Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Costs

R v Liverpool Crown Court, Ex p the Lord Chancellor; QBD (DC)(Watkins LJ, Rougier J); 6 April 1993.

A defendant's costs order under s 16 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 made 11 months after the trial ended and which was a contrived way to find a method of remunerating counsel who was not covered by the legal aid certificate was susceptible to judicial review.

Clare Montgomery (Treasury Solicitor) for the Lord Chancellor; David Hart (Treasury Solicitor) as amicus curiae.

Children

Re P (minors); CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Stuart-Smith, Waite LJJ); 7 April 1993.

Where a judge granted a local authority's unopposed application under Sch 2, para 19 of the Children Act 1989 for approval of arrangements for two children, who were in its temporary care under an interim care order, to live in Northern Ireland, the judge was wrong to refuse the authority's application for a final care order and instead make a renewed interim care order in its favour. Once a question with respect to the upbringing of a child had been determined, it could seldom, if ever, be right for the court to make continued use of its powers of adjournment under s 38 of the 1989 Act. Moreover, the conditions for a final order had been established and only a final order would be effective to bring into play the Children (Prescribed Orders - Northern Ireland, Guernsey and Isle of Man) Regulations 1991 (SI no 2032) and thus ensure that the children were safeguarded by a matching order in the Northern Ireland jurisdiction.

Margaret de Haas (Council solicitor) for Cheshire County Council; Catherine O'Leary (Philip Jones Hillyer & Jackson) for the mother; John Bonney (Keith Cutler & Co) for the guardian ad litem.

Value Added Tax

Customs and Excise Commissioners v London Diocesan Fund; Same v Penwith Property Co Ltd; Same v Elliott; QBD (McCullough J); 24 March 1993.

Construction work done on dwellings and some other qualifying buildings was zero-rated if it amounted to a new building but not if it was 'conversion, reconstruction, alteration or enlargement of an existing building' within note (9)(a) to Group 8 of Schedule 5 to the Value Added Tax Act 1983. That was a question of the meaning of ordinary words and as such was a question of fact for a VAT tribunal, not a question of law which the court could decide. But even a new building was zero-rating by note (9)(b) if there was internal access between it and an existing building.

Stephen Richards (Customs & Excise Solicitor) for the Crown; David Milne QC and Andrew Hitchmough (Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte) for the London Diocesan Fund; Mark Lomas (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain) for Penwith Property Co.

Revenue

Gray (HMIT) v Seymours Garden Centre; ChD (Vinelott J); 1 April 1993.

A glasshouse called a 'planteria' for the display of plants for sale in a garden centre and constructed of special materials to keep the plants in good condition was not 'plant' for capital allowances purposes. It was part of the premises from which the business was carried on, not apparatus used in the business.

Timothy Brennan (Inland Revenue Solicitor) for the Crown; Robin Mathew (Badhams Thompson) for the taxpayers.

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