Law report: Case Summaries: 9 march 1998

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

Asylum

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department and anor, ex p Chowdry; CA (Lord Woolf MR, Potter, May LJJ) 2 Feb 1998.

Where a claim for asylum had been made prior to the coming into force of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, the expedited appeals procedure under s 1 of the Act, for asylum seekers from countries where it appeared to the Home Secretary that there was no serious risk of persecution, nevertheless applied to asylum decisions made by the Home Secretary after the Act had come into force.

David Pannick QC, Lisa Giovannetti (Treasury Solicitor) for the Home Secretary; Peter Crampin QC, Bridget McVay (Saleem Sheik, Pimlico) for the applicant.

VAT

R v Customs and Excise Commrs, ex p Littlewoods Home Shopping Ltd; CA (Kennedy, Millett, Ward LJJ) 17 Feb 1998.

Balances outstanding in relation to self-financed credit sales made before the standard special scheme for retailers was withdrawn were not subject to VAT because it had already been accounted for under the scheme at the time when the relevant supplies were made. To charge tax on the balances would amount to double taxation. The decision in Customs and Excise v Next plc; Customs and Excise v Gratton plc [1995] STC 951 was wrong and should be overruled.

David Milne QC, Andrew Hitchmough (Cuff Roberts, Liverpool) for Littlewoods; Kenneth Parker QC, Aidan Robertson (Customs and Excise Solicitor) for the Commissioners.

Evidence

Ramanathan Rudra v Abbey National plc and anor; CA (Schiemann, Robert Walker LJJ) 26 Feb 1998.

In the absence of special grounds the Court of Appeal would normally have no power to receive further evidence on an appeal against a judgment entered pursuant to RSC Ord 14A, since such a judgment was, in the majority of cases, a judgment after a trial or hearing of "any cause or matter" within Ord 59 r 10(2).

Mark Warwick (Sam Perea & Co) for the appellant; Geoffrey Zelin (Dibb Lupton Alsop, Leeds) for the respondent.

Solicitors

Nationwide Building Society v Lewis and anor; CA (Evans, Peter Gibson LJJ, Sir Christopher Slade) 24 Feb 1998.

Where a plaintiff was unable to show that it had relied or acted on the faith of a representation on the notepaper of a firm of solicitors, L & Co, that W, who was in fact a "salaried partner", was a partner in the firm, W would not be liable for L's negligent acts.

Rupert Jackson QC, Paul Parker (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain) for W; Nicholas Patten QC, Timothy Higginson (David Bolland, Swindon) for the building society.

Commons

R v Secretary of State for the Environment, ex p Billson; QBD (Crown Office List) (Sullivan J) 9 Feb 1998.

Where a deed granted under s 193(1) of the law of Property Act 1925 granted public access to a common for air and exercise, that access included access on horseback as well as on foot.

George Laurence QC, Louise Davies (Brooke North & Goodwin, Leeds) for the applicant; John Hobson (Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State; Christopher Cochrane QC, Richard Rundell (Downs, Dorking) for the landowner.

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