Law report: Case Summaries

17 May 1999

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

Crime

Attorney General's Reference (No 3 of 1998); CA, Crim Div (Judge LJ, Sachs, Klevan JJ) 25 Mar 1999.

IN DETERMINING whether a defendant "did the act or made the omission charged" for the purposes of the Trial of Lunatics Act 1883, and assuming insanity, the prosecution was required to prove the ingredients constituting the actus reus of the crime alleged, but not the mens rea. Apart from insanity, therefore, the defendant's state of mind would cease to be relevant.

David Perry (CPS) for the Attorney General; James Turner QC (Treasury Solicitor) as amicus curiae.

Immigration

Faraj v Secretary of State for the Home Department; CA (Peter Gibson, Thorpe, Potter LJJ) 31 Mar 1999.

A SINGLE incident of torture of a person who claimed asylum on the basis of a fear of persecution might amount to persecution if a group of which that person was a member had suffered other incidents, but isolated incidents of torture were not, without more, enough to constitute persecution.

Frances Webber (Gill & Co) for the appellant; Stuart Catchpole (Treasury Solicitor) for the Home Secretary.

Costs

Greenwich Ltd v National Westminster Bank plc and ors; Ch D (Blackburne J) 31 Mar 1999.

THE COURT had jurisdiction under Ord 23, r 1(1)(a) of the Rules of the Supreme Court "if, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, it thought it just to do so" to order a plaintiff company which was resident and incorporated in the Isle of Man to give security for costs, and was not bound to refuse to do so unless the requirements of s 726 of the Companies Act 1985 were satisfied.

Michael Booth (Tickle Hall Cross) for the plaintiff; Angharad Start (Wilde Sapte) for the bank.

Town and country planning

R v St Edmundsbury Borough Council, ex p Watson; QBD, Crown Office List (Hooper J) 13 Apr 1999.

IF A local planning authority wished to delegate to a planning officer the authority to make a decision under reg 9 of the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 to the effect that an applicant for planning permission which fell within Sch 2 of the regulations need not submit an environmental statement, such a delegation had to be formally made under s 101 of the Local Government Act 1992.

Robert McCracken (Richard Buxton, Cambridge) for the applicant; Neil King (St Edmundsbury Borough Council) for the authority.

Landlord and tenant

Bland v Ingram's Estates Ltd and ors; Ch D (Peter Leaver QC sitting as a deputy High Court judge) 13 Apr 1999.

WHERE A lease had been forfeited by peaceful re-entry and the person who had the equitable interest which would entitle him to seek relief against forfeiture did not seek such relief, an equitable chargee did not generally, in the exercise of the court's inherent jurisdiction, have the right to relief against forfeiture.

Robert Denman (Joseph Aaron & Co, Ilford) for the plaintiff; Timothy Fancourt (Collyer-Bristow) for the first defendant; Justin Althaus (Armstrong & Co) for Mr & Mrs Uddin.

Lottery

Harrow London Borough Council v Shah and anor; QBD, Div Ct (Kennedy LJ, Mitchell J) 19 Apr 1999.

AN OFFENCE of selling a lottery ticket to a person who had not attained the age of 16 years contrary to s 13 of the National Lottery Act 1993 and reg 3 of the National Lottery Regulations 1994 was an offence of strict liability and it was therefore unnecessary for the prosecution to prove that a person charged with such an offence knew or was reckless as to the age of the customer.

Mark Batchelor (Asst Director of Trading Standards, London Borough of Harrow) for the appellant; Milan Dulovic (Shah & Burke) for the respondents.

Solicitor

Re Baron Holding Investments Ltd; Ch D (Pumfrey J) 16 Apr 1999.

WHERE IT was contended that solicitors were in breach of the dual employment rule the court had to be satisfied that on the facts of the case there was a genuine risk of dual employment as opposed to a mere theoretical possibility, and the court need not always take steps until an actual conflict had arisen.

Victor Joffe (Forsters) for the applicants; Paul Emerson (Jules Cantor) for the liquidator.

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