Criminal law Murder. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, dismissed the first set of appeals, and applications for leave to appeal, against convictions for, among other things, murder, which were made following the decision of the Supreme Court in R v Jogee; R v Ruddock[, which reversed the pre-existing law in respect of joint enterprise.
Public procurement Public contracts. The Technology and Construction Court lifted an automatic suspension that had been imposed on the award of a contract concerning a new web-based system to be used across the NHS where the claimant, a failed bidder in the tendering process, and a 'not for profit' organisation, had an adequate remedy in damages and where it was just that the claimant should be confined to that remedy.
Environment Protection. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, dismissed appeals by a wealthy businessman against his conviction for offences under the and against his sentence, namely a fine of 450,000 plus costs. The court held, among other things, that as the defendant had maintained his plea of guilty in the circumstances that he had, he had accepted in clear and unequivocal terms that he had caused the operations that resulted the damage.
Financial services Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) (the tribunal) dismissed the challenge made by the applicant to a decision by the respondent Financial Conduct Authority which had decided that the applicant's actions in sending two emails concerning one of the applicant's clients had constituted behaviour falling within of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, with the result that he had engaged in market abuse. Consequently, he could not rely on the defence provided in s 123 of the Act.
Company Director. The defendant was the former director of a company to which the claimants were appointed joint liquidators. The Chancery Division held that the claimants had been entitled to relief against the defendant for sums paid out of the company in breach of his duties as a director, in circumstances where the company had substantial creditors and liabilities and without the defendant giving any consideration to the best interests of the company's creditors as a whole.
Food and drugs Food safety. The Supreme Court ruled on an appeal by way of case stated from the Divisional Court concerning the offence of selling food after the date shown in a 'use by' date as set out in s 44(1)(d) of the Food Labelling Regulations 1996, . The Court decided that under that provision, it was sufficient for the prosecution to prove that the defendant had food in its possession for the purpose of sale which had been the subject of a mark or label showing a 'use by' date which had passed. Accordingly, the case would be remitted to a different panel of justices for a rehearing.
Road traffic Offence. The appellant was driving when uninsured and without a full driving licence when he was confronted by a motor car driven erratically by D in the opposite direction. D's car was veering all over the road, twice crossing to the wrong side before smashing into the appellant's camper van. D suffered injuries in the impact which proved fatal. He was found to have been a drug user and to be under the influence of heroin, as well as being overtired at the relevant time. It was accepted that there was nothing that the appellant could have done to avoid the collision. He was guilty of the two offences of driving uninsured and driving without a full driving licence. However, instead of being prosecuted for those offences, he was prosecuted for two offences under s3ZB of the namely for causing the death of D at a time when he had been uninsured and without a full driving licence. At trial, the recorder ruled that the appellant had not committed either offence because he had not caused the death of D. However, the Crown appealed that ruling to the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division. The Court of Appeal ruled that the appellant had, in law, caused the death, following a ruling in a previous case that it was not an element of the offence that the appellant's driving had to exhibit any fault contributing to the accident; it was enough that the appellant had been uninsured, or without a full licence and that his car had been involved in a fatal collision. The appellant appealed. The Supreme Court, in allowing the appeal, held that s3ZB of the Act required at least some act or omission in the control of the car, which involved some element of fault, whether amounting to careless-inconsiderate driving or not, and which contributed in some more than minimal way to the death. It was not necessary that such act or omission be the principal cause of the death. On the facts, the recorder had been correct to rule that the appellant had not in law caused the death by his driving. The recorder's ruling would be restored.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The claimants loaned money to the defendants. When the defendants defaulted the claimants brought an action seeking repayment of the money. They applied for summary judgment. The Commercial Court granted the application as the borrowers and guarantors had no prospect of success at trial and therefore there had to be summary judgment for DVB and Melli Bank against the borrowers under the loan agreement and for DVB against the guarantors under the guarantees.
Contempt of court Criminal contempt. The instant proceedings concerned two applications by which the applicant sought an order of committal against each of the respondents, D and B, for contempt of court in misconducting themselves whilst serving as jurors in the Crown Court. In relation to D, it was alleged that D, whilst serving as a juror, in breach of the judge's directions, had posted a message on Facebook concerning the case he was trying and had compromised his role as a juror by displaying apparent bias and disregard for his jury oath. In relation to B, it was alleged that, in breach of his jury oath or affirmation and the directions given by the trial judge and other warnings, he had conducted internet research on the case he was trying, had thereby obtained extraneous information about the case and had imparted that information to other members of the jury. The Divisional Court held that both D and B had done acts which had created a real risk of interference with the administration of justice and which had been specifically intended by them to interfere with the administration of justice.
Criminal law Appeal. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, allowed an appeal against conviction in circumstances where the defendant had previously pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon when in fact her shotgun could not be regarded as a prohibited weapon and rather required a firearm certificate.