Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Abduction

Re B (a minor); CA (Staughton, Waite, Peter Gibson LJJ); 29 April 1993.

The court ordered the return to Australia of a minor who had been removed to this country by his mother. The question whether a person had rights of custody within the meaning of the Hague Convention at the date of the minor's removal depended on the circumstances of each case.

In the present case, although the parties were not married and there was no court order or official custodial status in favour of the father, he had been the prime carer and the mother had expressly approved of his status as such.

His consent to the removal of the child had been obtained by cruel deception and could not be said to be true consent. Therefore, the removal was a breach of the father's rights of custody under art 3 of the convention.

James Munby QC (Belmont & Lowe for Hugh James Jones & Jenkins, Cardiff) for the mother; James Holman QC, and Eithne Ryan (Ralph Haring & Co) for the father.

Directors

Re Rex Williams Leisure plc; CA (Russell, Staughton, Hoffmann LJJ); 27 April 1994.

Where the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry made an application under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and the rules of procedure made thereunder, a respondent to such an application was required to file his evidence in opposition before the hearing and could not wait until the hearing and then give or call evidence. Furthermore, there was an implied statutory provision as to the use of hearsay as evidence which enabled the Secretary of State as applicant to rely upon statements taken from third parties in the course of an official investigation into the affairs of a company.

C H Jones (Garstangs, Bolton) for the appellants; Elizabeth Gloster QC, and Guy Newey (Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.

Forgery

R v Warneford and Gibbs; CA (Crim Div)(Farquharson LJ, McKinnon Laws JJ); 28 April 1994.

Section 9(1)(g) of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 was not to be construed so as to bring within its compass every document which contained a falsehood. In every case the lie in the document must relate to the actual circumstances of the document's making. A lie about other facts, extraneous to the document, did not suffice; such a lie might go to proof of other offences (notably under the Theft Act 1968) but could not establish forgery. The question to be asked was whether the document told a lie about itself. Section 9(1)(g) had been mistakenly construed in R v Donnelly 79 Cr App R 76.

Michael Oliver; Simon Russell- Flint (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellants; David Munro- Kerr (CPS) for the Crown.

Rating

R v Basildon Justices, Ex p Holding & Barnes plc; QBD (Schiemann J); 12 April 1994.

Where a complaint had been made under reg 15 of the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement)(Local Lists) Regulations 1989 that a levy of distress for non-payment of rates was irregular, justices had a discretion not to hear the complaint if they thought alternative remedies were available for considering the complicated legal and factual arguments involved.

David Etherington (Hook & Partners, Canvey Island) for the applicant; Gerald Moriarty QC (Essex County Council) for the justices; James Dingemans (Bermans) for the council.

Solicitors

Re a solicitor; CA (Nourse, Beldam, Simon Brown LJJ); 27 April 1994.

The scheme of the Solicitors Act 1974 was designed to ensure that appeal rights were given only in respect of formal and final orders of a disciplinary tribunal of the Law Society, and the words 'in any other case' in s 49(1)(b), giving a right of appeal to the high Court, must be understood to mean 'in the case of any other order'. Such a construction of s 49 fitted in with the Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 1985 and RSC Ord 106 r 1.

Richard Gordon QC (Arnold Rosen & Co) for the solicitor; Richard Nussey (Percy Hughes & Roberts, Birkenhead) for Law Society.

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