Case Summaries: 13 December 1999

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

Race relations

Anyanwu and anor v South Bank Students' Union and ors; CA (Butler-Sloss, Pill, Laws LJJ) 26 Oct 1999.

WHERE A university expelled a student of black African origin and prohibited him from entering university premises, including the student union premises, and that resulted in his being dismissed from paid employment as an officer of the student union, th e university had not "knowingly aided" the union in discriminating against the student on grounds of race within the terms of s 33 of the Race Relations Act 1976.

Karon Monaghan (Dibb Lupton Alsop) for the first applicant and (Commission for Racial Equality) for the commission as interveners; Lincoln Crawford (Christian Fisher) for the second applicant; David Bean QC (Lawford & Co) for the university.

Negligence

Law Society v KPMG Peat Marwick (suing as KPMG Peat Marwick McLintock) and ors; Ch D (Sir Richard Scott V-C) 29 Oct 1999.

IT WAS fair, just and reasonable that a reporting accountant, engaged by a firm of solicitors to make the accountant's reports required to be delivered to the Law Society under s 34 of the Solicitors Act 1974, who negligently prepared a report intended to assist the Law Society in deciding whether and when to exercise its powers of intervention in order, among other things, to protect the compensation fund, should be held responsible for loss to the compensation fund caused by that negligence.

Lord Goldsmith QC, Matthew Collings (Wright Son & Pepper) for the claimant; Gordon Pollock QC, Rhodri Davies QC (Herbert Smith) for the defendants.

Practice

Thermos Ltd v Aladdin Sales & Marketing Ltd; Ch D (Jacob J) 26 Oct 1999.

SINCE THE spirit and effect of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 required the court to look even more closely at the need for expert evidence, in future registered design actions the court should take care before allowing any expert evidence. As to factual evidence, again it was clear that there was a temptation, bordering on the compelling, to overdo things. The most important matters in a registered design action were what the designs looked like, and everything else was secondary.

Douglas Campbell (Taylor Joynson Garrett) for the claimant; Guy Burkill (Garretts) for the defendant.

Judicial review

Dangol (t/a The Great Kathmandu Tandoori) v Customs and Excise Commrs; QBD, Crown Office List (Moses J) 27 Oct 1999.

DELAY BETWEEN the hearing of the evidence and the release of the judgment by a VAT tribunal hearing an appeal against assessments to VAT would not provide grounds for appeal or judicial review unless it could be shown that the delay had tainted the findings of fact or the conclusions reached by the tribunal. However, there should rarely be longer than three months from the date of final submissions to the release of the judgment.

Christopher Scorah (Latimer Lee) for D; Peter Mantle (Solicitor of Customs and Excise) for the commissioners.

Immigration

Danian v Secretary of State for the Home Department; CA (Nourse, Brooke, Buxton LJJ) 28 Oct 1999.

A REFUGEE sur place who had acted in bad faith did not fall outside the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. A state could not deport him to his home country if he had a genuine and well-founded fear of persecution for a convention reason, and there was a real risk that such persecution might take place. He was still entitled to the protection of the convention, although his credibility was likely to be low and his claim would have to be rigorously scrutinised.

Nicholas Blake QC, Stephanie Harrison (Tyndallwoods) for the appellant; Steven Kovats (Treasury Solicitor) for the respondent.

Bankruptcy

Harmony Carpets v Chaffin-Laird and another; Ch D (Rattee J) 28 Oct 1999.

THE COURT could order the chairman of a creditor's meeting to pay the costs of an application to the court under under s 262 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to set aside a decision to approve a voluntary agreement on the grounds of a material irregularity, where those costs had been incurred as a result of breaches of duty by the chairman.

Camilla Bingham (Bosley & Co) for H; Siward Atkins (Sprecher Grier Halberstan) for R; C in person.

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