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

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Bankruptcy

Mordant v Halls; ChD (Sir Donald Nicholls V-C); 20 July 1993.

Under the Insolvency Rules 1986, an order for the payment of a lump sum in family proceedings is not provable in bankruptcy.

John Briggs (Osborne Clarke) for the trustee in bankruptcy; Benedict Sefi (Kingsford Stacey for Sanders Brickwood, Cirencester) for the wife.

Crime

R v Marsh; CA (Crim Div) (Lord Taylor of Gosforth CJ, Ognall, Sedley JJ); 1 July 1993

The whole purpose of the adversarial process was that the judge sat and held the ring. It was for counsel on each side to conduct examination and cross- examination and for the judge to see they did it fairly. It was most undesirable for the trial judge to anticipate cross-examination or to interrupt the flow of examination-in-chief of the witness.

Stephen Holt (Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the appellant; Anthony Docking (Customs & Excise Solicitor) for the Crown.

Damages

Gilsenan v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis; CA (Balcombe, Farquharson, Rose LJJ); 19 July 1993

The plaintiff issued a summons in the country court claiming damages for malicious prosecution. By the time of the trial the county court limit of pounds 5,000 had been removed by the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 but there had been no application to amend the sum claimed. There was no express provision in regulations under the Act applying the removal of the limit to current proceedings. Since the plaintiff had chosen to bring his claim in the county court rather than the High Court, and the defendant had conducted his defence on the basis of the risk of exposure to the then county court limit, it would be unjust to allow to award of pounds 15,000 made by the jury to stand. Instead the court would substitute an award of pounds 5,000. Colin Challenger (Metropolitan Police Solicitor) for the defendant; Philip Hackett (Powell Spencer & Partners) for the plaintiff.

Estoppel

Wayling v Jones; CA (Balcombe, Leggatt, Hoffmann LJJ); 21 July 1993

Where the judge had found a sufficient link between the promises relied upon the plaintiff and the conduct said to constitute the detriment suffered by him, and that the promises relied upon were an inducement for that conduct, the burden of proof fell to the defendant to show that the plaintiff had not relied on the promises. Since the defendant had failed to discharge that burden, the plaintiff was entitled to rely on the proprietary estoppel which had arisen and was therefore entitled to the proceeds of sale of the hotel which the deceased had promised but failed to leave to the plaintiff in his will.

Hugh Bennett QC and CI Howells (James & Sarch) for the appellant; RD Oughton (Morris Bates & Godwin, Aberystwyth) for the respondent.

Trespass

Sussex Investments Ltd v Cornell; CA (Balcombe, Farquharson LJJ, Sir Roger Parker); 28 July 1993

The mooring of houseboats to the bank of the Thames on the plaintiff's land was a trespass as the plaintiff's registered title extended down to the water's edge (ie, the ordinary high water mark of the river) and included the bank from the towpath to the water's edge. The public right of way on foot along the towpath did not include any right over the bank and the separate right of towage did not extend to any right to maintain moorings onto the gangplanks over the bank.

Kevin Garnett QC (Simon Jackson) for the plaintiff; Eric W H Christie (Fussell Wright & Co, Bristol) for the defendants.

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