Law Reports: CASE SUMMARIES: 21 July 1997

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

Magistrates' Courts

R v Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrate, ex p Levy; QBD Div Ct (Simon Brown LJ, Garland J) 16 June 1997.

Where judicial review proceedings were brought seeking mandamus to require a magistrate to state a case and the point at issue was a challenge to the conviction, if the facts were not in dispute and it was clear from the magistrate's refusal to state a case what the case would have contained, the true issue of the validity of the conviction should be placed directly before the court on a judicial review. Although a disqualification from driving might be removed on appeal it was effective until that event, unless an application to suspend it pending appeal had been made.

Ruth M Kirby (J D Spicer & Co) for the appellant; Andrew Colman (CPS) for the Crown.

Tax

Attwood (Inspector of Taxes) v Anduff Car Wash Ltd; CA (Beldam LJ, Peter Gibson LJ, Waller LJ) 17 July 1997.

A specially designed building consisting of an automatic conveyor-belt type car wash and housing the necessary machinery was not a single item of "plant" for the purposes of capital allowances. The building constituted the premises in which the car wash trade was carried on, not the plant with which it was carried on.

Peter Whiteman QC, Brian Green QC (Denton Hall) for the taxpayer; James Munby QC, Timothy Brennan (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Crown.

Prisoners

R v Secretary of State for Home Department & anor, ex p Sullivan; QBD Crown Office List (Buxton J) 26 June 1997.

When deciding whether to remove a prisoner from a mother and baby unit, the welfare of the child was not the paramount consideration. Although the welfare of the child had to be taken into account, it had to be remembered that the mother was still a prisoner subject to prison discipline, and that the unit had to cater for the welfare of a number of mothers and babies. It was those matters together with the overall interests of and the practicability of running the unit that the governor had to bear in mind when making her decision.

Phillippa Kaufman (Winstanley Burgess) for the applicant; Steven Kovats (Treasury Solicitor) for the respondents.

Crime

R v Travers; CA Cr Div (Waller LJ, Gage J, Bennett J) 9 July 1997.

In a prosecution under s 170(2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 for fraudulent evasion of excise duty, in order to establish that the goods were dutiable there was no requirement to show that more than the quantities set out in the schedule to Art 5(3) of the Excise Duties (Personal Reliefs) Order 1992 were intended to be imported, and there was no requirement if more than those quantities were being imported to establish that Customs & Excise were not satisfied that the purpose was for personal use. The proper course was to concentrate simply on establishing beyond reasonable doubt that the goods were being imported for a commercial purpose without any presumption flowing from quantities.

Clive Stanbrook QC, Nigel van der Bijl (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Gerald Barling QC, Anthony Webb (C & E Solicitor) for the Crown.

Hunting

R v National Trust ex p Scott & ors; QBD Crown Office List (Tucker J) 16 July1997.

There was no jurisdiction to entertain a challenge to a decision by the Council of the National Trust to end deer hunting on Trust land. The decision was not amenable to judicial review as it had been made by the Trustees in the exercise of their discretionary powers in the management of Trust property, and thus related to the National Trust's conduct of its affairs as a charity. Accordingly in order to take proceedings authorisation was required by the Charity Commissioners.

Michael Beloff QC, Timothy Corner (Knights, Tunbridge Wells) for the applicants; Lindsay Boswell QC, Timothy Evans (Winkworth & Pemberton) for the respondents.

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