit an accused for trial to the Crown Court under the procedure laid down by s 6(2) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 where the defendant was absent due to health but was represented by a solicitor, unless there were good reasons not to do so, since s 4(4) specifically provided that examining justices might allow evidence to be given before them in those circumstances.

Michael Scholes (Maidments, Liverpool) for the applicant; neither the magistrates nor the prosecution appeared.

Sport

Korda v ITF Ltd (t/a the International Tennis Federation); Ch Div (Lightman J) 29 Jan 1999.

ON THEIR true construction the words "any dispute arising out of any decision" in s (V)3 of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme extended only to disputes as to the validity, enforceability or construction of the decision and did not authorise an appeal by way of rehearing on the merits. Accordingly the ITF was not entitled under s (V)3 to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland against a decision of its appeals committee.

Charles Flint QC, Paul Goulding (Bird & Bird) for the plaintiff; Robert Reid QC, Christopher Stoner (Townleys) for the defendant.

County court

Kemmings and anor v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council; CA (Evans LJ, Wilson J) 28 Jan 1999.

THE NOTES to Ord 21, r 2(1) of the County Court Rules indicated that if a plaintiff applied to be non-suited up until such time as "the facts had been found" the court had no discretion to refuse his application and give judgment for the defendant. It was, however, clear that the right of a plaintiff to be non-suited ceased at such time as the judge decided that his claim was bound to fail, and accordingly a judge was entitled to to exercise his discretion to give judgment for the defendant following a submission of no case to answer.

The plaintiffs appeared in person; Adrian Keeling (Solr to Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council) for the defendant.

Crime

R v Lubega; CA (Crim Div) (Swinton Thomas LJ, Tucker, Penry Davey JJ) 1 Feb 1999.

IF AN offence was committed by virtue of the fact that a defendant arrived late for a court hearing, it was an offence under s 6(1) of the Bail Act 1976. Although s 6(5) provided that such an offence was punishable either on summary conviction or as if it were a contempt of court, that did not convert the Bail Act offence into a contempt of court.

Simon Wiltshire (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Marcus Thompson (CPS) for the Crown.

R v Simmonds; CA, Crim Div (Henry LJ, Mitchell J, Judge David Mellor) 22 Jan 1999.

WHILST THE culpability or criminality of a defendant, particularly in relation to carelessness while driving, remained the primary consideration in determining sentence, the court was entitled when dealing with an offence which had led to a death to bear that death in mind. Although the decision in R v Krawec [1984] 6 Cr App R (S) 367 was clearly valid in its context and its time, it was not of assistance to sentencing courts operating in the current statutory framework.

David Mason (Weightmans, Birmingham) for the appellant.

Undue influence

Bank of Cyprus (London) Ltd v Markou and anor; Ch Div (John Jarvis QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge) 29 Jan 1999.

WHERE IT was alleged that a lender had constructive notice of a husband's undue influence over his wife, and the lender, pointing to the wife's equal shareholding in a loss-making family company, denied that the transaction was manifestly disadvantageous to the wife, the fact that the lender knew that the business was run by the husband with little involvement from the wife put it on enquiry. Further, the fact that the wife was at the husband's mercy in the way the business was run and that her only asset was exposed to risk meant that the transaction was manifestly disadvantageous to her.

Mark Whalan (Yanakas Vostis Achillea) for the bank; the husband appeared in person; Adam Swirsky (Caines) for the wife.

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