Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Adoption

Re T (a minor); CA (Balcombe, Stuart-Smith, Peter Gibson LJJ); 21 Dec 1993.

Section 42(1)(b) of the Children Act 1989 gives the guardian ad litem the right to see and take copies of form F, a document compiled by the local authority in its capacity as an adoption agency, and s42(2)(a) the right to include relevant information derived from form F in his report to the court.

Diana Eaglestone (Cliffords, Alderley Edge) for the guardian ad litem; Ernest Ryden (City Solicitor) for Manchester City Council.

Hauliers

Re Leyland Daf Ltd(no 2); CA (Nourse, Henry LJJ, Sir Roger Parker); 21 Dec 1993.

The court was precluded from making an order under s234 of the Insolvency Act 1986 for the delivery up to the receivers of vehicles being stored by hauliers because the exclusive jurisdiction clause in the agreement between the company and the hauliers requiring disputes to be dealt with in the Dutch courts bound the receivers as much as the company.

Anthony Mann QC and Peter Arden (Wilde Sapte) for the receivers; Mark Barnes QC and Fay Stockton (Barlow Lyde Gilbert) for the hauliers.

Cannabis

R v Lawrence and anor; CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Curtis, Mitchell JJ); 14 Dec 1993.

Where the defence to a charge that the defendants had conspired to supply cannabis resin to each other included evidence of the use of an agent provocateur, but there was no record and therefore no corroboration or other verification of any of the conversations relied upon between the agent provocateur and the defendants, the judge had been wrong to admit that evidence without a void dire and to attempt to determine the admissibility of the conversations, the content of which was in issue, when the truth or otherwise of the account was material to the question that the judge had to decide. The convictions would therefore be quashed.

Charles Geekie; Richard Calland (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellants; David Bate (CPS) for the Crown.

Death

R v Milward; CA (Crim Div) (McCowan LJ, Scott Baker, Blofeld JJ); 12 Jan 1993.

A secondary party indicted as such could be convicted of an offence where the principal offender, tried at the same time and on the same facts, was acquitted. M instructed H to drive M's tractor and trailer to a place which involved driving along a main road. The hitch was defective and the trailer became detached colliding with an oncoming vehicle and causing the death of a passenger. H was indicted as principal offender but acquitted and M's appeal against conviction was dismissed.

Paul McDonald (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; John Burgess (CPS) for the Crown.

Receivership

Transag Haulage Ltd(in admin revshp) v Leyland Daf Finance plc and nor; ChD (Knox J); 13 Jan 1994.

The hirer of three motor vehicles, having gone into administrative receivership, was entitled to equitable relief against the forfeiture of its proprietorial rights under the hire contract, despite a clause in the contract specifying the appointment of a receiver as an 'event of default'. Although the court had no jurisdiction to grant relief against forfeiture of merely contractual rights, it had equitable jurisdiction in respect of the hirer's proprietorial rights, which it would be right to exercise in this case since (i) the hirer had never been in default in paying its instalments; (ii) the owners would suffer no material hardship, as the remianing instalments were being paid by the receiver; but (iii) the hirer would lose disproportionately if relief were not granted, since the vehicles' value was far greater than the remaining instalments, giving the owner a substantial windfall.

Helen Galley (Jaques & Lewis) for the plaintiff; Brian Doctor (Hammond Bale) for the defendants.

Revenue

Guinness plc v Inland Revenue Commissioners; ChD (Rattee J); 10 Dec 1993.

A method of allotting Distillers' shares to Guinness on their successful takover of Distillers in 1986, for a consideration consisting of a combination of Guinness shares and cash, was intended to bring the allotments within the exemption from capital duty under the Finance Act 1973, s47, provided by Sch 19, para 10. (The duty was abolished by the Finance Act 1988). Each block of shares allotted was exclusively either for shares or for cash. But the contract for transfer of the Distillers' shares remained a contract for a consideration in shares and cash outside the 10 per cent cash toleration allowed by the exemption and capital duty was payable.

Andrew Park QC (Freshfields) for Guinness; Christopher McCall QC and Nicholas Warren (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Crown.

Sentence

R v Shepherd and anor; CA (Crim Div) (Lord Taylor of Gosforth LCJ, Popplewell, Scott Baker JJ); 16 Dec 1993.

Pursuant to s3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, as amended by s3 of the Road Traffic Act 1991, which created a new offence of causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs, drivers who drive with excess alcohol do so at their peril. The guidelines laid down in R v Boswell (1984) 79 Cr App R 277 were reconsidered, bearing in mind that with the operation of s3A, as amended, the maximum term of imprisonment of five years was doubled to 10 years.

John Nutting (CPS) for the Attorney General; Roger D Harrison; AW McGeorge (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the offenders.

Correction

In R v Cleveland County Council, Ex p Cleveland Care Homes Association, the Independent, 30 December 1993, Jason Galbraith-Marten was junior counsel to Philip Engelman.

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