CASE SUMMARIES v 14 October 1996

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


R v Broadcasting Complaints Commission, ex p Barclay; QBD (Sedley J) 4 Oct 1996.

Section 143 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 unambiguously limited the power of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission so that it had no power to adjudicate on a complaint of infringement of privacy against the BBC where material had been obtained for inclusion in a programme yet to be broadcast. This was so even where once the programme had been broadcast the complaint was bound to succeed.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, Peter Duffy (Lovell White Durrant) for the applicants; Mark Shaw (Gregory Rowcliffe and Milners) for the respondents; Robert Englehart QC (BBC Litigation Department) for the BBC.

Capital allowances

Bradley (HMIT) v London Electricity plc; ChD (Blackburne J) 24 July 1996.

The taxpayer was not entitled to claim capital allowances for the whole of the capital expenditure incurred in providing an electrical substation in Leicester Square, because only part of the expenditure had been on plant, the rest on premises. The structure of the substation was premises in which trading activity was carried on rather than part of the apparatus with which it was carried on.

Michael Furness (Inland Revenue) for the Crown; Peter Whiteman QC (Denton Hall) for London Electricity.

Capital gains

Goodwin v Curtis (HMIT); ChD (Sir John Vinelott) 23 July 1996.

For the purpose of the exemption from capital gains tax for private residences under s 223 of the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992, a distinction was to be made between temporary accommodation and actual residence. A property which the taxpayer had occupied only for a short time as temporary accommodation, having put it on the market even before completion, could not be said to be his residence.

David Ewart (Alison Trent & Co) for the taxpayer; Timothy Brennan (Inland Revenue) for the Crown.


Re S (A minor)(Care order: split hearing); Fam D (Bracewell J) 20 Aug 1996.

In cases involving children where where there were clear factual issues, such as sexual or physical abuse, which made them suitable for a split hearing, the first part dealing with the factual issues and the second part to determine the outcome based on those facts, it was important for local authorities and guardians ad litem to help the court to identify such cases at an early stage, so enabling the court to make appropriate directions for the filing of medical evidence, statements and reports, and to direct an early hearing on the factual issues.

Vexatious litigant

Jones v Van Colina; CA (Nourse, Roch, Schiemann LJJ) 30 July 1996.

Once a person, previously barred as a vexatious litigant from instituting or continuing proceedings without the leave of the court, was then granted such leave, ex parte, pursuant to s 42(3) of the Supreme Court Act 1981, the proposed defendant to the proceedings was neither a party to the application nor entitled to be joined as one, and was therefore unable to have such leave set aside. His recourse must be to make an application, under CCR Ord 13, r 5, or RSC Ord 18, r 19, to strike the proceedings out.

William Crowther QC, Paul Storey (Hooper & Wallen, Torquay) for the defendant; the plaintiff in person.