Pension – Pension scheme. The appellants' appeal against decisions concerning the interpretation of a pension scheme in the oil and gas sector failed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that, among other things, the proper interpretation of a joint operating agreement required the appellants to pay the relevant pensions costs.
Immigration – Asylum. The appellant Iranian national's appeal against the dismissal by the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) of her appeal from a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), rejecting her challenge to the respondent Secretary of State's decision refusing her asylum claim amounted to no more than a disagreement with the FTT's assessment of the facts. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed her appeal.
Children and young persons – Detention. There was no bright line rule that prolonged solitary confinement lasting more than 15 days, in itself, breached art 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights or any presumption to that effect. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant's appeal against the judge's decision that there was no breach of his art 3 rights and the Secretary of State's cross-appeal against his decision that art 8 was engaged.
Criminal law – Data protection. Section 55(2) of the Data Protection Act 1998 imposed no more than an evidential burden of proof on a defendant and an essential component of the offence did not exist if any of s 55(2)(a)-(d) was shown. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, allowed the defendant's appeal against three counts of unlawfully obtaining personal data and quashed the convictions.
Judgment – Default judgment. The phrase 'exceptional circumstances' in the context of r 13.3(2) of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules 2000 called for something more than a real prospect of success and the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Antigua and Barbuda) had correctly held that the appellant's defence had not constituted exceptional circumstances. The Privy Council further held that the Court of Appeal had not exceeded its jurisdiction or erred in exercising its right to police applications for leave to appeal and to consider whether any proposed appeal raised a genuinely disputable issue.
Proceeds of crime – Costs. There would be cases where the very fact that an individual had been found in possession of a large sum in cash, together with the circumstances in which it had been seized, would call for an explanation and raise an inference that, in the absence of a reasonable explanation, the cash was recoverable property. As the present was manifestly such a case, the Divisional Court dismissed the appellant's appeal by way of case stated against the judge's decision to make no order for costs after the respondent Chief Constable withdrew an application for forfeiture of cash seized.
Contract – Contract for sale of land – Construction – Rescission. Court of Session: In an action which concerned missives for the purchase by the pursuer from the defender of land in Galashiels, missives which were conditional on the pursuer submitting an application for planning permission within a 6-month period, the court held that the defender was not entitled to rescind the missives as the pursuer had not failed to submit a planning application within the 6-month period.
Contract – Sale of Goods – Rejected goods – Duty to retain rejected goods. Sheriff Appeal Court: Refusing an appeal in an action in which the sheriff had granted the respondents an order for payment after they had properly and justifiably exercised a right of rejection in relation to a leather living room suite purchased from the appellants, the court held that even though the respondents no longer had the suite and could not return it, they could recover the sum awarded: the respondents did not have an ongoing duty, whatever the circumstances, to retain the goods rejected until relieved of them by the appellants; the seller's actions or inactions were such as to entitle the buyers to do as they wished with the goods.
Criminal evidence – Rape – Distress – Corroboration of lack of consent – Distress relied on observed after significant interval. High Court of Justiciary: Refusing an appeal by an appellant who was convicted of raping a complainer following a party at his home, after getting into bed with her when she was still clothed and sleeping off the effects of alcohol, the court rejected a contention that distress heard in a phone call to the complainer's friend on the day following the incident could not provide corroboration of the complainer's lack of consent when she had not exhibited distress to anyone, including her parents and boyfriend, in the intervening period.
Town and country planning – Enforcement notice – Challenge to reporter's decision – Status of appellant – 'Person aggrieved'. Court of Session: Refusing a note of objection in proceedings challenging a reporter's decision in an appeal against an enforcement notice, the appellant having been appointed as an agent for the proprietor of a quarry and the company carrying out operations there, the court held that the appellant had a sufficiently arguable case that he was a 'person aggrieved' for the purposes of the planning appeals legislation and accordingly the appeal was competent.
Disclosure and inspection of documents – Disclosure of sensitive material. The Queen's Bench Division made a declaration permitting the defendant to make a closed material application, pursuant to section 6 of the Justice and Security Act 2013. There was evidently some sensitive information which the defendant would be required to disclose and therefore it was in the fair and effective administration of justice for a CMP declaration to be made, as there were no other satisfactory and appropriate alternatives.
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.
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.
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.
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.