Extradition – Double jeopardy. The judge had been right to reject the double jeopardy bar to the appellant's extradition to France for a single offence of premeditated conspiracy to commit VAT fraud. The Administrative Court, in dismissing the appellant's appeal against orders for his extradition, further held that the authorities in the present jurisdiction and in France were both ready, willing and able to respond appropriately to obviate the risk of self-harm or suicide.
Administrative law – Legitimate expectation. It would be unfair for the first defendant First Minister both to retain the political capital of the announcement that the work necessary to establish the investigation into his actions and decisions in relation to Carl Sargeant's departure from his post as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children and thereafter would be undertaken independently from his office, and to retain the power to decide what the arrangements for the investigation should be. The Divisional Court, in allowing the claimant widow's application for judicial review, held that, because of the First Minister's press statement, it had been unlawful for him to do that.
Immigration – Asylum. The defendant Secretary of State had not erred in certifying the claimant Vietnamese national's asylum claim as clearly unfounded and the judge had been correct in his conclusion affirming that decision. However, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the claimant had been wrongfully detained between 18 August 2015 and 14 September 2015, and was entitled to substantive damages, as it could not be concluded that continued detention would have been justifiable on the 'very exceptional circumstances' basis.
Solicitor – Disciplinary proceedings. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (the SDT) had been plainly right not to depart from the starting point of suspension of the appellant for four instances of acting without integrity. The Administrative Court, in dismissing his appeal against suspension from practice for two years, held that the quantum of suspension was a matter quintessentially for the SDT, which could not be interfered with on appeal, as the exercise of discretion could be shown to have gone completely off the rails.
Practice – Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Commercial Court considered a worldwide freezing order and search orders obtained in aid of enforcement of an arbitral award for USD $1.3bn made by a Minnesota-seated tribunal. The court held that, among other things, it was appropriate for the freezing order to continue, and that the search orders would not be set aside.
Heritable property – Title conditions – Real burden – Validity of burden. Sheriff Appeal Court: Allowing an appeal, which concerned the effectiveness of the land-owning model of property maintenance in Scotland, by a pursuer which had raised actions seeking payment from the defenders of their respective shares of the costs of maintaining the amenity areas of a development in Dundee, the defenders' properties being burdened in terms of a clause of a Deed of Conditions by an obligation to pay a share of the maintenance costs incurred by the pursuer in maintaining the Open Ground, of which it was heritable proprietor, within the development, the court held that the sheriff had erred in law in concluding that the clause of the Deed of Conditions was invalid, in terms of s 3(7) of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003, as having the effect of creating a monopoly.
Civil procedure – Solicitors – Interdict from acting – Confidential information. Court of Session: In a petition in which the petitioner sought to interdict a firm of solicitors from acting for her husband in divorce proceedings, contending it was inappropriate for them to continue to act because of the risk of disclosure of information confidential to her which might be relevant in the proceedings and knowledge of which was potentially prejudicial to her interests, the court held that the solicitors were in possession of information confidential to the petitioner and to the disclosure of which she had not consented, the safeguards they had instituted were not sufficient to reduce the risks of disclosure of confidential information to an acceptable level, and the petitioner was therefore entitled to the grant of interdict.
Mental health – Persons who lack capacity. The applicant NHS trust succeeded in its application to the Court of Protection for orders, under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, that a 60-year-old diabetic man (PW), who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, lacked capacity to make a decision regarding whether to undergo the leg amputation surgery to address his high risk of sepsis; and that it was lawful to carry out that surgery, having regard to PW's best interests.
European Union – Trade marks. The Second Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual property Office had not erred in finding that there was a likelihood of confusion between the EU word mark 'LiLI LA TIGRESSE', sought to be registered by the applicant French resident, and an earlier EU word mark 'TIGRESS'. Consequently, the General Court of the European Union dismissed the applicant's action against the decision of EUIPO's Second Board of Appeal to uphold the opposition by the intervener company, registered in the UK, to registration of the applicant's mark.
Patent – Pharmaceutical patent. Actavis Group PTC EHF and other companies (the respondents) had appealed against the trial judge's decision that the dosage patent owned by ICOS Corporation and Eli Lilly & Co (the appellants), relating to the use of tadalafil in a dosage form for the treatment of sexual dysfunction was valid as it involved an inventive step. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, reached a contrary conclusion and allowed the respondents' appeal, deciding that the patent was invalid for lacking an inventive step. The Supreme Court, in upholding the Court of Appeal's decision and dismissing the appellants' against that decision, set out the factors which were relevant considerations concerning the application of the test of obviousness pursuant to s 3 of the Patents Act 1977.
Employment – Working time. The description of the compensatory rest required under reg 24(a) of the Working Time Regulations 1998 as 'equivalent' could not be intended to import the identical obligation that would have applied under reg 12. Rather, the intention had to be that the rest afforded to the worker should have the same value in terms of contributing to his or her well-being. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the employer's appeal against the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal and held that a period of compensatory rest under reg 24 did not have to be an uninterrupted period of at least 20 minutes.
Negligence – Breach of duty. The claimant company's claim against the defendant chartered surveyors failed. The Chancery Division held that the defendants had not failed to act in good faith and for a proper purpose, and had not failed to take reasonable care to obtain a proper price in selling property formerly belonging to a company in administration.
Divorce – Jurisdiction. The wife's application to amend a petition of divorce to plead that the court had the legal power to deal with the application under art 3(1)(a) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 (indent 2), on the basis that the petitioner and respondent were last habitually resident in England and Wales and the petitioner still resided there, was dismissed. The Family Division ruled, among other things, that, on the facts, the parties had not been last habitually resident in England and Wales. They had been habitually resident last in St Lucia. Accordingly, the new ground proposed by the amended petition could not be made out.
Land registration – Rectification of register. In a claim arising from the forged transfer of a property, although the claimant tenant had standing to apply for alteration of the charges register of the property by removing the first defendant's charge, there were exceptional circumstances that justified not doing so. Accordingly, the Chancery Division dismissed the claimant's claim for an order for the rectification or alternatively the alteration of the register maintained by the second defendant.
Motor insurance – Extent of cover. Neither English domestic case law nor the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union supported the view that the carrying out of significant repairs to a vehicle on private property entailed the 'use' of the vehicle. Accordingly, the Supreme Court allowed the appellant insurer's appeal and restored the judge's declaration that it was not liable to indemnify the insured against a claim on his motor insurance policy for a fire which had resulted from work on his car.
Contract – Frustration. The claimant transportation company's application for summary judgment failed, in a dispute concerning the transporting of units of refinery plant from China to Kazakhstan. The Commercial Court held that the defendant company's defence had a real prospect of success, and that the claim should not be struck out because the defendant's cross-claim would not operate as a defence by way of set-off. However, the court made a conditional order requiring Globalink to bring into court the sum of $113,000 as a condition of being able to defend the claim as to that sum.
Company – Director. The claimant Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy sought orders disqualifying the defendants, who were the directors of two linked companies connected to a failed project to sell property in Brazil. The Chancery Division held that the second defendant's actions or inactions had not been serious failures when considering his role, his expertise and the circumstances. He had not acted with 'total negligence' or 'gross negligence' as required. However, the first defendant had misrepresented the truth and had perpetuated misrepresentations. His conduct warranted a period at the upper end of the upper bracket of disqualification, and he would be disqualified for a period of 14 years.
Company – Directors. Following the presentation by the petitioner of an unfair prejudice petition under s 994 of the Companies Act 2006 seeking an order that the respondent directors purchase his shares at fair value, the Chancery Division held that there had been unfairly prejudicial conduct for which the petitioner was entitled to relief.
Family proceedings – Orders in Family proceedings. The court remained the ultimate arbiter of whether a child had understanding or sufficient understanding to act without a children's guardian. The Queen's Bench Division so ruled in determining preliminary issues which arose concerning the dismissal of a mother's application to vary an order that the child live with her father (the decision). The court held that an appeal against the decision was a continuation of the first instance proceedings and, accordingly, FPR 16.6(5) (concerning a child's application for the removal of the litigation friend or children's guardian) applied. It further held that, on the facts of the case, the child did not have sufficient understanding to conduct an appeal without a children's guardian, that the guardian who had been appointed in the earlier proceedings remained appointed, and that the solicitor appointed by that guardian was not obliged to conduct the proceedings in accordance with instructions received from the child but, rather, in accordance with instructions received from the guardian.
Immigration – Asylum. The First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (the FTT), in its decision allowing the appellant Sri Lankan national of Tamil ethnicity's appeal on asylum and art 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights grounds against a decision to make a deportation order against him, had not erred in law in the manner identified by the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the appellant's appeal and reinstated the FTT's determination.