Discrimination Disability. The Supreme Court partially allowed the claimant wheelchair user's appeal against a finding by the Court of Appeal Civil Division that although the defendant bus company's wheelchair user's policy within the meaning of of the Equality Act 2010, put him at a substantial disadvantage compared with able-bodied passengers, nevertheless, it was not reasonable to require the defendant to compell non-disabled passengers to move from the wheelchair space or be removed from the bus. Nonetheless, it had not been enough for the defendant to have simply instructed its drivers to request non-wheelchair users to vacate the space, and do nothing further if the request was rejected.
Constitutional law Foreign sovereign state. The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appellant United Kingdom officials' appeals in proceedings concerning their alleged complicity in various torts, allegedly committed by various other states in various overseas jurisdictions against the respondents. The torts alleged included the unlawful detention and rendition, torture or cruel and inhuman treatment and assault. In the circumstances, the appellants were not entitled to rely on state immunity or the doctrine of foreign act of state to defeat the respondents' claims. Accordingly, the respondents' cases would proceed to trial.
Thomas and another v Frogmore Real Estate Partners GP1 Ltd and others, Frogmore Real Estate Partners GP1 Ltd and others v Thomas
Company Administration order. The Chancery Division made a declaration to the effect that the centre of main interest of three companies was in the United Kingdom and that, as a result, it had jurisdiction to make orders concerning the administration of the companies. On the evidence, there had been no improper motive on the part of the building society that had made loans to the companies, and an application for a declaration that there had been would therefore be dismissed.
*Rahmatullah (No 2) v Ministry of Defence and another; Mohammed and others v Ministry of Defence and another
Crown Proceedings against. The Supreme Court, in allowing appeals by the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, declared that, in proceedings in tort governed by foreign law, the government might rely on the doctrine of Crown act of state to preclude the court passing judgment on the claim, in specified circumstances. The Crown act of state could be relied on by the appellants in the present case.
Human rights Right to liberty and security. The Supreme Court made rulings regarding alleged breaches of the claimants' human rights under art 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, following the detention by British Army personnel of the claimants in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. The Court ruled that the first claimant's appeal would be dismissed, and the second claimant's appeal allowed in part.
Bankruptcy Annulment. The Chancery Division held that, on the proper construction of the relevant legislation, the receipt of third party funds to pay off a bankruptcy debt was not part of the trustees in bankruptcy's function and the money was not payable into the Insolvency Services Account. Accordingly, the Secretary of State's administration fee was not payable by the applicant.
Human rights Right to a fair hearing. The European Court of Human Rights held that, despite the applicant's conduct having had had a critical impact on the progress of the case, the litigation which had lasted over 18 years had taken on a scale and duration incommensurate with the simple nature of the underlying claim. Accordingly, there had been a breach of art 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Contract Implied terms. The Chancery Division dismissed the claimant company's claims against the defendant Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in relation to four interest rate derivative products which RBS sold to the claimant (the swaps). In particular, it rejected claims for rescission, damages arising out of RBS's representations and-or breaches of contract in connection with the sale of the swaps, the transfer of its business, and participation in and knowledge of the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate rates.
Negligence Causation. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed part of an appeal by the defendant firm of solicitors against a judgment in which it was held liable for damages for professional negligence in the sum of 2.04m. In the circumstances, 2m of that award, which arose out of the claimant's 20% chance of securing voluntary payment of a judgment debt, was too remote and, therefore, would be set aside.
Judgment Award. The Technology and Construction Court revisited its earlier proposal, in the main judgment, that a judgment sum awarded to Harlequin against Wilkins Kennedy should be temporarily placed in an escrow account. That proposal had been made in the light of the risk to investors and the fact that insolvency proceedings were ongoing in respect of the first claimant company in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The court held that, given the nature of the relationship between the parties' solicitors, it would not be appropriate to order any sort of escrow account. Instead, the money was ordered to be paid into court. It was further held that, given that the currency in which the relevant loss had been felt was sterling, the sum subject to the award in the main judgment would be expressed in sterling, namely 7,443,821.12, plus interest. Costs were awarded to the first claimant, but reduced by 40% to reflect the fact that the first claimant had been successful only on part of one of three issues in the main proceedings.