Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Conveyance

IDC Group Ltd and ors v Clark; CA (Nourse, Stocker, Beldam LJJ); 2 July 1992.

The phrase 'grant licence' in a deed was one which would not have been used by any experienced conveyancer as a means of granting an easement. Accordingly, where there was nothing sufficiently pointing clearly in any other direction, the phrase in a professionally drawn deed created a personal licence, not an easement binding successors in title and assignees of an underlease.

John Lindsay QC and John Randall (Needham & James) for the plaintiffs; J G Boggis (Jaques & Lewis) for the defendant; Peter Crampin (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain) for the first third party.

Crime

Lalani v Birmingham City Council; QBD (DC) (Leggatt LJ, Pill J); 6 July 1992.

The word 'seeking' in s 1(1) of the Accommodation Agencies Act 1953 was used in the sense of 'inquiring after' as opposed to a person desiring accommodation. The fact that the person who paid for a registration was a trading standards officer did not affect the commission of the offence under the section since he fell within the category of persons inquiring after accommodation, although he only posed as a person seeking a tenancy for purposes of investigation.

Steven Gasztowicz (Barradales, Leicester) for the defendant; Timothy Straker (City Solicitor) for the council.

R v Kerrigan; CA (Crim Div) (Lloyd LJ, Tudor Evans, Latham JJ); 26 June 1992.

Where a judge conducts a 'Newton'-style hearing to decide an issue of fact where a defendant has pleaded guilty, it is better if he directs himself openly as to the relevant standard and burden of proof he has to apply, ie normal criminal standard and burden of proof, but a failure to do so will not necessarily be fatal in every case.

Neil Stewart (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant.

Housing benefit

R v Secretary of State for Social Security, Ex parte Association of Metropolitan Authorities and anor; QBD (Tucker J); 3 July 1992.

The Secretary of State, before making the Housing Benefit (General ) Amendment Regulations 1992, failed to comply with the duty imposed by s 61(7) of the Social Security Act 1986, to consult with such organisations as the applicants, the AMA and Hackney LBC. Although the applicants were entitled to a declaration to that effect, no useful purpose would be served by revoking the regulations and accordingly the court refused to quash the regulations or declare them ultra vires and the regulations remain in force.

Andrew Arden QC and Richard Drabble (National Housing Law Service) for the AMA; Andrew Arden QC and Jonathan Manning (Borough Solicitor) for Hackney; John Howell (DSS Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.

Social security

R v Social Security Commissioner, Ex p Pattni; CA (Lord Donaldson of Lymington MR, Nolan, Scott LJJ); 8 July 1992.

Although it was only in rare cases that a judge should set aside leave to apply for judicial review granted by another judge, he should do so where the judge had granted leave to apply for judicial review of a decision of a social security commissioner refusing the applicant leave to appeal from a social security appeal tribunal without identifying the point of law as required by s 101(1) of the Social Security Act 1975. Where an applicant appeared in person and the judge thought there was a point of law but he could not identify it he should adjourn the application for an inter partes hearing.

Presiley Baxendale QC (DSS Solicitor) for the commissioner; the applicant apeared in person.

Correction

In European Partners in Capital (Epic) Holdings BV v Goddard & Smith, Independent case summaries, 13 July 1992, Williams Davies Meltzer were the solicitors for the appellants.

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