Practice – Jurisdiction. The doctrine of forum non conveniens applied in circumstances in which proceedings were issued in England and Wales against a party domiciled in Scotland in relation to harm allegedly suffered both within the United Kingdom and abroad. So the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held in dismissing the appellant's claim defamation and data protection claim against a stay of the proceedings in the UK courts.
European Union – Trade marks. The Second Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office had been right to decide that there had been a likelihood of confusion on the part of the relevant public between the figurative sign 'SkyPrivate' sought to be registered by the applicant and the earlier UK word mark 'SKY', registered by the intervener company, Sky Ltd, established in the UK. Accordingly, the General Court of the European Union dismissed the applicant's application for annulment of the Board's decision to uphold the intervener's opposition to registration of the applicant's mark.
Contempt – Committal. The appellant insurance company's appeal succeeded, against a decision of a judge of the High Court not to allow it to commence committal proceedings against the respondent. The respondent had issued personal injury proceedings, but had discontinued them after evidence had emerged of him having made false statements. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the judge had erred in principle in his approach to the exercise of his discretion.
Housing – Housing Association. The tenant's appeal against a decision, granting the respondent housing association (the landlord) possession of a property, was dismissed. The Queen's Bench Division held that the landlord had complied with its public sector equality duty (PSED) under s 149 of the Equality Act 2010, in circumstances where the evidence of the tenant's disability had been revealed very late in the day, as a result of which, the steps required to fulfil the duty had required considerably less formality than would otherwise have been the case. The Queen's Bench, in so ruling, considered factors relevant to the PSED in the context of possession cases and ruled, among other things, that the engagement of the PSED was not a trump card which mandated the giving of directions, rather than the summary disposal of the proceedings.
Housing – Local authority houses. The examples in the defendant local authority's housing allocation scheme, which set out those who did not qualify for entry onto the housing register, had either or both applied in the claimant's case. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the claimant's application for judicial review of the authority's decisions that he was not qualified for the allocation of housing, further held that the exclusions from the exemption had not applied.
Extradition – Prohibition on torture. None of the evidence on which the appellant relied demonstrated a real risk of breach of art 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights if she was accommodated in the women's district in Fleury-Merogis or Fresnes prisons. Accordingly, the Administrative Court dismissed her appeal against orders for her extradition to France for offences concerning the manufacture and sale, through the internet, without proper marketing authorisation, of two products, presented as medicine, which had been advertised as having 'preventive or curative effects on human pathologies'.
Company – Liquidator. The appellant companies' appeal failed, in a dispute concerning three companies linked to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme fraud, in which they sought an anti-suit injunction from the BVI courts to restrain the liquidators of the first respondent company from proceeding with their claims in the US. The Privy Council held that s 249 of the British Virgin Islands Insolvency Act 2003 did not, either expressly or by necessary implication, confer an exclusive jurisdiction on the High Court so as to preclude foreign courts, which assisted in a BVI liquidation, from granting relief enabling it to alter the consequences of concluded transactions which would otherwise remain binding on an insolvent company.
Negligence – Damages. The claimant, who contracted mesothelioma as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos, was awarded £95,000 for pain suffering and loss of amenity against his previous employer, the defendant company. He had previously obtained judgment for damages against the defendant, to be assessed, and the latter had been required to make an interim payment on account of damages of £200,000, and a sum on account of costs. The Queen's Bench Division further ruled on what damages, if any, the claimant was entitled to for 'lost years'.
Practice – Criminal appeals. As the decision in the case concerned a criminal cause or matter, s 18(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 applied, and, accordingly, no appeal lay to the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, from the refusal to give permission to apply for judicial review. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, further added some wider observations about appeals from judgments in criminal causes or matters.
Data protection – Processing of information. There had been a breach of the claimant there had been a breach of the claimant's rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 by the sharing of information about her vulnerability and risk of sexual exploitation. However, the Administrative Court found that the defendant Chief Constable's information sharing agreement did not fail to provide sufficient safeguards to prevent the unlawful processing of the claimant's sensitive personal data and there sharing of other data had not been unlawful.
Criminal law – Robbery. The judge had been wrong to reduce the starting point from five to four years, before giving credit for the guilty plea and should have increased the starting point from five to not less than six years. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, allowed the Solicitor General's appeal against the sentence of three years' imprisonment for robbery and substituted a sentence of four years and six months' imprisonment.
Criminal law – Victim of trafficking. There had been nexus and compulsion associated with the second defendant's status as a victim of trafficking and his conviction for cultivation of cannabis, such that the conviction was quashed. However, the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, dismissed the first defendant's appeal against conviction and sentence, as her victim of trafficking status did not establish nexus or compulsion with her conviction for controlling prostitution for gain.
European Union – Trade marks. The Second Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office had correctly decided that the applicant had acted in bad faith in registering the word sign 'NEYMAR' as an EU trade mark, which corresponded directly to the name under which the intervener, a Brazilian footballer internationally known, had become known for his football performances. Consequently, the General Court of the European Union dismissed the applicant's action for annulment of the Board's decision to uphold the intervener's application for a declaration of invalidity against the applicant's mark.
Minor – Removal outside jurisdiction. The mother's actions in removing the child (R) from Australia represented a blatant and premeditated act of child abduction. Accordingly, the Family Division, in granting the father's application for R's summary return to Australia, held, among other things, that the mother had not made out the exception under art 13(b) of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980.
Extradition – Extradition order. The district judge had been right to order the appellant's extradition to Poland for driving while disqualified on the basis that he had deliberately absented himself from his trial. Accordingly, the Administrative Court dismissed the appellant's appeal against the orders for his extradition and upheld the judge's decision to refuse permission to appeal on the ground that extradition would be incompatible with his rights under art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Landlord and tenant – Service charge. The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber: residential property)(the FTT) had wrongly decided that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the appellant tenant's application for determination of liability to pay and reasonableness of service charges relating to insurance premiums. Consequently, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) quashed the FTT's decision and determined, upon the material before it, the amount of the appellant's liability in respect of those insurance premiums for the years in question.
Extradition – Fresh evidence. In the light of the latest evidence, namely, an updated psychiatric report, the appellants' grounds of appeal against orders for his extradition were unsustainable. Accordingly, the Divisional Court dismissed the appellant's appeal against orders for his extradition to France to serve a sentence of five years' imprisonment for manslaughter.
Extradition – Oppression. The further evidence relied on by the appellant did not meet the fresh evidence test and it would not be admitted, such that the appellant's contention that his extradition would be oppressive failed. Accordingly, the Administrative Court dismissed the appellant's appeal against orders for his extradition to Poland to serve a sentence of three years, eight months and two days for two shoplifting offences, attempting to escape from a police officer and stealing.
Employment – Unfair dismissal. The appellant nurse was dismissed for gross misconduct by the respondent NHS trust for initiating inappropriate discussions on matters of religion with patients. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissing her appeal, held that the Employment Tribunal had been correct to dismiss her claim for unfair dismissal.
Patent – Validity. The claimant company's claim for infringement of two patents succeeded in part. The proceedings concerned two patents related to technologies commonly used to provide fixed line broadband internet to residential and commercial premises. The Patents Court held that the first patent was valid and infringed, but that the second patent was obvious in the light of the prior art.