CASE SUMMARIES v 29 January 1996

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

Bankruptcy

Morris v Murjani; CA (Hirst, Peter Gibson LJJ, Buxton J); 20 Dec 1995

The High Court had power to grant an injunction preventing a bankrupt leaving the country, in order to secure his compliance with duties imposed by s 333 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Matthew Collins (Nabarro Nathanson) for the bankrupt; Philip S. Marshall (Dibb Lupton Broomhead) for the trustee in bankruptcy.

Children

Re M (a minor: habitual residence); CA (Millett, Balcombe LJ); 20 Dec 1995

The "habitual residence" of a child, for the purposes of a dispute under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Sch 1 to the Child Abduction and Custody Act 1985) was a question of fact. Someone must be physically resident in the country to acquire habitual residence here. A child who had by its parents' agreement lived half his life with his grandparents abroad could not acquire habitual residence in Britain simply by one parent's unilateral decision to bring the child back.

Allan Levy QC, Roger Bickerdike (Walker Morris, Leeds) for the father; Pamela Scriven QC, Alasdair Wilson (Castle Sanderson, Leeds) for the mother; Judith Hughes QC, Robert Cole (Official Solicitor) for the guardian ad litem.

Justices

R v East Dereham Magistrates, ex p Clarke; QBD(DC) (Schiemann LJ, Holland J); 15 Dec 1995

If one of three justices had to leave before the conclusion of a trial, in the interests of natural justice the question of what should happen should be dealt with in open court. Submissions should be invited as to the options available and both counsel for the Crown and defence should be able to address the justices. This was advisable even though it was clear from the wording of s 121 (1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 that an information could be tried by only two justices.

Matthew Gowen (Overbury, Steward & Eaton, Norwich) for the applicant; Christopher Metcalf (CPS) as an interested party.

Revenue

Couch (Inspector of Taxes) v Caton's Administrators; ChD (Rimer J); 20 Dec 1995

Costs incurred in disputing a valuation of unquoted shares for capital gains tax purposes and the costs of an appeal to the special commissioners were not allowable as deductions in computing a chargeable gain on the disposal of the shares. Deductible valuation costs within the Capital Gains Tax Act 1979, s 32(2)(b) (now Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992, s 38(2)(b)) extended only to the initial valuation carried in order to comply with the requirement for making a return.

Launcelot Henderson QC (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Crown; William Massey (Rayner de Wolfe for Brooke North & Goodwin, Leeds) for the taxpayer.

Road

R v Greenwich London Borough Council, ex p Williams; QBD (Macpherson J); 19 Dec 1995

The words "likelihood of danger to the public" in s 14 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 were not apt to enable a local authority to close a road temporarily because of environmental circumstances such as danger to the public from air pollution caused by traffic. The section only covered circumstances such as a spillage on the road making its use dangerous to the public or where a road across a heath was affected by smoke from a heath fire.

Graham Read (Leigh Day & Co) for the applicant; Martin Wood (Borough Solicitor) for the council.

Trade description

R v Page; CA (Crim Div) (Kennedy LJ, Judge, Clarke JJ); 14 Dec 1995

If a person giving information, under s 29(1) of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, which was reasonably required of an interviewee in an interview under caution by a trading standards officer for the purposes of the performance of the officer's function under the Act, makes a false statement, then he is liable to be prosecuted under s 29(2).

Julian Christopher (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Simon Blackford (David Over, Reading) for the prosecutor.

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