*Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs v Assistant Deputy Coroner for Inner North London
Judicial review Parties. The deceased died after ingesting a radioactive isotope. His wife and children, and United Kingdom and Russian government bodies were accorded the status of properly interested persons (the PIPs) in the defendant coroner's inquest. The Secretary of State sought judicial review of part of the coroner's decision which rejected his claim for public interest immunity over documents. The issue for determination was whether the PIPs should be interested parties in the judicial review. The Administrative Court held that, although the PIPs were interested parties under CPR Pt 54, there were cogent reasons for not adding them as interested parties in the judicial review proceedings.
European Union Jurisdiction. The Court of Justice of the European Union made a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Council Directive (EC) 2008-52 of the European Parliament and of the Council (on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters), arts 6 and 13 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and art 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The request had been made in proceedings between Mr Di Donna and the Societ imballaggi metallici Salerno (SIMSA) srl concerning compensation for the damage caused to his motor vehicle and in respect of which the Giudice di pace di Mercato San Severino intended to apply the compulsory mediation procedure provided for under Italian law.
Costs Order for costs. The claimant local authority had failed to remove an obstruction from a right of way affecting the interested party. The interested party had been involved in a protracted dispute with the authority and the authority had changed its position in respect of the obstruction on a number of occasions. When the matter was finally resolved by consent, the authority had agreed to pay the interested party's costs; the authority subsequently changed its position and refused to pay the interested party's costs. The matter came before a judge who made an award of costs in favour of the interested party. The authority issued judicial review proceedings, contending that the district judge had erred in making the costs order. The Administrative Court held that the judge's decision on costs had been correct.
Charity Stamp duty land tax. The two taxpaying companies had sought exemption from stamp duty land tax on joint acquisitions made with non-charities. The Revenue and Customs Commissioners denied them partial relief on the basis that relief from SDLT was only available in the case of joint purchasers where all of them were entitled to the relief. The Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) dismissed the taxpayers' appeals. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the appeals. Although the tribunal had not erred in its identification of the chargeable interest by reference to which SDLT was levied, the correct construction of para1 of Sch8 to the was that the land transaction was exempt from charge to the extent that the purchaser was a charity.
Claim form Service. The Supreme Court restored a judge's declaration that steps taken to bring the claim form to the attention of the respondent had amounted to good service, in circumstances where the respondent was out of the jurisdiction. It held that, in a case not involving the Hague Service Convention or a bilateral service treaty, an order under CPR6.15(2) should not be regarded as 'exceptional' or one which required a 'very good reason'. The court should simply ask whether, in all the circumstances, there was good reason to order that steps taken to bring the claim form to the attention of the defendant was good service.
Costs Judicial review. The claimant applied for the costs of her judicial review application which had been compromised following the provision by the defendant Secretary of State of the accommodation sought by the claimant. The judge held that there should be no order as to costs. The Court of Appeal held that the judge had not applied the appropriate test and that the only just order was that the Secretary of State pay the claimant's costs of the judicial review proceedings.
Evidence Hearsay. The claimant landlord issued possession proceedings against the defendant tenant. The landlord sought to rely on anonymous witness statements from three local residents. The recorder admitted the statements as evidence and found that, inter alia, the tenant was guilty of anti-social behaviour. The tenant appealed against the admission of the statements. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the appeal holding that the recorder had carried out the necessary evaluation exercise in an entirely proper manner and that there was no basis upon which the court could or should interfere with the judge's careful findings.
Court of Appeal Jurisdiction. The appellant's application for housing assistance had been refused by the local authority. He had been given temporary accommodation pending his appeal to the county court. After the county court dismissed his appeal, he sought a continuation of the temporary accommodation while he appealed to the Court of Appeal, Civil Division. He applied to the Court of Appeal for an interim order that the authority continue to provide him with temporary accommodation. The court held that it did not have jurisdiction to hear such an application.
Immigration Leave to remain. The claimants applied for leave to remain under the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) provisions of the points-based system. In order to satisfy the criteria under that scheme in Pt6A of the Immigration Rules (HC 395) (the Rules) they required a United Kingdom recognised bachelor or post-graduate degree. Each claimant obtained that qualification, but not until after they had applied for leave to remain. The defendant Secretary of State dismissed the applications on the basis that the claimants had to have been notified of their qualification before they applied for leave to remain. The First-tier Tribunal and subsequently the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (the tribunal) allowed the claimants' appeals. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the Secretary of State's appeal on the basis that the claimants had to have been notified of their qualification before applying for leave to remain and that no subsequently obtained evidence could cure that defect.
Company Scheme of arrangement. A Vietnamese company, which had no connection with England save for the fact that a facility agreement entered into with various lenders, was governed by English law, applied, under of the Companies Act 2006, for an order convening a meeting of the scheme creditors for the approval of a scheme of arrangement. An issue arose as to whether the English court had jurisdiction to sanction the proposed scheme of arrangement. The Chancery Division held that the English court had jurisdiction to sanction the proposed scheme of arrangement. The fact that the facility agreement contained a non-exclusive jurisdiction clause did not make any difference. The English court also had jurisdiction to sanction the proposed scheme under Council Regulation (EC) 44-2001 .