Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Bankruptcy

Woodley v Woodley; CA (Balcombe, Simon Brown LJJ, Peter Gibson J); 11 March 1993.

The husband had been ordered to make a lump sum payment of pounds 60,000 to his wife and granted a stay pending appeal. He had petitioned for bankruptcy on the same day as the divorce was made absolute and his assets, including hidden assets, had vested in the trustee in bankruptcy. On the wife's judgment summons, the husband was liable to committed under s 5 of the Debtors Act 1869 because the debt had become due before the bankruptcy order was made and did not cease to be due merely because the enforcement procedure had been stayed pending appeal. However, the court concluded reluctantly that the husband ought not to be imprisoned as he might have thought the existence of the stay affected his liability to pay the lump sum.

Martin Pointer (Winward Fearson & Co) for the wife; Peter Shier, who did not appear below (Bishop Longbotham & Bagnall) for the husband.

Crime

R v W (a juvenile); CA (Crim Div) (Lord Taylor of Gosforth LCJ, Henry, Blofeld JJ); 11 March 1993.

As rape is triable on indictment, the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear the reference by the Attorney General under s 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to review the sentence of a juvenile convicted in the Crown Court of rape on the ground that the sentence imposed by the trial court was too lenient.

John Nutting (CPS) for the Attorney General; A Harrington (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant.

Compensation

Wrotham Park Settled Estates v Hertsmere Borough Council; CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Beldam, Kennedy LJJ); 17 March 1993.

Where a local authority carried out under statutory power housing developments in breach of covenants imposed for the benefit of the claimants' adjoining estate, the appropriate basis on which compensation under s 10 of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 for injurious affection should be assessed by reference to the dimunition in the value of the claimants' estate consequent on the carrying out of the development and not by reference to the amount which could reasonably have been expected to be paid to the claimants as the price for permitting the development to take place.

Matthew Horton QC (Farrer & Co) for the claimants; John Howell (Carter Lemon) for the council.

Child

Re O (a minor); FD (Johnson J); 15 March 1993.

In cases concerning contested issue about the emergency medical treatment of a child, such as an application for blood tranfusions for a child whose parents were Jehovah's Witnesses, arrangements should be made, wherever possible, for an inter partes hearing before a High Court judge or a circuit judge. If an inter partes hearing was not possible, then the applications should be dealt with by a judge in the Family Division. Ordinarily such applications should be made under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court, but if made under the Children Act 1989, they should be transferred to the Family Division as a matter of urgency.

Andrew McFarlane (Cheshire County Council Solicitor) for the council; Richard Daniel (Robert Davies & Co, Warrington) for the parents; Alastair Warnock (Bell Lamb & Joynson, Runcorn) for the guardian ad litem.

Landlord and tenant

Take Harvest Ltd v Liu; PC (Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Templeman, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Browne-Wilkinson and Sir Christopher Slade); 9 March 1993.

Subject to the possible operation of the doctrines of part performance and/or estoppel, an oral agreement to surrender a subsisting lease not exceeding three years which was rendered unenforceable by s 3 of the Hong Kong Conveyancing and Property Ordinance (or s 40 of the Law of Property Act 1925) could not be relied on by the tenants to defeat the landlord's claim to rent from the date when the tenants vacated the premises under the agreement and the date when the landlord re-entered the premises in purported exercise of a right of re-entry conferred by the lease.

Edward Nugee QC and Benjamin Chain, of the Hong Kong Bar (Philip Conway Thomas) for the landlord; Gavin Lightman QC and Michael Merry, of the Hong Kong Bar (Macfarlanes) for the tenants.

Local authority

R v Kirklees Borough Council, Ex p C (a minor); (Lloyd, Stuart-Smith, Farquharson LJJ); 16 March 1993.

A local authority has not acted unlawfully in having a minor in its care admitted to a mental hospital for assessment, rather than treatment. Elizabeth Lawson QC and Antony White (Ridley & Hall, Huddersfield) for the applicant; Shaun Spencer QC and Eleanor Hamilton (Council solicitor) for the council.

Social security

R v Secretary of State for Social Security, Ex p Moore; CA (Sir Thomas Bingham MR, Kennedy, Evans LJJ); 1 March 1993.

Regulation 6(2) of the Social Security Benefits (Student Loans and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1990 (SI no 1549) and the Social Security (Unemployment, Sickness and Invalidity benefit) Amendment (No 2) Regulations 1986 (SI no 1011), which prevented students claiming unemployment benefit during vacations, were not ultra vires but validly made by the Secretary of State under ss 17(2) and 166(2)(a) of the Social Security Act 1975.

Mark Rowland (David Thomas) for the applicant; Genevra Caws QC and Rabinder Singh (DSS Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.

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