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May 09 2013 (FN)

Westminster City Council Vs. Sl (Fc)

Court : UK Supreme Court

LORD CARNWATH (with whom Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance and Lord Kerr agree) Introduction 1. The short issue raised by this appeal is whether the respondent (SL), a failed asylum-seeker, was at the relevant time in need of "care and attention", requiring the provision of accommodation by the local authority under section 21(1)(a) of the National Assistance Act 1948. Burnett J decided that he was not, but that decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal, Laws LJ giving the only substantive judgment. 2. As Baroness Hale of Richmond explained in the leading authority (R (M) v Slough Borough Council [2008] UKHL 52, [2008] 1 WLR 1808 ("Slough")), this section of the 1948 Act has for the most part been a relatively peaceful backwater of the law. She observed: " until 1996, it would not have occurred to anyone that section 21(1)(a) might cover this sort of case. There was no need for it to do so. And it was not designed to do so." (para 7) That peace was shattered in the 1990s by the ...

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May 01 2013 (FN)

R (on the Application of Clientearth) Vs. the Secretary of State for t ...

Court : UK Supreme Court

Lord Carnwath, Delivering The Judgment Of The Court: 1. This is the judgment of the court, giving reasons for making a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The court has also decided that, on the basis of concessions made on behalf of the respondent, the appellant is entitled to a declaration that the United Kingdom is in breach of its obligations to comply with the nitrogen dioxide limits provided for in Article 13 of Directive 2008/50/EC ("the Air Quality Directive"). Decisions on the extent of other relief (if any) will have to await the determination of the CJEU on the questions referred. In these circumstances the judgment does no more than set out the factual and legal context of the dispute, and the issues of European law which now arise (as a basis in due course for a reference in compliance with the recommendations of the CJEU: 6 November 2012 C 338/1). Background 2. Nitrogen dioxide is a gas formed by combustion at high temperatures. Road traffic an...

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May 01 2013 (FN)

R (on the Application of Faulkner) (Fc) and Others Vs. Secretary of St ...

Court : UK Supreme Court

Lord Reed (with whom Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance and Lord Kerr agree) The background to the appeals 1. Until relatively recent times, English judges were obliged to impose sentences of imprisonment for life only in cases of murder. A judge might also impose a discretionary life sentence in other cases where a determinate sentence would not provide adequate protection to the public against the risk of serious harm presented by the particular individual. In practice, such sentences were highly unusual. Following a series of judgments in which the European Court of Human Rights considered the compatibility of life sentences with the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention"), statutory reforms were introduced so that, where a life sentence was imposed, the judge determined a minimum period or "tariff" to be served for the purposes of retribution and deterrence, following which the continued detention of the prisoner depended upon an assessment of the le...

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May 01 2013 (FN)

WHA Limited and Another Vs. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

Court : UK Supreme Court

LORD REED (with whom Lord Hope, Lord Walker, Lord Mance and Lord Carnwath agree) Introduction 1. This appeal concerns the effectiveness of a scheme, known as Project C, which was designed to minimise the overall liability to VAT of a group of companies involved in motor breakdown insurance ("MBI"). Summarising matters which I shall at a later point explain in greater detail, the supply of insurance is exempt from VAT. It follows that insurers do not charge VAT on premiums, and do not account to the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs ("the Commissioners") for VAT in respect of their insurance business. It also follows that, if an insurer incurs costs in respect of supplies of goods or services which it uses in the course of its insurance business, on which VAT is chargeable, it is unable to deduct the amount of the VAT which it has paid from any VAT which it has received in respect of that business. Instead, it has to bear the VAT element of its costs. 2. MBI insurers n...

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Apr 24 2013 (FN)

Verma Vs. Barts and the London Nhs Trust

Court : UK Supreme Court

Lord Carnwath (with whom Lord Hope, Lord Walker, Lady Hale and Lord Sumption agree) 1. Dr Verma is a doctor specialising in oral and maxillo-facial surgery. She trained as a dentist in India but later qualified as a doctor. She has been working in the United Kingdom since 1996. She worked in training grade posts from March 1998 until August 2002. From September 2002 to September 2006 she held a series of locum positions in career grade posts, two of them at Specialist Registrar level. In November 2006 she took a six-month appointment with the Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. That appointment was described in the appointment letter as "Trust grade doctor in oral surgery (Hospital Practitioner equivalent) for two sessions per week". She left that post in early 2007. She was then offered a post as a "Foundation Year 1 Pre-Registration House Officer" with the respondent ("the Trust"). This is a training post, typically for newly-qualified doctors, but sometimes for more s...

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Apr 24 2013 (FN)

Uprichard Vs. Scottish Ministers and Another

Court : UK Supreme Court

Lord Reed (with whom Lord Hope, Lord Kerr, Lord Carnwath and Lord Carloway agree) 1. St Andrews is renowned throughout the world as the home of golf. It is also famous for its university, the third oldest in the English-speaking world. It is an attractive town, set between the sea and the rural hinterland of Fife, with many historic buildings and a skyline familiar to millions from television coverage of the Open Championship and from the opening of the film, Chariots of Fire. 2. This appeal has been prompted by concern on the part of the appellant, a resident of St Andrews, about Fife Council's policies for the future development of the town as set out in the Fife Structure Plan 2006-2026. She considers that the policies, if implemented, will cause irreversible damage to the landscape setting of the town. She has objected to these policies at every opportunity during the procedure leading to the finalisation of the structure plan by the Council, and during the subsequent procedure lea...

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Apr 24 2013 (FN)

Salvesen Vs. Riddell and Another (Lord Advocate Intervening)

Court : UK Supreme Court

LORD HOPE (with whom Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed and Lord Toulson agree) 1. This is an appeal from an interlocutor of the Second Division of the Court of Session (Lord Justice Clerk Gill, Lord Osborne and Lord Nimmo Smith) of 15 March 2012 allowing an appeal under section 88(1) of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 from a decision of the Scottish Land Court: [2012] CSIH 26, 2012 SLT 633. Section 88(3) of the 2003 Act provides that the decision of the Court of Session in any appeal made to it under section 88(1) is final. But, as the Lord Justice Clerk explained in para 1 of his opinion, the issues in the appeal to that court included the question whether section 72 of the 2003 Act was compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. 2. Section 29(1) of the Scotland Act 1998 provides that an Act of the Scottish Parliament is not law in so far as any provision of the Act is outside the legislative competence of the Parliament. Section 29(2)(d) provides that a pro...

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Apr 17 2013 (FN)

First Tier Tribunal and Another Vs. Jones (by Caldwell)

Court : UK Supreme Court

LORD HOPE 1. On 18 January 2005, at about 2.20 am, a tragic incident occurred on the A282 north of the Dartford River Crossing. The A282 is a six-lane carriageway which links the Dartford Crossing bridge and tunnel with the M25 motorway. The respondent, Mr Gareth Jones, was driving a Highways Agency gritter along the nearside carriageway. Slightly ahead of him, in the central lane of the north bound carriageway, was an articulated lorry driven by Mr Brian Nash. Ahead of him there was a car which was parked on the hard shoulder of the carriageway. 2. As Mr Nash's lorry approached it a man ran from near the car into the middle of the central lane, turned towards the lorry, stood in its path and raised his arms. Mr Nash braked, but he was unable to avoid hitting the man, who was killed instantly. As a result of the braking the rear nearside corner of the articulated lorry swerved into the path of the gritter vehicle. There was a collision between the two vehicles, as a result of which the...

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Apr 17 2013 (FN)

Public Relations Consultants Association Limited Vs. the Newspaper Lic ...

Court : UK Supreme Court

LORD SUMPTION (with whom Lord Neuberger, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke and Lord Carnwath agree) The issue 1. This appeal raises an important question about the application of copyright law to the technical processes involved in viewing copyright material on the internet. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to do or to authorise a number of acts defined in sections 16 to 26 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Broadly speaking, it is an infringement to make or distribute copies or adaptations of a protected work. Merely viewing or reading it is not an infringement. A person who reads a pirated copy of a protected book or views a forgery of a protected painting commits no infringement although the person who sold him the book or forged the painting may do. 2. The ordinary use of the internet will involve the creation of temporary copies at several stages. Copies will be created in the course of transmission in internet routers and proxy servers. Where a web-page is viewe...

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Mar 20 2013 (FN)

Willoughby Vs. Hayes (Fc)

Court : UK Supreme Court

LORD SUMPTION (with whom Lord Neuberger and Lord Wilson agree) 1. Section 1(1) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 provides that a person "must not pursue a course of conduct (a) which amounts to harassment of another, and (b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other." Harassment is both a criminal offence under section 2 and a civil wrong under section 3. Under section 7(2), "references to harassing a person include alarming the person or causing the person distress", but the term is not otherwise defined. It is, however, an ordinary English word with a well understood meaning. Harassment is a persistent and deliberate course of unreasonable and oppressive conduct, targeted at another person, which is calculated to and does cause that person alarm, fear or distress: see Thomas v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2002] EMLR 4, para 30 (Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers MR). One of the more egregious forms of harassment is the stalking of women. But the Act is c...

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