RC v CC (by her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) and another

Mental health Court of Protection. The Court of Protection made a limited order for disclosure in the course of proceedings brought by the biological mother of a 20 year old woman who had been adopted as a baby. The mother wished to resume indirect contact with her daughter who was learning disabled. The court gave guidance on disclosure in the Court of Protection.

Champion v North Norfolk District Council and another

Town and country planning Development consent. The defendant local authority granted planning permission for the development of a site that was in close proximity to the River Wensum; a site of special scientific interest. The authority consulted with Natural England and concluded that an environmental impact assessment and a habitats appropriate assessment were not required as there was no risk of contamination. However, the authority imposed conditions on the planning permission that required the monitoring of water quality and measures for remediation if the river became contaminated. The Administrative Court held that the planning permission would be quashed as it was not rationally possible to impose conditions which pointed to a risk of contamination but, at the same time, adopt the view that there was no relevant risk of pollution.

Re MR (a child) (care and placement order)

Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The Family Division held that, in the circumstances, there was no basis for concluding that any further assessment of the mother was necessary and dispensed with the parent's consent to a placement order in respect of the child.

Re L (a child)

Family Proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The mother gave birth to AM shortly after starting a three year prison sentence. The local authority obtained an interim care order and the mother appealed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division allowed the appeal on the basis that the relationship between AM and the mother should have been preserved pending a final adjudication of the issues in the care proceedings.

*WHA Ltd and another v Revenue and Customs

Value added tax Input tax. The first appellant (WHA), was an English company which had contracted with Viscount, a Gibraltar based company and the reinsurer of UK Motor Breakdown Insurance (MBI) policies, to instruct garages in the UK to carry out any works required to be effected under the insurance policies. The proceedings concerned the effectiveness of a scheme designed to minimise the overall liability to VAT of a group of companies involved in MBI. The purpose of the scheme was to enable the VAT element of the cost of repairs to be recovered by one or other of the members of a group of companies to which an MBI insurer belonged, thereby reducing costs and enabling the insurer to offer lower premiums. Following the implementation of the scheme in 1998, the Revenue refused the claims made by WHA and Viscount for the repayment of tax. In 2007, the Court of Appeal held in favour of the Revenue that the scheme was abusive. On WHA and Viscount's appeal, the Supreme Court upheld that decision and held that there had been no supply of repair services by the garages in question to the first appellant for the purposes of its business, on which WHA might claim deduction of input tax.

Re CB (a child) (adoption proceedings: lack of care order)

Adoption Order. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that it was legally permissible for a local authority to present a case to its adoption panel and issue an application for a placement for adoption order in circumstances where the child was not subject to an interim care order but was simply accommodated under s20 of the .

R (on the application of Prideaux) v Buckinghamshire County Council

Town and country planning Permission for development. The claimant contested the grant of planning permission for a waste facility and access road, the construction of which would have detrimental impact upon the environment. The defendant local authority granted planning permission, and Natural England subsequently granted derogation licences allowing detrimental work to take place. At a later date, the licences were quashed by consent, but not before detrimental work had already taken place in respect of two protected species of bats. The claimant brought judicial review proceedings claiming that the grant of planning permission had been unlawful. Permission to proceed with judicial review was allowed but the claim was dismissed. The local authority was not required to perform the function of Natural England. The authority had not acted contrary to Government policy and it had provided adequate reasons for the granting the permission.

R (on the application of Nash) v Barnet London Borough Council

Judicial review Challenge to validity of public authority's decision. The claimant sought permission to apply for judicial review of the local authority's decision and impending decision to outsource its functions and services. The authority contended that the claim was out of time because it had effectively challenged decisions taken in 2010 and 2011. The Administrative Court, in refusing permission, held that, with one exception, the claims were out of time. It further held that the judgment as to whether the provisions of the resulting contract had adequately addressed the interests of groups with a protected characteristic had been for the authority and not the court to make.

Hunt and others v Optima (Cambridge) Ltd and others

Building Construction. The Technology and Construction Court considered a claim by long leaseholders in a block of flats, against, among others, the firm of architects responsible for developing the flats and the company employed to inspect the premises with a view to providing certificates to potential purchasers to confirm the quality of the construction. The court held that the repairing covenant covered, among others, the claimants, and that the architects had owed a duty of care to the claimants. The costs of remedial work would be allowed, as well as damages for each claimant proportionate to their loss.

Re C (a child) (adoption proceedings: change of circumstances)

Adoption Order. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that a judge, in refusing a father's application for permission to oppose an adoption order, had displayed no error of law, no error of approach and had not exercised a flawed discretion.