Law report: CASE SUMMARIES v 28 July 1997

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

Magistrates' courts

Hutber v Gabriele; QBD Div Ct (Henry LJ, Gage J) 3 July 1997.

In the normal course of events a magistrate, before making a wasted costs order, should of his own motion take steps to see that a party against whom the order might be made saw the bill of costs submitted by the other side. That did not, however, take away the responsibility from counsel for the party against whom the order was to be made to ensure, if he thought it necessary, that such a bill was inspected. Furthermore, steps should be taken by a magistrate to make sure that a party at risk had the opportunity to comment on the matter of the award of costs.

Dominic Bell (Meaby & Co) for the appellant; Miranda Moore (Herbert Smith) for the respondent.

Road traffic

DPP v Taylor; QBD Div Ct (Simon Brown LJ, Garland J) 17 June 1997.

There was nothing in the language of s 7 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which prevented a police officer from requesting an alternative specimen where he was uncertain whether there had been a refusal to give blood for medical reasons, and had thus in fairness determined that the driver should be allowed to give a sample of urine.

Simon Christie (CPS) for the appellant; David Geey (David Taylor, Liverpool) for the respondent.


Commissioners of Inland Revenue v McGuckian; HL (Lord Browne- Wilkinson, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, Lord Steyn, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, Lord Clyde) 12 June 1997.

Applying the principle in W.T. Ramsay Ltd v IRC [1982] AC 300, disregarding steps taken in implementing a tax avoidance scheme and looking only at the end result, a liability to income tax arose under s 478 of the Taxes Act 1970 (S 739 of the 1988 Act) (transfer of assets abroad), but the scheme might equally have failed by the application of a purposive and realistic interpretation of the facts.

Andrew Park QC, Launcelot Henderson QC (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Crown; Edward Nugee QC, Michael Ashe QC (Gregory Rowcliffe & Milners) for the taxpayer.