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Hinrichs and others v Oracle Corporation UK Ltd

Employment – Redundancy. The Central Arbitration Committee (the CAC) had correctly decided that in exceptional circumstances affecting employees' interests, where para 8 of Sch 1 to the Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999, SI 1999/3323, as amended, applied, the employer did not have to wait for a European Works Council (the EWC) to give an opinion on the employer's proposed actions, provided that the employer had given the EWC the necessary information on its proposals and had engaged in consultation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal in dismissing the EWC's appeal against the CAC's decision, held that there was no prohibition in either those Regulations nor the Transnational Information and Consultation Directive (EC) 2009/39 on the employer taking or implementing its decision after it had consulted but before the EWC had produced an opinion. Nor could the Regulations be construed to have that effect.

Pricewatch Ltd v Gausden (East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services)

Practice – Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Employment Tribunal (ET) in refusing to make a cost order against the appellant, who had been partially successful, had not erred in law. The Administrative Court in refusing the appellant's appeal reiterated that the power to award costs in the ET was a disciplinary power, not a compensatory one, and further by withdrawing an allegation it could not be said that he respondent had acted unreasonably in his conduct of the proceedings.

Lessees and Management Company of Herons Court v Heronslea Ltd and others

Construction – Dwellings. The claimant's claim against the fourth defendant building control inspector, that it had breached its duty owed under s 1(1) of the Defective Premises Act 1972 in respect of the faulty construction of premises, had been rightly struck out on the basis that s 1(1) did not apply to building control inspectors. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, so held, finding that the focus of s 1(1) was on the doing of positive work which had related to the provision of a dwelling, whereas in certifying, or refusing to certify, plans and works, the building inspector was not engaged in the positive role of the provision or creation of the relevant building.

Pricewatch Ltd v Gausden (East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services)

Practice – Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Employment Tribunal (ET) in refusing to make a cost order against the appellant, who had been partially successful, had not erred in law. The Administrative Court in refusing the appellant's appeal reiterated that the power to award costs in the ET was a disciplinary power, not a compensatory one, and further by withdrawing an allegation it could not be said that he respondent had acted unreasonably in his conduct of the proceedings.

Hinrichs and others v Oracle Corporation UK Ltd

Employment – Redundancy. The Central Arbitration Committee (the CAC) had correctly decided that in exceptional circumstances affecting employees' interests, where para 8 of Sch 1 to the Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999, SI 1999/3323, as amended, applied, the employer did not have to wait for a European Works Council (the EWC) to give an opinion on the employer's proposed actions, provided that the employer had given the EWC the necessary information on its proposals and had engaged in consultation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal in dismissing the EWC's appeal against the CAC's decision, held that there was no prohibition in either those Regulations nor the Transnational Information and Consultation Directive (EC) 2009/39 on the employer taking or implementing its decision after it had consulted but before the EWC had produced an opinion. Nor could the Regulations be construed to have that effect.

Lessees and Management Company of Herons Court v Heronslea Ltd and others

Construction – Dwellings. The claimant's claim against the fourth defendant building control inspector, that it had breached its duty owed under s 1(1) of the Defective Premises Act 1972 in respect of the faulty construction of premises, had been rightly struck out on the basis that s 1(1) did not apply to building control inspectors. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, so held, finding that the focus of s 1(1) was on the doing of positive work which had related to the provision of a dwelling, whereas in certifying, or refusing to certify, plans and works, the building inspector was not engaged in the positive role of the provision or creation of the relevant building.

R (on the application of Lasham Gliding Society Ltd) v Civil Aviation Authority

Air traffic – Airport. The defendant Civil Aviation Authority had not misinterpreted or failed to comply with s 70 of the Transport Act 2000, nor had it reached irrational conclusions. Accordingly, the Administrative Court dismissed the claimant gliding club's application for judicial review of its decision to permit the introduction of air traffic controls in airspace around an airport, which was largely uncontrolled.

Hyman and another v Revenue and Customs Commissioners

Stamp duty – Repayment. The Revenue and Customs Commissioners (HMRC) had correctly decided that the whole of the property owned by the taxpayers was residential property for the purposes of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and accordingly, that tax had been correctly paid on that basis. The First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) so held in dismissing the taxpayers' appeal against HMRC's decision to reject their claim for refund of SDLT. The FTT took the view that for SDLT purposes, 'residential property' meant a building that was used as a dwelling and land that was or formed part of the garden or grounds of the dwelling including a building on such land. 'Grounds' had, and was intended to have, a wide meaning.

R (on the application of JJ Management LLP and others) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners and another

Income tax – Investigation. The Administrative Court held that the statutory scheme was such that the defendant Revenue and Customs Commissioners' functions included, not only opening an enquiry into a return under s 9A of the Taxes Management Act 1970 during the enquiry window, but also checking returns without opening a s 9A enquiry, including after the enquiry window had closed, with a view to ascertaining if there was ground to issue a discovery assessment, and that such checking could include, not just re-reading the file, but carrying out investigations and enquiries to see if any further information could be obtained that could shed light on the question.

R (on the application of Phoenix Life Holdings Ltd and other companies) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners

Value added tax – Input tax. The defendant Revenue and Customs Commissioners' (HMRC) decision, upholding its rejection of a claim for repayment of significant amounts of under-recovered VAT input tax made exactly ten years earlier, was so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it. Accordingly, the Administrative Court quashed the decision and ordered HMRC to pay the claim (to the extent its quantum had been accepted).

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