Extradition – Delay. The delay between 2010 and 2018 was delay for which the Polish authorities were responsible and it could properly attract the epithet 'culpable', which very significantly reduced the public interest in his extradition. Accordingly, the Administrative Court allowed the appellant's appeal against orders for his extradition to Poland to serve an activated prison sentence of 1 year 11 months and 27 days in relation to a conviction of assault.
Extradition – Oppression. The mental health difficulties which the appellant had, which would be exacerbated by his extradition, were not of a gravity that was sufficient to outweigh the public interests. Accordingly, the Administrative Court dismissed the appellant's appeal against orders for his extradition to Poland to serve the whole of a sentence of one year's imprisonment imposed for an offence committed in 2005 where he obtained proximately £842, at current exchange rates, fraudulently through the use of a forged salary and employment certificate.
Criminal law – Murder. Whether or not the spirit of Code C of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 was engaged by the fact of a prison officer's occupation, the circumstances in which the observations of the defendant's admission of murder had been made did not engage the Code or the need to obtain a signed copy of the comment. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in dismissing the defendant's appeal against conviction for murder, further held that the presence of a knife did not constitute an overwhelming supervening event.
Prison – Prison conditions. The judge had not erred in holding that the claimant serving prisoner's transfer to the managing challenging behaviour strategy unit did not amount to a 'removal from association', within r 45 of the Prison Rules. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the claimant's appeal and the defendant Secretary of State's cross-appeal, further held that the judge had not erred in holding that the restrictions imposed on the claimant in the unit amounted to an interference with his right to respect for private life, under art 8(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Police – Entitlement to injury award. The defendant Police Medical Appeal Board had misdirected itself on the appropriate legal approach to the question of whether a police officer's psychiatric injury had been received in 'execution of his duty' as required by reg 6 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/932, for the purposes of his entitlement to an injury on duty award pursuant to reg 11. Accordingly, the Administrative Court granted the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary's application for judicial review of the defendant's decision that the police officer's injury had been received in the execution of his duty.
Family proceedings – Orders in family proceedings. Female genital mutilation (FGM) of girls under 18 was child abuse and, if attributable to parental behaviour, would comfortably fall within s 31(2) of the Children Act 1989, as being significant physical harm which would justify the making of a public law order. In deciding whether to make an FGM protection order under Sch 2 to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, the court had to have regard to all the circumstances. When viewed through the prism of art 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the health, safety, and well-being of the girl to be protected was the court's paramount consideration and the state was required to do that which was reasonable, in all the circumstances, to protect her from real and immediate risk of harm. The Family Division so ruled in circumstances where the applicant local authority, having previously been granted an out-of-hours FGM protection order in respect of an eight-year-old child (M), on a without notice application, later sought no order on its application. The court held that, on the facts, an FGM protection order was neither necessary, nor proportionate, where the risks to M had altered since the commencement of the proceedings. However, the court noted that, had the evidence been otherwise, it would have had no hesitation in making an FGM protection order until M reached the age of 18.
Housing – Local authority. The second defendant charity's arrangements for the allocation of its social housing properties, which in effect precluded any persons who were not members of the Orthodox Jewish community from becoming tenants, were justified as proportionate under ss 158 and 193 of the Equality Act 2010. The Divisional Court further dismissed the claimants' challenge to the first defendant local housing authority's arrangements for the nomination of applicants to the properties, as once it was established that the second defendant was legally entitled to discriminate, the core of their case against it dissolved.
Property – Beneficial ownership. The claimant's application for a declaration that he was the sole beneficial owner of three properties succeeded. The Chancery Division held that, on the evidence, the claimant was entitled to have the legal title of the properties transferred to his sole name.
Town and country planning – Grant of planning permission – Development plan –Football stadium development. Court of Session: Refusing a petition seeking reduction of a planning authority's decision to grant planning permission for a football stadium development on a green belt site, contrary to the provisions of the local development plan, the court rejected contentions that the council had made material errors of law in the interpretation and application of its own development policy and that it had failed to establish the necessary factual basis for the sequential approach that it adopted in concluding that there was no alternative available site.
Agent – Commercial Agent. The claimant energy mediator was entitled to compensation, pursuant to the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993, following the defendant energy retailer's repudiatory beach of contract. Accordingly, the Chancery Division held, among other things, that the sum of £1,049,600 would be payable by the defendant to the claimant.
Coroner – Inquest. In considering whether it was safe to leave causation to the jury, a coroner had to have regard to all relevant evidence, including general statistical evidence drawn from population data, such as the rate of survival in a particular group. The Divisional Court held that the defendant coroner had fallen into error in concluding that the lack of a clear cause of death had prevented the jury from being able to consider the possible causal effect of the delay in treatment and quashed the record of inquest.
Extradition – Judicial authority. The Prosecutor General's Office in Lithuania was a 'judicial authority' for the purposes of s 2(2) of the Extradition Act 2003, and for the purposes of the Council of the European Union Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant and Surrender Procedures between Member States of the European Union 2002/584/JHA. The Divisional Court, in dismissing an application for permission to appeal, held that to seek to argue to the contrary was unarguable.
Partnership – Dissolution. In order to make a valuation clause in the family farming partnership agreement workable, the court had to read in amendments so that so that it was not requiring the Continuing Partners in the partnership to pay unknown sums. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held it was necessary to decide when the purchase price was ascertained for the purposes of cl 13 and that was the date on which the accounts had been produced by the accountants.
Commercial contract – Terms – Construction. Court of Session: Refusing a reclaiming motion in an action which concerned a contract for the supply of equipment and personnel for the removal and relocation of soil on the seabed close to an offshore wind farm, in which the commercial judge found the defenders liable, in terms of the contract, to pay the pursuers for the services of a sub-sea excavator and its crew after the machine became stuck on the sea-bed because its lifting lug failed when it was being lifted, the court held that the commercial judge had not misapplied the terms of the contract to the facts of the incident: he was not wrong in his interpretation of the terms 'breakdown' and 'temporary abandonment' in the contract; and in relation to the defenders' counterclaim he had not misconstrued its indemnity provisions.
Public procurement – Public contracts. It was well established that a general reference to an alleged breach of the Defence and Security Public Contract Regulations 2011, SI 2011/1848 (the 2011 Regulations), was not enough; the notice had to identify the actual breach complained of. What mattered was a clear statement of the alleged breach by reference to those Regulations, and a stated intention to commence proceedings. Applying those principles, the Technology and Construction Court dismissed the application by the Secretary of State for Defence to strike out certain passages in Serco Ltd's claim, seeking to challenge a procurement exercise carried out by the Ministry of Defence. The court took the view that although Serco could only rely on the 2011 Regulations, the information Serco had identified in its two pre-action letters made it clear that its attack was on the whole of the scoring criteria.
Proceeds of crime – Confiscation order. A confiscation order was varied, so as to include a tainted gift, namely money which the defendant had given to his girlfriend for the purchase of a council house. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in allowing the prosecution's appeal, ruled that the possibility of hardship or injustice to a third party was not the relevant test under s 6(5)(b) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, as amended, and that, accordingly, the Recorder had fallen into error in applying the concept of proportionality in s 6(5)(b), in circumstances where he had ruled that it would be disproportionate to include the tainted gift in the confiscation order made against the defendant, who had pleaded guilty to money laundering.
Family proceedings – Orders in family proceedings. Although s 51A of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 had introduced a bespoke statutory regime for the regulation of post-adoption contact, the law remained that it would only be in an extremely unusual case that a court would make an order stipulating contact arrangement to which the adopters of a child did not agree. While there might be justification in considering some form of direct contact, the ultimate decision as to what contact was to take place was for the adopters. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, so ruled in dismissing the appellant natural parents' appeal against the dismissal of their application for post adoption contact with their child.
Pension – Pension scheme. The claimant medical company's claim against the defendant directors failed. The Chancery Division held that the defendants had not conspired, or acted in breach of duty, to cause their interests to be preferred over those of the company by making alterations to the company pension scheme. There had been no misconduct or breach of duty.
Education – Teacher. The Secretary of State for Education's decision to make a prohibition order against the appellant teacher to the effect that he would not be able to teach in any school, sixth form college or similar institution, was not wrong. The Queen's Bench Division held that the gravity of the consequences of the appellant's behaviour towards another teacher had been part of the balancing exercise. It could not outweigh the legitimate public interest in the appropriate case. Consequently, the appellant's appeal against the Secretary of State's decision would be dismissed.
Anonymity – Court proceedings. The claimant's application for an anonymity order, concerning her claim against the defendant NHS trust for damages for psychiatric injury arising out of the stillbirth of her daughter, was dismissed. The Queen's Bench Division ruled that, having chosen to bring the proceedings in order to secure damages arising out of that tragedy, the claimant could not avoid the consequences of having made that decision in terms of the principle of open justice and the consequent publicity potentially associated with such proceedings being heard in open court.