CASE SUMMARIES: 6 OCTOBER 1997

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

Crime

R v McQuiston; CA (CrDiv) (Otton LJ, Blofeld J, Judge Beaumont QC) 9 July 1997.

Where a judge refused to exercise his discretion to grant a request from the jury to have a video of a child complainant's evidence-in-chief replayed, and instead read substantially and verbatim from the transcript of the video evidence, he should warn the jury not to give the complainant's evidence disproportionate weight simply because it was repeated well after all the other evidence, and to bear in mind all the other evidence in the case. In particular, it was incumbent upon the judge to remind the jury of the complainant's cross-examination and re-examination from his notes, and, where appropriate, of any relevant part of the defendant's own evidence.

John Farmer QC (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; S.R. Ridley (CPS) for the Crown.

Evidence

R v Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court, ex p Brown; QBD Div Ct)(Rose LJ, Jowitt J) 14 July 1997.

Where a letter had been received from a doctor stating that a witness was unable to appear in court to give evidence at committal proceedings and defence counsel had made no challenge to the contents of that letter, the magistrate had not been wrong to allow the witness statment to be read under s 23(2)(a) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. Although there had been a failure to comply with r 71 of the Magistrates' Courts Rules 1981, in that the defence counsel had not reduced his admission to writing, it followed from the provisions of s 10 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 that there was no need to have an admission made by counsel in writing if it had been made orally by him in open court.

Charles Salter (Purcell Brown & Co) for the applicant; John Black (CPS) for the Crown.

Building

Parlett v Kerrier District Council; QBD Crown Office List (Scott Baker J) 23 July 1997.

Notices under s 36 of the Building Act 1984 could be validly served where a person executing the work had not made an application for building regulation approval, since s 36 contained no words from which an inference could be drawn that such an application was a prerequisite of the service of a s 36 notice. To find otherwise would undermine the purpose of s 36, which was to give a local authority a practical remedy where work had been carried out in contravention of the Building Regulations 1991.

The applicant appeared in person; Sebastian Head (Council Solicitor) for the respondent.

Planning

R v Aylesbury Vale District Council and anor; CA (Nourse LJ, Pill LJ, Waller LJ) 31 July 1997.

Where a local planning authority granted an application for planning permission, having earlier refused an identical application, no duty to give reasons for the grant was imposed on it by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Rabinder Singh, Karen Steyn (Kingsford Stacey) for the appellants; Nathalie Lieven (Council Solicitor) for the council; the landowner did not appear and was not represented.

Insurance

Society of Lloyd's v Lyon and ors; CA (Saville LJ, Ward LJ, Phillips LJ) 31 July 1997.

Where Lloyd's names had rejected a scheme under which the Society of Lloyd's had set out to resolve the litigation which threatened to destroy its market by a voluntary global settlement of business written in or before 1992, they were nevertheless liable to pay premiums pursuant to a reinsurance and run-off contract which was part of the scheme.

Simon Goldblatt QC, Vincent Nelson (Epstein Grower and Michael Freeman) for the names; Anthony Grabiner QC, Richard Jacobs, David Foxton (Freshfields) for Lloyd's; Alan Lenczer QC of the Ontario Bar, Craig Orr (Warner Cranston) for 215 Canadian names who intervened in the actions.

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