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.
Extradition – Right to a fair hearing. Although the possibility that the evidence could establish a risk of a flagrant breach of art 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights in respect of all suspects brought before a given court could not be excluded, the evidence concerning the first appellant pointed in the opposite direction. The Divisional Court, in dismissing the appellants' appeals against orders for their extradition to Poland, further held that there was no basis for concluding that the second appellant was at any particular risk of bias or other distortion of justice in relation to the disaggregation process.
Human rights – Discrimination. The claimant's application for judicial review, contending that the defendant Secretary of State's issue of a notice of letting to a disqualified person was unlawful under the Equality Act 2010, was not entertained because there was no outstanding 'lis' between the parties after the Secretary of State had withdrawn the notice. However, the Administrative Court alternatively concluded that the issue of the notice was not an unlawful act of race discrimination but, on the contrary, was lawful and authorised.
Immigration – Asylum. The guidance given in the body of MN (Ahmadis - country conditions - risk) Pakistan CG ( UKUT 00389 (IAC)) and in the headnote was misleading, and should not be followed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in allowing the appellant Ahmadi of Pakistani nationality's appeal, held that the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), in disbelieving his claim had made a conscientious and careful attempt to apply the guidance in MN, but that guidance had been flawed.
Lending and security – Standard security – Enforcement – Recall of decree. Sheriff Court: In proceedings in which the defender sought to recall a decree granted to the pursuer on its summary application under s 24(1B) of the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 (application by creditor in a standard security for warrant to exercise remedies on default), the court held that as the Citizens Advice Scotland employee who represented the defender at the first calling of the summary application was not an 'approved lay representative', she had no authority to appear on behalf of the defender at the hearing and the defender, who apparently did not appear before the court on that date, was not to be regarded as 'represented' at the hearing for the purposes of s 24D(2)(b) of the 1970 Act: accordingly, the minute of recall of decree was competent and should be granted.
Sentencing – Long-term prisoner – Supervised Release Order ('SRO') – Competency. High Court of Justiciary: Allowing an appeal against sentence by an appellant who pled guilty on summary complaint to threatening or abusive behaviour, a case which called for sentencing alongside an indictment in respect of which he had been convicted of assault and attempted robbery, the sheriff imposing a sentence of 3 years and 6 months' imprisonment, with a 12-month SRO in relation to the indictment, and on the summary complaint a sentence of 6 months' imprisonment, to run consecutively to the first sentence, the court held that the consecutive sentences were to be treated as a single term of 4 years; the appellant thus fell within the category of a long term prisoner, and his release would be subject to licence, which meant that it was not competent for the sheriff to impose an SRO, since such a component of the sentence could not be given effect.
Sentencing – Order for lifelong restriction (OLR). High Court of Justiciary: Refusing an appeal against sentence by an appellant who pled guilty to a charge of assault to severe injury and impairment on a fellow prisoner, having in the previous five years received sentences in the High Court for assault an another inmate, and for domestic assault to injury and rape, and on whom, following the preparation of a risk assessment report, the sentencing judge imposed an OLR with a punishment part of 2 years and 3 months' imprisonment, the court was entirely satisfied that the sentencing judge was correct in concluding that the risk criteria were met in the appellant's case and that an OLR ought to be imposed.
Local authority – Budget. It could not be said that no reasonable decision-maker could decide to include areas of focus in which work could be done by the defendant local authority to identify ways of reducing the cost of special educational needs and disabilities services in the budget. The Divisional Court, in dismissing the claimants' application for judicial review, held that that conclusion unravelled the remainder of the claimants' case, which depended on the proposition that the cabinet could not lawfully make the decision absent worked-out proposals of how the savings might be made or what the impact of such proposals might be.
Libel and slander – Defamatory words. Publications which baldly restated the allegations of others were likely to amount to a republication of those allegations. For the purposes of meaning, the practical effect was that the allegations were adopted by the republisher. There was no requirement that a publisher had to actively or expressly adopt the allegations. Accordingly, the Queen's Bench Division ruled that the repetition rule applied to the present libel proceedings brought by the claimant barrister against the defendant publishers of The Times and the MailOnline respectively, concerning articles published in April 2017. The court considered, as a preliminary issue, whether the words in the articles complained of were capable of bearing the pleaded meaning.
Immigration – Leave to remain. Against the background of the administration of immigration policy, it was to the highest degree unlikely that what the Secretary of State had intended by the use of the words 'receipt by the applicant' in para 34R of the Immigration Rules had been actual, physical receipt into the applicant's possession. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appellant Bangladeshi national's appeal, held that his application for an administrative review of an adverse decision on his application for further leave to remain had been made outside the 14-day time limit for applying.
Immigration – Detention. The judge had made both procedural and substantive errors in declaring the Asylum and Immigration (Fast Track Procedure) Rules 2005, SI 2005/560, to be unlawful, the claimants' detention between 9 July 2013 and 22 October 2013 to have been unlawful and in awarding them substantial damages in respect of such detention. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, remitted the matter for a fresh hearing to decide whether there had been any unlawful detention.
European Union – Contract. Article 2(b) of Council Directive (EEC) 93/13 should be interpreted as meaning that the employee of an undertaking and his spouse, who had concluded a loan contract with that undertaking, reserved, principally, to members of staff of that undertaking, with a view to financing the purchase of real estate for private purposes, should be regarded as 'consumers', within the meaning of that provision. Further, that undertaking had to be regarded as a 'seller or supplier', within the meaning of art 2(c) of that Directive , where it concluded such a loan contract in the context of its professional activity, even if granting loans did not constitute its main activity. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in a preliminary ruling in proceedings concerning a request for payment of outstanding sums owed in the context of a mortgage loan granted by the respondent electricity company to the first applicant employee and his wife.
Brexit – Company. The statutory requirements had been satisfied in respect of the applicants' application for an insurance business transfer pursuant to Pt VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Among other things, the transfer provided certainty to the applicants' European Economic Area policyholders that their policies would continue to be serviced, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit. Accordingly, the Chancery Division sanctioned the transfer.
Claim form – Limitation. The appellants' appeal against a calculation of the limitation period for a claim against trustees failed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the judge had not erred in as to the limitation date for legal action for the claim. In considering when a deadline fell, a 'midnight deadline' case was different from others in the sense that the deadline provided a categorical indication that the action had occurred by that point in time, rather than accruing on the day following midnight. For that reason, no fractions of a day arose.
Extradition – Private and family life. Given the nature of the alleged offences, the passage of time, the fact that the appellant had been the victim of trafficking, his mental health and vulnerability, and the real problems he would face if he were sent to Bulgaria, the present was a case where returning him to Bulgaria for the offences would involve a disproportionate effect on his right to respect for private life. Accordingly, the Administrative Court allowed the appellant's appeal against orders for his extradition to Bulgaria to face trial for two alleged offences of breach of the law on trademarks.
Family provision – Time for application. Although the application by the claimant, pursuant to s 4 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975), had been brought 25 years and 9 months after the 6 month deadline for doing so had expired, she had demonstrated compelling reasons why it was right and proper that the court should exercise its discretion in her favour. Accordingly, the Chancery Division allowed the claimant's application to bring a maintenance claim under the I(PFD)A 1975 s 1(2)(a).
Sentence – Sexual offences against children. The sentences of six years' and six years and nine months' imprisonment imposed on the offenders for offences including causing the first offender's child to engage in sexual activity, commencing when she was about two-years-old, had not been unduly lenient. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held that the sentences had not been outside the range of permissible sentences.
Trade Dispute – Acts done in contemplation or furtherance of trade dispute. Birmingham City Council (BCC) unsuccessfully applied for an injunction to restrain two trade unions (Unite and UNISON, together, the defendants), which represented members employed by BCC, from calling industrial action over a pay dispute. The Queen's Bench Division held, among other things, that it was more likely than not that the defendants would succeed at the trial of the action in establishing that the protection in s 219 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, concerning an act done by a person in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute, would apply. Accordingly, the application for an interim injunction was dismissed.
Criminal procedure – Leave to appeal – Compatibility issue – Sift decision of Sheriff Appeal Court ('SAC') – Petition to nobile officium – Competency. High Court of Justiciary: Refusing the prayer of a petition by a petitioner who was convicted in the sheriff court of sending a grossly offensive and threatening video via a public electronic communications network, who was refused leave to appeal by the SAC at first and second sifts, and who contended that there was a legislative lacuna which required to be filled by using the nobile officium of the High Court to grant (or not grant) permission to appeal from the SAC's sift decision on a compatibility issue directly to the Supreme Court, the court held that the petition was both incompetent and irrelevant: the test for the application of the nobile officium had not been met; an appellate route from summary decisions of the sheriff already existed in statute and the petitioner's attempt to appeal had failed because he did not meet the statutory criteria; the High court had no power to grant leave to appeal from a sift decision of the SAC direct to the Supreme Court.
Judicial review – Judicial review procedure – Permission stage – Oral hearing – Right to fair hearing. Court of Session: Refusing three judicial review petitions in which the petitioners, who had previously lodged petitions for judicial review in which permission was refused on the papers and a request for review at an oral hearing was then also refused, complained that a procedure whereby a petition could be determined adversely to the petitioner by refusal of permission without any oral hearing on the question of permission, and without a right of appeal, was not compatible with their rights to a fair hearing, the court held that the potential absence of an oral hearing and/or appeal were not inconsistent with the petitioners' rights under art 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.