Law Report: Case Summaries: The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports

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Re H (a minor); CA (Sir Stephen Brown P, Steyn, Kennedy LJJ); 27 Oct 1993.

The words 'recognition and enforcement' in art 10(1)(6) of the Hague Convention as incorporated in the Abduction and Custody Act 1985 should be interpreted disjunctively: see Dicey and Morris, The Conflict of Laws 1993 on foreign judgments. Therefore where a judge had determined that contact with the father would be contrary to the welfare of the child, he had power under art 10(1)(6) not to enforce the access order made by a Belgian juvenile notwithstanding that it had been registered in the High Court pursuant to s 16 of the 1985 Act.

Graham Clark (Leathes Prior, Norwich) for the mother; Stephen Bellamy (Mishcon de Reya) for the father; Jeremy Posnansky (Official Solicitor) as amicus curiae.

Compulsory purchase

Mid-Glamorgan CC v Ogwr BC; CA (Nourse, Rose, Hoffmann LJJ); 26 Oct 1993.

Where a water authority had made a compulsory purchase order in respect of land which was subject to rights of common, but had failed to serve a notice to treat on each commoner, the order was not invalid because by following that procedures of Sch 4 to the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 and agreement the payment of compensation with an elected committee of five commoners the water authority had avoided the necessity under s 5 to serve individual notices. The county council was therefore ordered to delete the land from the register of commons.

Elizabeth Appleby QC and Robin Campbell (J Graham Cole, Brigend and North & Nam, Cardiff) for the appellants; Sheila Cameron QC and Frank Hinks (Edward Harris & Co, Swansea) for the commoners.


R v Deputy Coroner for Southern District of Greater London, Ex p Driscoll; QBD (DC)(Kennedy LJ, Pill J); 22 Oct 1993.

A coroner, when considering whether sisters of the deceased were properly interested persons for the purposes of r 20(2)(h) of the Coroners' Rules 1984, had to examine the circumstances of the case including whether the desire to participate went beyond a mere wish to give relevant evidence but extended to a genuine concern regarding the scope of the inquest involving a wish to put views to witnesses.

Tim Owen (Wainwright & Cummins) for the applicant; John Cooper (Solicitor, Croydon LBC) for the coroner.


R v Okafor; CA (Crim Div)(Lord Taylor of Gosforth LCJ, Turner, Dyson JJ); 21 Oct 1993.

Customs officers, like police officers, are subject to the code of practice for the detention, treatment and questioning of persons by police officers made under s 66 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Thus, where a customs officer in uniform has reasons to suspect that an offence has been committed, he has either to avoid asking questions in relation to the offence or he has to follow the provisions of the code and administer a caution.

Benjamin Aina (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Austen Issard-Davies (Customs & Excise Solicitor) for the Crown.


Hope v British Nuclear Fuels Ltd; Reay v BNFL; QBD (French J); 8 Oct 1993.

Families of employees at BNFL's Sellafield site failed to prove that paternal preconception irradiation was a material contributory cause of leukaemia in their children.

Benet Hytner QC, Brian Langstaff, Grahan Read and Tess Gill (Leigh Day & Co) for the plaintiffs; Kenneth Rokison QC, Michael Spencer QC and Christopher Butcher (Freshfields) for BNFL.


Re Marley(UK) Ltd; CA (Balcombe, Butler-Sloss, Mann LJJ); 21 Oct 1993.

On the true construction of s 73(2) of the Patents Act 1977, if the claims of a United Kingdom patent and a European patent covered the same invention, having the same priority date and were filed by the same applicant or his successor in title, whatever other linked inventions might be covered by the claims of either patent, then the Comptroller-General of Patents might revoke the UK patent. It was always open to the patentee to avoid that draconian remedy by amending the UK patent so as to exclude the invention covered by the European patent.

Henry Carr (Robert Beveridge, Seven Oaks) for Marley; Michael Silverleaf (Treasury Solicitor) for the comptroller.


R v Collett and ors; CA (Crim Div)(Nolan LJ, Tuckey, Latham JJ); 21 Oct 1993.

In a prosecution under s 89(5) fo the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 for using land or causing or permitting it to be used in contravention of an enforcement notice, it is unnecessary to show that the defendant had actual knowledge of the enforcement notice, since the offence created by s 89(5) was one of strict liability.

Christopher Beaumont (Registrar of Criminal Appeals; Pothecary & Barrett, Bishops Stortford) for the appellants; Paul Ashwell (Solicitor, Lewes DC) for the Crown.


R v Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council, Ex p Sikander Ali; QBD (Jowitt J) 10 Sep 1993.

An education authority's school admission policy which gave preference to applicants living within a school's catchment area, defined by the school's traditional links with an area, was not unlawful even if certain areas did not fall within the catchment area of any school.

Philip Engelman and Leslie Michaelson (Bradford Law Centre) for the applicant; Elizabeth Appleby QC and Richard McManus (Council Solicitor) for the council.