Rates Rateable occupation. Premises held by the appellant and his brother were used by them to carry out business through a limited company which was in occupation in 2007. The respondent authority pursued the appellant and company for business rates and obtained liability orders against them. Upon an application to set aside, the justices concluded that they did not have jurisdiction. The appellant appealed by way of case stated against the decision. The Divisional Court, in allowing the appeal in part, held that it was unnecessary and unwise for the Divisional Court to define the extent of the justices' jurisdiction to set aside liability orders. There was a much narrower point to decide, namely, whether the liability order made against the appellant had ever properly been made at all. The matter would be remitted with a direction to hear evidence on the summons in order that the justices could determine whether it had been properly served.
Family proceedings Jurisdiction. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, reiterated that the best interests of the child was one of the cardinal questions to be considered in the construction and application of art15(1) of Council Regulation (EC) 2201-2003 (concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility) (Brussels II). Although the judge had misdirected himself in that regard, it had been clear that, had he properly directed himself, he would have reached the same decision, namely, to request that the proceedings for the future care of the child be transferred to Slovakia.
Unfair dismissal Victimisation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) allowed the employee's appeal in respect of claims for unfair dismissal and victimisation. While the employment tribunal had found the dismissal unfair they had made a Polkey deduction of 90 %. The EAT held that the only proper conclusion was that the employee had been victimised by his suspension and dismissal and that finding would be substituted for the finding of the tribunal. Accordingly, the EAT further held that the 'Polkey' reduction had become unsustainable.
Health and safety at work Employer's duties. The claimant, a jockey, was injured when he fell from his horse during a race at the first defendant company's race track. He brought proceedings, relying largely on reg 4 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, , which provided that work equipment was to be so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it was provided. The judge at first instance dismissed his claim. The Court of Appeal held that on the true construction of the Regulations, the Regulations were to be regarded as giving rise to a form of liability which was a stricter liability than at common law. The judge had been wrong to import the common-law phrase of 'reasonable forseeability' into reg 4 of the Regulations, and to dismiss the claim on the basis that the way in which the claimant had been injured was very unusual and that the defendant could not have been expected to do more to prevent the claimant's injury.
Adoption Order. The Family Division dismissed a local authority's application for permission to invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court, with a view to it seeking revocation of an adoption order, in circumstances where the child's adoption placement had broken down and she was with foster carers. The court held that revocation was not in the child's best interests.
Costs Order for costs. The claimant was an asylum seeker and had also claimed to be a child. The local authority was responsible for assessing the claimant's age. The local authority assessed the claimant as being an adult, and as a result, responsibility for the claimant would pass to the Secretary of State for the Home Department. The Secretary of State decided to disperse the claimant and the claimant sought judicial review of that decision. In January 2013, directions for the hearing were set, but the authority failed to comply with those directions and failed to respond to correspondence from the parties. A few days prior to the substantive hearing, the authority informed the parties that it had re-evaluated its position and was now prepared to regard the claimant as a child. The terms of the agreement were agreed and approved by the court but matters pertaining to costs were contested. The Administrative Court decided that the authority should be liable for costs incurred from after the date when directions were set.
Injunction Breach of covenant. The defendants were trustees over land on which they had established a mosque. The local authority served an enforcement notice for breach of planning control and the defendants had appealed. During the appeal hearing, the defendants entered into a unilateral deed whereby they covenanted to: (i) submit a valid planning application for development of the land, and (ii) remove the buildings from the land should they fail to comply with the requirement to submit a valid planning application. The defendants failed to submit a valid planning application and the authority sought an injunction ordering specific performance of the covenant to remove the buildings from the land. The High Court allowed the application and ordered specific performance.
Highway Definitive map. The claimants applied for modification orders pursuant to s53(5) of the . The defendant local authority rejected the applications as the maps provided did not comply with para1(a) of Sch 14 to the Act. The claimants applied for judicial review and the judge upheld the authority's decision. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the claimant's appeal as a map which was produced to a scale of 1:25,000, even if it was digitally derived from an original map with a scale of 1:50,000, satisfied the requirements of para1(a) of Sch 14 to the Act.
Health and safety at work Employer's duties. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division allowed an appeal in a workplace personal injury claim brought by crane drivers employed by the defendant employer. The claimants contended, inter alia, that they had suffered back pain as a result of the position which they had had to adopt in their cabs. The court had that the judge had erred in finding that the claimants' rejection of a proposal to install joystick controls in the cranes had broken the chain of causation. The matter was remitted to the judge for him to decide whether there had been a breach of reg17(2) of theProvision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Employment Protected disclosure. The Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the appeal of the employee, a fee paid parking adjudicator, and held that the employment tribunal had not erred in finding that the decision not to allocate further personal or postal cases to the employee had been a decision taken in the exercise of judicial functions and did not amount to subjecting the employee to a detriment for the purposes of of the Employment Rights Act 1996.