Law Report: Case Summaries

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

Charter party

Torvald Klaveness A/S v Arni Maritime Corpn; The Gregos; CA (Russell, Hirst, Simon Brown LJJ); 27 May 1993.

The legitimacy of an order by a charterer for a last voyage had to be established at the date on which it was given, having regard not only to the reasonableness at that date of the expected duration of the voyage but also to the reasonableness at that date of making an estimate at all. An illegitimate last voyage order was not per se repudiatory. The owner would be entitled to recover damages for the period of overrun under the common law rules laid down in Hadley v Baxendale (1854) 9 Exch 341 and also, if the circumstances of the original case warranted it, to treat such order as repudiatory.

Bernard Rix QC (Sinclair Roche Temperley) for the charterers; Peter Gross (Ince & Co) for the owners.

Crime

R v Taylor (Anthony); CA (Crim Div) (Lord Taylor of Gosforth LCJ, Owen, Sedley JJ); 10 June 1993.

The specimen direction published by the Judicial Studies Board in June 1991 headed 'Defendant's character, bad' which was appropriate for directing a jury as to a defendant's bad character and other specimen directions should be used with the greatest care. In a straightforward case of a type for which the specimen in question was expressly designed, it could safely be given verbatim. Where, however, the circumstances or issues of the case required adaptation of the specimen direction, care should be taken to adapt it appropriately. Special directions drafted for one purpose were not to be used for another purpose.

John Wait (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Roger Smith QC (CPS) for the Crown.

Housing benefit

R v Chesterfield BC, Ex p Fullwood; CA (Balcombe, Leggatt, Hoffmann LJJ); 9 June 1993.

The words 'jointly occupies' in reg 3(2)(d) of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987 (SI no 1971) did not include non-dependants who merely resided together but assumed that a joint occupier was a person legally entitled to occupy by virtue of joint legal rights in respect of the dwelling and jointly liable to pay the rent or licence charge. Therefore the council had not erred in making a non-dependent deduction from the housing benefit paid to a man whose two sons lived with him but who were not liable for any payments to the landlord and did not make any contribution to their father.

Lord Campbell of Alloway QC and Nan Alban-Lloyd (Elliott Mather Smith, Chesterfield) for the appellant; John Howell QC (Sharpe Pritchard; Solicitor, Department of Social Security) for the council and the department.

Judicial review

R v Chelmsford Crown Court, Ex p Chief Constable of Essex; QBD (DC) (Glidewell LJ, Cresswell J); 25 June 1993.

A decision of the crown court, relating to trial on indictment, which allowed disclosure to the defence of statements taken by the police during an informal complaints procedure is not susceptible to an application for judicial review for a declaration under section 31 of the Supreme Court Act 1981.

Bruce R Silvester (Solicitor, Essex Police) for the applicant; Paul Walker (Treasury Solicitor) as amicus curiae.

Justices

Re S (minors); FD (Bracewell J); 27 May 1993.

If justices, when they retire to consider their decision, are referred to cases by their clerk which had not been cited by counsel, they should return to court to inform the representatives of the parties and give an opportunity for further argument before making a decision.

Christine Sheldrake (Hill & Abbott, Chelmsford) for the appellants; Richard Scarratt (Gepp & Sons, Chelmsford) for the respondent.

Land registration

Quigly v Chief Land Registrar; CA (Balcombe, Leggatt, Hoffmann LJJ); 16 June 1993.

The refusal of the registrar to allow inspection of documents in his custody but not referred to in the register, and his refusal of an application under r 9 of the Land Registration Rules 1925 for a search of the index of proprietors' names, was made in the exercise of his administrative discretion under s 112 of the Land Registration Act 1925 and was a decision from which there was no right of appeal to the court under r 299.

The appellant in person; Mark Cunningham (Treasury Solicitor) for the registrar.

Landlord & tenant

Dawncar Investments Ltd v Plews; CA (Lloyd, Roch LJJ); 16 June 1993.

Under para 5(1)(a) of Pt IV of Sch 5 to the Rent Act 1977, the character of a district and environmental considerations were relevant considerations in determining whether alternative accommodation was suitable.

Romie Tager (JJ Goldstein & Co) for the landlord; Paul Staddon (Oliver O Fisher & Co) for the tenant.

Value added tax

Sitar Tandoori Restaurant v Customs & Excise Commissioners; QBD (Henry J); 28 May 1993.

If the amount of a VAT assessment is reduced after an appeal has been lodged the appeal remains in existence against the reduced amount. It is not open to the taxpayer to treat the appeal against the original amount as allowed and to start fresh appeal proceedings against the reduced amount.

Ajmalul Hossain (Sykes Anderson) for the taxpayer; Alison Foster and Robert Jay (Customs & Excise Solicitor) for the Crown.

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