Law Report: Case Summaries

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The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Company

Re Selectmove Ltd; CA (Balcombe, Stuart-Smith, Peter Gibson LJJ); 21 Dec 1993.

Where a company's debt to the Inland Revenue was disputed on the ground that the Revenue had agreed to take payment by instalments, some of which had already been paid, nevertheless any practical benefits to the Revenue from such an arrangement did not amount to sufficient consideration to make the agreement enforceable.

Christopher Nugee (Stockler Charity) for the appellant; AW Charles (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Inland Revenue.

Re New Bullas Trading Ltd; CA (Nourse, Russell LJJ, Scott Baker J); 15 Dec 1993.

Where the parties to a debenture agreement had intended to create a fixed charge over book debts while they were uncollected and a floating charge over the proceeds once they had been paid into a specified account, there was no principle of law to prevent them from such a contract and a valid floating charge had therefore been created by the debenture.

Jonathan Sumption QC and TD Chivers (Lawrence Graham) for the appellants; Martin Pascoe QC and Launcelot Henderson (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Inland Revenue and other preferential creditors.

Extradition

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex parte Hagan and another; QBD (DC)(Russell LJ, Blofeld J); 15 Dec 1993.

The Home Secretary has a wide discretion when deciding whether to grant a warrant to surrender a fugitive criminal under para 8 of Sch 1 to the Extradition Act 1989. He could take into account factors which the magistrate could not consider, such as delay and compassionate circumstances, and look at any additional evidence which had emerged since the committal order. A minister was not under a duty to examine the quality of the evidence heard by the magistrate or the divisional court on which a prima facie case had been established, except in extreme circumstances. He was not in a position to take decisions as to the credibility of witnesses, as that was the remit of the trial process, or to assess the facts. Where the existence of a prima facie case was outweighed by other factors the Home Secretary could refuse his warrant.

Colin Nichols QC; Edward Fitzgerald (Andrew McCooey & Co) for the applicants; Clare Montgomery (Treasury Solicitor) for the Home Secretary; David Pagett (CPS) for the US government.

Housing benefit

R v North Cornwall DC, Ex p Singer and ors; QBD (DC)(Roch LJ, Sedley J); 26 Nov 1993.

Charges made by a landlord for general counselling or other support services to sufferers of mental illness who lived in rented accommodation were not ineligible service charges to be excluded from housing benefit within the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987 (SI no 1971), even if the landlord did not spend the majority of his time providing eligible services.

Lorna Finlay (Child Poverty Action Group) for the applicants; Robin Campbell (Council Solicitor) for the council; John Howell QC (DSS Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.

Practice

Practice Direction: Children cases: Time estimates; FD (Sir Stephen Brown P); 22 Nov 1993.

The direction deals with the procedure for parties to proceedings under the Children Act 1989 or under the High Court's inherent jurisdiction relating to children to provide time estimates for the length of hearings so as to facilitate the listing and disposal of cases in the most effective way.

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