Contract Construction. Chancery Division: The claimant company's claim for specific performance of an agreement for the grant to the defendant of underleases of the premises in question was dismissed on the basis that the defendant company having served a valid notice to terminate the agreement, pursuant to para 11 of Sch 7, it was not obliged to complete the underleases.
Indemnity Guarantee distinguished. Court of Appeal, Civil Division: Applying the principle that whether a document was a guarantee or an indemnity would always depend upon the true construction of the actual words in which the promise was expressed, the court held that a letter agreement between the claimant and the second defendant constituted a guarantee imposing a secondary liability, and not an indemnity or binding letter of comfort. Moreover, on the facts that liability had been discharged by a subsequent agreement.
Contract Damages for breach. Queen's Bench Division, Technology and Construction Court: The court found that a house as built by the first defendant contractor was unfit for habitation under s1 of the in that it was built with unstable foundation which had resulted in movement and cracking and other defects cause by heave.
Privilege Legal professional privilege. The House of Lords ruled that Parliament had intended that covert surveillance provisions of the should extend to the type of lawyer-client and doctor-patient consultations which were ordinarily protected by legal professional privilege; but that such surveillance would infringe the rights of the client-patient under art8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Public health Sewerage. Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court: The court ruled that the claimant, as a public authority, was not precluded in all circumstances from reviewing a decision under s101A of the and, thereafter, withdrawing or revoking that decision, but that it, having held appointment under that Act, would be permitted to revoke a decision which engaged rights and expectations when the circumstances were such that the decision would be susceptible to judicial review on ordinary public law principles of illegality, irrationality or unfairness, or where new circumstances compelled a revocation. In the instant case, it was adjudged that the claimant had failed to establish any legal basis upon which it could have been held as entitled to withdraw or revoke its decision to accept a duty under s101A(1) of the 1991 Act to provide a public sewer in respect of Freshwater East, Pembroke, Wales.
Local government Statutory duty. Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court: The resolutions of the defendant local authority which, effectively, had been to reduce its funding in respect of its Welfare Rights and Advice Services was unlawful and, thereupon, quashed, on the basis that the relevant criteria under three statutes, as amended, namely the the and the Sex Discrimination Act 1976, had not been met. It had been thrust upon the authority, in the instant case, to have had 'due regard' to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, and, further, the need to promote equality of opportunity, when it had been considering the question of funding.
European Community Intellectual property rights. Court of Justice of the European Communities: The Court made a preliminary ruling on the concept of extraction, in the sense of the physical transfer of data, in the context of art7 of Council Directive (EC)96-9 (on the legal protection of databases) and on the concept of a substantial part, evaluated qualitatively or quantitatively, of the contents of a database in the same context.
*Morgan and another v Hinton Organics (Wessex) Ltd, Coalition for Access to Justice for the Environment (CAJE) intervening
Costs Order for costs. Court of Appeal, Civil Division: In allowing the appeal of the claimants in respect of a costs order following the discharge of an interim injunction obtained in their favour; and in allowing the defendant's appeal against the exclusion of their expert from giving evidence, the Court made observations in relation to protective costs orders and private interests, having regard to theUNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention).
Landlord and tenant Lease. Court of Appeal, Civil Division: The court held that a lease had been surrendered by operation of law where, inter alia, after the defendant tenants had left the property a member of the claimant landlord's family had moved possessions into and stayed in the property.
Landlord and tenant Rent. Chancery Division: In proceedings brought pursuant to of the Arbitration Act 1996, a rent review clause (in a lease under which business premises were let to the defendant tenant), which referred to a hypothetical lease in calculating the rent due, was to be construed according to the claimant landlords' contended construction, as its interpretation advanced the commercial common sense of the matter.