European Union – Trade marks. The First Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office had correctly upheld the appeal by Entertainment One UK Ltd, established in the UK, and a related company against the decision by EUIPO's Cancellation Division to reject that company's declaration of invalidity in relation to a figurative mark 'TOBBIA', registered by the applicant company. The Board had correctly held that there was a likelihood of confusion between that mark and an earlier EU figurative mark 'Peppa Pig'. Accordingly, the General Court of the European Union dismissed the applicant's action for annulment of the Board's decision.
Barrister – Refusal of admission to Bar. In 1986, the appellant was convicted of the murders of ten persons, including the then Prime Minister of Grenada, following a coup on the island. He unsuccessfully appealed against the refusal of the Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States High Court of Justice, as upheld by the Court of Appeal of the Easter Caribbean Supreme Court, to admit him to the Bar of Grenada, under s 17(1)(a) of the Legal Profession Act 2011. The Privy Council held that, while the fact that the appellant was currently a man of good standing in the community was a necessary requirement for the good character condition for admission to the Bar of Grenada to be satisfied, it was not, in itself, enough. Public confidence in the profession had also to be considered. Accordingly, the court held that, the Supreme Court judge had not erred in her assessment that there was sufficient risk that public confidence in the legal profession would be damaged by acceding to the appellant's application, because the facet of the good character condition had not been met.
Company – Director. The Commercial Court held that, among other things, the seventh and eighth defendants had acted in dishonest breach of duty in causing the claimant company to pay more for an oil rig than the price for which it had been sold, and in taking advantage of the cancellation of the purchase agreement, and failing to return sums to the claimant. The existence of sanctions with Iran did not make it contrary to the public interest to enforce the claimant's claim.
Indictment – Joinder of charges. It had been a proper exercise of the judge's discretion to refuse severance of the indictment of charges concerning indecency with young children allegedly committed between 1986 and 1991, and of possession of indecent photographs of a child in 2015. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in dismissing the defendant's appeal against conviction, held that, where the evidence on one count would be properly admissible on the other as evidence of bad character, it was difficult to argue that the defendant would be prejudiced or embarrassed in his defence by having both counts or sets of counts on the same indictment.
Criminal law – Trial. The defendant court's decision, that the claimant's trial for driving with excess alcohol would go ahead on the date fixed at which the prosecution expert could attend and the defence expert (whose report had been served in good time) could not, had been unsustainable. The Divisional Court, having set out exceptional circumstances in which judicial review might be an appropriate means to challenge a decision as to an adjournment, held that the present was an exceptional case in which the court should intervene at the pre-trial stage.
Landlord and tenant – Action for possession. The appellant company's appeal against a decision of the Deputy District Judge succeeded, in a case concerning the repossession of a property of which the respondent was a tenant. The central issue was whether a landlord was precluded by cause of action estoppel from obtaining an order for possession of property by reason of the tenant's non-payment of rent when there was an existing undischarged order for payment of earlier arrears and for possession for non-payment of those arrears. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that, among other things, the causes of action entitling the relevant local authority to an earlier possession order and the appellant to the 2017 order had not been the same or even substantially the same. The proceedings were not barred by cause of action estoppel.
Company – Restoration to register. The applicant company shareholders had not failed in respect of their duty of full and frank disclosure in respect of all material facts when making their application for the restoration of three companies to the Register of Companies. Accordingly, the Chancery Division ruled, among other things, that the respondent liquidators' and company managers' application to set aside the order of restoration would be dismissed.
Elections – Local government. Voter ID pilots for the 2019 local elections were made lawfully for the purpose of allowing proposed changes to local government electoral procedures to be tested by pilot schemes with a view to modernising those electoral procedures in the public interest. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the claimant's application for judicial review, further rejected his contention that the requirement to produce voter ID did not concern 'how' voting was to take place, within s 10(2)(a) of the of the Representation of the People Act 2000, but 'whether' voting could take place at all.
Contract – Implied terms. The contracts formed between the defendant, the Post Office Ltd, and the claimants, (who were mostly sub-postmasters) were relational contracts, such that there had been an implied duty of good faith in the agreement(s) between the parties. It followed that the Post Office had not been entitled to act in a way that would be considered commercially unacceptable by reasonable and honest people. The Queen's Bench Division so ruled, among other things, in respect of a group litigation brought by the claimants, in circumstances where they had been held responsible for alleged shortfalls in their financial accounting with the Post Office, which they contended had been caused by problems with the way the Post Office's computerised system for accounting had operated.
European Union – Trade marks. Lighting apparatus for industrial use, on the one hand, and electric lights and decorations, on the other hand, could not be deemed to be similar for the purposes of art 8(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) 2007/2009, on the basis of the mere fact that they were both 'light sources' or 'electrical lighting apparatus', given that the nature and intended purpose of those goods were different, and that they were neither complementary nor in competition. Accordingly, the General Court of the European Union allowed the action by IQ Group Holdings BhD (IQ), established in the UK, for annulment of the First Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office's decision which had refused protection in the EU for IQ's figurative sign 'Lumiqs' for which IQ had obtained international registration from the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
Damages – Personal injury. The clear disparity in the long-term impact on two drivers, who had been involved in a car accident, was not allowed, in law, to predispose the court on its decision on liability. The Queen's Bench Division so ruled on a claim brought against the defendant for compensation for the brain damage the claimant had sustained in the accident. The court held that a just and equitable apportionment of liability, in circumstances where each party had created a considerable hazard for the other, was 50% in respect of the defendant, and 50% contributory in respect of the claimant.
Tax – Value added tax. The appellant company's appeal against a finding that its supplies of education to students in the United Kingdom were not exempt from VAT succeeded. The Supreme Court held that the scope of Note 1(b) of Item 1 of Group 6 of Sch 9 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994 was not limited to a college, institution, school or hall of an university which was separate from a university but was nevertheless a part of it in a constitutional or structural sense. The appellant's supplies of education to students in the UK were exempt from VAT because it had been and remained a college of Middlesex University.
Extradition – Extradition crime. The judge had not erred in holding, as required by s 78(4)(b) of the Extradition Act 2003, that the conduct alleged in the extradition request could amount to aiding and abetting offences of murder, affray and firearms offences and that they were all extradition offences. Accordingly, the Divisional Court dismissed the appellant's appeal against orders for her extradition to the United States of America to face trial for ten offences set out in an indictment which contained allegations of murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Contract – Formation. The claimant company's claim as formulated for loss of profits, arising from the defendant company's breach of contract in failing to supply machines that could perform in accordance with the quotation and as represented, failed for want of proof. However, the facts, as established by the evidence, had showed that the claimant had suffered some losses caused by the defendant's breach of contract. Accordingly, the Technology and Construction Court allowed the claim in respect of certain alternative grounds and held that the claimant was entitled to damages in the sum of SAR 3,716,769.
Judgment – Setting aside. Where it could be shown that a judgment had been obtained by fraud and no allegation of fraud had been raised at the trial, a requirement of reasonable diligence should not be imposed on the party seeking to set aside the judgment. The Supreme Court held that the appellant's application to set aside the judgment in her claim against the respondents had potentially met the relevant requirements and she should not be fixed with a further obligation to show that the alleged fraud could not have been discovered before the original trial by reasonable diligence on her part
Criminal law – Offensive weapons. The Crown Court had been correct in distinguishing between a Stanley knife and a butterfly knife in holding that the latter had been offensive per se, whereas the former had not been and could be a tool. The Divisional Court, in dismissing the appellant's appeal by way of case stated against his conviction for possession of an offensive weapon, further held that the Crown Court had been correct in considering whether an item that was offensive per se might have been reasonably used as a tool when there were items that were not offensive per se that could be used.
Contract – Contract for settlement of litigation – Enforceability. Sheriff Appeal Court: Refusing an appeal in an action in which the parties had reached an agreement for the settlement of their dispute over a septic tank on the pursuers' land but their respective experts had been unable to agree on matters which the contract for settlement of the litigation had envisaged that they would agree, namely the precise extent and location of a waste treatment site and the design and specification of waste water treatment works, the court rejected the pursuers' contention that the contract was void from uncertainty and concluded that the sheriff had not erred in allowing a preliminary proof.
Criminal evidence and procedure – Attempted rape – Docket to indictment – Admissibility of evidence. High Court of Justiciary: Allowing a Crown appeal in the case of a respondent who was indicted on a charge of attempted rape against a decision by a judge at a preliminary hearing sustaining an objection to the admissibility of evidence referred to in a docket attached to the indictment, the court was satisfied that the judge erred in concluding that the evidence which the Crown sought to lead in respect of the docket would be inadmissible.
Landlord and tenant – Commercial lease – Assignation – Rectification – All parties not called. Court of Session: In a commercial action in which the tenant under a lease of a nursing home sought declarator that the lease was assignable without the landlord's consent, which failing rectification of the lease to that effect, the court refused to grant the declarator sought, holding that the parties envisaged that the lease would be unassignable and assignation was expressly excluded; it allowed parties to develop their pleadings on rectification and rejected the defender's submission that as certain parties had not been called the action should be dismissed.
European Union – Immigration. Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, read in the light of arts 7 and 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, should be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a member state such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which provided under certain conditions for the loss, by operation of law, of the nationality of that member state, which entailed, in the case of persons who were not also nationals of another member state, the loss of their citizenship of the Union and the rights attaching thereto, in so far as the competent national authorities, including national courts where appropriate, were in a position to examine, as an ancillary issue, the consequences of the loss of that nationality and, where appropriate, to have the persons concerned recover their nationality ex tunc in the context of an application by those persons for a travel document or any other document showing their nationality. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in proceedings concerning the decision of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, not to examine the applicants respective applications for a national passport.