Pension – Pension scheme. The wording of the rules governing the Universities Superannuation Scheme (the scheme), consistent with the proper operation of the scheme entitled and required the appellant trustee of the scheme to determine for itself, based on medical opinion as defined, whether a member of the scheme (the respondent) was suffering from a total incapacity or a partial incapacity. That entitled and required the trustee to determine whether he was suffering from any incapacity at all and the trustee was not bound by the conclusion of the respondent's former employer that he suffered from incapacity. The Chancery Division so ruled in allowing the trustee's appeal against a decision by the Pensions Ombudsman, concerning the trustee's refusal to award the respondent ill-health retirement benefits.
Criminal law – Mutual legal assistance. It was lawful for the Secretary of State to authorise mutual legal assistance to a foreign state in support of a criminal investigation which might lead to prosecution for offences which carried the death sentence in that state, without requiring an assurance that the prosecution would not seek the death sentence. Accordingly, the Divisional Court rejected each ground of the claimant's challenge to the defendant Secretary of State's decision and the subsequent transfer of materials, including personal data, to the US authorities concerning accusations of terrorism against her son.
Contempt of court – Committal. The judge had erred in the way she had dealt with the alleged contempts of the third party director, both in making a committal order against the director, and in striking out the claimant company and the director's possession application, and their defence to the defendant's counterclaim. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the appeals of the director and the claimant and held that the claim and the counterclaim would be transferred for trial in front of a different judge.
Extradition – Prohibition on torture. The assurances offered in respect of each of the stages of the criminal proceedings which the appellant faced were satisfactory and appropriate in order to address the risk of ill-treatment arising from prison conditions and overcrowding in Romania. Accordingly, the Divisional Court dismissed his appeal against orders for his extradition to Romania to stand trial for attempt to kidnap.
Will – Revocation. In circumstances where only a certified copy of the deceased's will had been found, the presumption in favour of the revocation of the will did not arise on the facts of the case, and there was insufficient evidence to find that the will had been revoked, as the claimant had contended. Accordingly, the Chancery Division ruled that it was appropriate to propound in favour of the certified copy of the will.
Housing – Housing association. While the judge had not carried out a structured enquiry required by s 149 of the Equality Act 2010 in regard to the appellant tenant's disability, believing that it was unnecessary, her judgment showed that she had regarded the enforcement of a possession order as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. Accordingly, the Queen's Bench Division dismissed the tenant's appeal against the possession order granted to the respondent landlord.
Euuropean Union – Trade marks. The Second Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office had been correct to uphold the opposition by TURBO-UK Ltd, established in the UK to the application by Turbo-K International Ltd (TKIL), also established in the UK, for registration of the word mark 'TURBO-UK' as an EU trade mark. The conditions of an action for passing-off and those of art 8(4) of Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 (replaced by Regulation (EU) 2017/1001) had been met. Consequently, the General Court of the European Union dismissed TKIL's action for annulment of the Board's decision.
European Union – Freedom of establishment. The first subparagraph of art 157(1) of Directive (EC) 2009/138, as amended by Directive (EU) 2013/58, read in conjunction with art 13(13) of Directive 2009/138, should be interpreted as meaning that, when an insurance company established in a member state offered insurance covering the contractual risks associated with the value of the shares and the fairness of the purchase price paid by the buyer in the acquisition of an undertaking, an insurance contract concluded in that context was subject exclusively to the indirect taxes and parafiscal charges on insurance premiums in the member state where the policyholder was established. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in proceedings brought by an insurance company regarding a request for a tax ruling which it had made to the Central Tax Board, Finland, relating to determining which member state had power to impose tax on insurance premiums.
Trade mark – Infringement. The application of the first to third defendants (the RCB defendants) failed and the application of the claimants succeeded in a dispute concerning alleged infringement of trade marks. The Chancery Division held that the RCB defendants had not come anywhere near demonstrating that the present case was a clear and obvious case of abuse of process, and hence their application to strike out the claim failed. Further, the relevant mark was not deceptive, even on the facts as claimed by the RCB defendants, and therefore summary judgment would be granted in favour of the claimants on their counterclaim.
Libel and slander – Meaning. In the claimant's libel and malicious falsehood proceedings against the defendants, the Queen's Bench Division ruled on preliminary issues, namely: (i) the assessment of the natural and ordinary meaning for the purposes of libel; (ii) whether that meaning was fact and/or opinion; (iii) whether the meaning raised the inference of serious harm under s 1 of the Defamation Act 2013; and (iv) whether the meanings advanced by the claimant were capable meanings for the purposes of the malicious falsehood claim.
Criminal law – Stalking. The prosecution evidence had not established more than one occasion on which the justices could be sure the victim had been induced to feel fear of physical violence by the actions of the appellant. The Divisional Court, in allowing the appellant's appeal by way of case stated for stalking involving fear of violence, held that the offence required proof of a specific state of mind on the part of the victim, not merely proof of circumstances which might reasonably engender that state of mind.
Medical practitioner – Appeal against determination of disciplinary committee. Had the issues of admissibility and weight been properly analysed and separated, as required by authority, the Nursing and Midwifery Council's Fitness to Practise Committee could not possibly have reached a proper conclusion that it had been fair to admit hearsay evidence. Accordingly, the Administrative Court allowed the appellant's appeal against the decision that her fitness to practise as a midwife was impaired by reason of her misconduct and that the appropriate sanction was an order striking her off the register.
Disclosure and inspection of documents – Confidential documents. The Commercial Court made rulings concerning two applications for the disclosure of information in the course of proceedings. The proceedings concerned the proposed public takeover of the first defendant energy company by another company. The court made findings as to the confidentiality of the instructions from the company financing the purchase to its solicitors.
Abduction – Child. The Family Division adjourned the mother's application for permission to take the child on holiday to Mexico until the final hearing in the matter in July 2019, to allow for further evidence. The court found that as the mother had previously wrongfully retained the child in Mexico there was a risk of non-return if the child were to return to Mexico. In any event, further evidence was required, particularly from a CAFCASS guardian, before a decision could be made.
Trust and trustee – Trustee's costs. The claimant trustee would be acting in the interests of the scheme as a whole by pursing the appeal and it would, therefore, be entitled to an indemnity in respect of its costs of doing so from the assets of the scheme. Accordingly, the Chancery Division allowed the trustee's application for Beddoe relief in relation to its appeal to the Supreme Court, but restricted the costs in respect of which the trustee was entitled to an indemnity from the scheme to £1,034,000.
Corporation tax – General accepted accounting principles. Overall, the focus of paragraphs 9 to 14 of Financial Reporting Standard 23 (FRS 23) was on economic factors. The term 'functional' currency itself gave something of a clue of the need to concentrate on what the entity actually did. Paragraph 11(a) of FRS 23 referred to whether the foreign operation's activities were carried on as an extension of the parent, rather than on whether those activities were carried on with a significant degree of autonomy. Consequently, the Upper Tribunal (Tax Chamber)(Tax and Chancery Chamber) dismissed the taxpayer's appeal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) that the taxpayer's argument to the effect that a dollar functional currency had been appropriate because all material decisions in relation to the taxpayer had been take by employees of the taxpayer's US parent company, could not be accepted.
Immigration – Deportation. There had been a material change of circumstances since an exception to the appellant's deportation had been established, so as to render lawful a reconsideration by the Secretary of State as to whether the exception preventing deportation subsisted. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appellant's appeal, further held that it should be regarded as an obligation of good practice on the part of the Secretary of State to spell out in the notice of decision what were said to be the material changes of circumstance which had justified and founded the fresh decision and deportation order.
Jurisdiction – Challenge. The master had correctly refused the claimant an extension of time to serve the claim form and particulars of claim in his libel proceedings, to extend time for the defendants' CPR Pt 11 application challenging jurisdiction and to impose a permanent stay on proceedings. However, the Queen's Bench Division, in dismissing the claimant's appeal, held that the master had been wrong to find that the application to set aside service of the claim form could be made pursuant to CPR 3.4.
Immigration – Removal. As N v Secretary of State for the Home Department ( 4 All ER 1017) was binding on the court and the appellant could not satisfy its criteria, the appeal had to be dismissed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, further refused the appellant permission to appeal to the Supreme Court sought on the basis that, because the appellant satisfied the criteria in Paposhvili v Belgium (App. No. 41738/10) ( ECHR 41738/10), the case might be an appropriate vehicle for the Supreme Court to revisit the criteria in art 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights medical cases.
Contract – Formation. The claimants' claim for sums allegedly due under an agreement with the defendant failed. The Commercial Court held that the agreement, under which the defendant member of the Bahraini royal family would have paid the claimants for the opportunity to meet various Bollywood actors, had not been made on the terms alleged.