CIVIL PROCEDURE

Magistrates’ courts did not have a discretion to extend the time to state a case after expiration of the 21 days specified in the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.111(2).

[2017] EWHC 2869 (Admin)

Twelve allegations of contempt of court were proved to the criminal standard where video surveillance evidence showed that a personal injury claimant had consistently lied in his particulars of claim, witness statements and interviews with medical and social care experts to falsely represent the extent of his continuing symptoms after he sustained injuries in a car accident.

[2017] EWHC 2772 (QB)

New proceedings based on fresh evidence, which fundamentally changed the nature of the case, were not an abuse of process because they were not a collateral attack on the earlier proceedings. Accordingly, there had not been an opportunity, let alone a full opportunity, for the claimants to run their case.

[2017] EWCA Civ 1665

A challenge to the Secretary of State for Justice’s decision not to recall to prison a Chinese national who had been convicted of stealing valuable confidential systems from his employer, and the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s decision to deport him before the expiry of his four-year sentence, raised serious issues of public importance. His deportation would be stayed pending a full hearing of the challenge.

It was appropriate to proceed with a claimant’s committal application in a defendant’s absence where the breaches were serious and the defendant had deliberately chosen not to attend court and left the jurisdiction. Contempt of court was proved to the criminal standard, and he was sentenced to one years’ imprisonment.

A sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment was imposed for numerous, deliberate breaches of a freezing injunction and a disclosure order including failing to deliver up a passport, and lies about ownership or interests in 30 bank accounts and eight properties.

[2017] EWHC 1860 (Ch)

The Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland was granted an extension of time to comply with an order requiring the discovery of documents in connection with a damages claim brought against the force. However, the extension was not for as long as the Chief Constable had sought, given previous failures to comply with court orders to produce the documents.

[2017] NIQB 72

It was good discipline for any judge delivering a judgment on a committal application to set out each relevant ground of committal before proceeding to consider whether it was made out on the evidence. In the instant case, the judge had not confined himself to the contempt alleged in the application notice.

[2017] EWCA Civ 973

In the absence of any clear or definitive precedent or rule, the court was required to decide how the costs of a special advocate engaged in family proceedings should be funded. In the instant case, the police were ordered to fund the costs, because they had exclusive ownership of the sensitive material and wished to ensure that the court was in possession of it and understood why disclosure would be contrary to the public interest.

[2017] EWHC 1793 (Fam)

The court discussed the use of the power to suspend a private hire vehicle driver’s licence under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.61.

[2017] EWHC 1764 (Admin)

A football club was granted permission to apply for judicial review of the lawfulness of a search and seizure warrant obtained and executed by HMRC in connection with a tax fraud investigation, in particular since the judge had failed to give reasons for making the order. There was a serious issue to be tried and the balance of convenience lay in favour of continuing an injunction preventing HMRC from examining the materials seized.

It was in the interests of justice to allow a defendant insurer permission to withdraw an admission of liability under CPR r.14.1B for a road traffic accident which had resulted in the claimant suffering serious brain injuries where it sought to raise the defence of ex turpi causa.

[2017] EWHC 1336 (QB)

The court construed the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which related to the making of a production order.

[2017] EWHC 747 (Admin)

An order requiring a woman to repatriate sums from her Dubai bank account to her UK bank account was made where there was an arguable case that the funds would form part of realisable property in respect of a confiscation order made against her brother. The funds were already subject to a restraint order and their transfer to the UK would reduce the risk of dissipation.

There was no reason to set aside or vary a costs order made against the Director for Public Prosecutions in respect of judicial review proceedings brought against her. The DPP had failed to take any steps in the costs application whatsoever, without any good explanation.

[2017] EWHC 714 (admin)

The reasoning in McKinsley v Crown Prosecution Service [2006] EWCA Civ 1092 did not prevent the CPS from resisting the issue of a certificate of inadequacy under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.83(1) on the basis that the applicant now had assets which had previously been successfully secreted.

[2017] EWCA Civ 185

When applying to register an external confiscation order pursuant to a request made by another government, the Attorney General of the Bahamas did not have to evidence that request in the manner set out by the Proceeds of Crime (Designated Countries and Territories) Order (Bahamas) 2001 art.7. He was free to demonstrate by way of other evidence that he was acting on behalf of the other government.

[2017] UKPC 5

An order for discovery against the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland had been justified in a case where the plaintiff had alleged that attempts had been made on his life by a police informant.

[2017] NICA 13

The court refused to extend the one-year limitation period for a human rights claim brought against a police force in relation to its alleged failure to adequately investigate complaints of abusive behaviour and harassment. There had been a seven-and-a-half year delay in bringing the claim and the claimants could have sought advice on a potential claim earlier. In any event, it was not a case in which ECHR art.3 or art.8 applied so as to impose a duty to investigate for the purposes of the Convention.

[2017] EWHC 292 (QB)

The court considered the powers of, and duties upon, individuals bringing private prosecutions. It also considered the discretion exercisable by the magistrates’ court under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.19 to make a costs order against private prosecutors where it found that proceeding in such a way amounted to an “unnecessary or improper act or omission”

[2017] EWHC 232 (Admin)

The public interest in extradition was outweighed by other factors in the case of a 55-year-old man who was in poor health and who was required to return to Poland to serve a custodial term for non-payment of a £600 compensation order. It was possible that the man had been unaware of the requirement to pay compensation, and it would be disproportionate to extradite him given that the sum was small, he could not have paid it at the relevant time, and was only able to pay it now because of his employment in the UK.

[2017] EWHC 168 (Admin)

The court could not stand by and allow the deliberate breaches of its orders relating to a worldwide freezing injunction to go unmarked. A writ of sequestration was ordered against the company even though it had no assets within the jurisdiction, and five of the company’s directors were committed to prison for contempt of court.

A known figure in the world of online fitness advice could not rely on the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 to restrain unauthorised use of her name and photographs on another person’s fitness website and on social media. It was a case of identity fraud and belonged in the Chancery Division.

Certain amendments to particulars of claim were allowed where they did not distort and extend the trial. The amendments related to evidence that had arisen from German trades that were part of alleged VAT fraud involving the sale and purchase of European Union allowances under the European Emission Trading Scheme.

The Serious Fraud Office had been entitled to seek a property freezing order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Pt 5 in respect of funds allegedly obtained through unlawful conduct. Although the Canadian prosecuting service had abandoned a forfeiture application in relation to the funds, and the Canadian court had therefore approved an order for the withdrawal of the forfeiture proceedings, the court had not heard evidence or made a decision on the merits. The Canadian order was not an order in rem and the SFO was not precluded from bringing proceedings.

[2017] EWCA Civ 18

A number of properties and a bank account owned by family members allegedly part of an organised crime network were found to have been procured by unlawful conduct and were recoverable property for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The defendants did not provide credible explanations for how they acquired the holdings and did not have a legitimate source of income that explained the purchases.

[2017] EWHC 27 (QB)

A judge had been entitled to sentence an individual to 56-days’ imprisonment, suspended until further order, for breach of an interim injunction preventing gang-related violence. An order of imprisonment for contempt of court, suspended as long as the contemnor complied with another order of indefinite duration, was not unlawful, and in any event the instant suspension would end at the trial which was less than a month away.

The court granted a permanent injunction restraining the press and all other persons from publishing the names or identities of two individuals who, as children, had pleaded guilty to very serious offences committed against two young victims. The case had caused almost unparalleled public outrage directed at the individuals, and the real risk to their ECHR art.2, art.3 and art.8 rights made the interference with the art.10 right to freedom of expression an absolute necessity.

[2016] EWHC 3295 (Ch)

The Court of Appeal considered whether the Division Court could and should order the Football Association Premier League to pay the costs of a failed private prosecution of publicans for the offence of fraudulently receiving satellite TV programmes, namely English Premier League football matches which originated from non-UK based broadcasters. Judgment reserved. The transcript is not yet available, it will be published to Lawtel as soon we receive it.

A claimant was granted permission to amend her grounds for judicial review of the secretary of state’s refusal to award her compensation following her acquittal for murder, on the limited basis of the legality of the decision not to make a discretionary ex gratia payment.

[2016] EWHC 3405 (Admin)

There was no fault in the decision or reasoning of a First-tier tribunal judge who had allowed a criminal injuries compensation claim made 19 years earlier to be revived. Jurisprudence had developed since then and the judge had been entitled to apply the resulting guidance to a case of historic sex abuse.

[2016] EWHC 2745 (Admin)

In a case involving missing trader intra-Community fraud, HMRC’s claim that a company, through its director, knew that certain transactions were connected to fraud was plainly an allegation of conduct that was dishonest, and the company understood the case against it. Under the first limb of the test in Kittel v Belgium (C-439/04) EU:C:2006:446, the First-tier Tribunal had only to determine whether the company, through its director, knew of the connections to fraud, HMRC did not have to show that the director was dishonest.

[2016] UKUT 436 (TCC)

It was almost inconceivable that statements made to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in the course of an investigation could properly be the subject of an order for disclosure under the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 1996 reg.18 when the appropriate balancing exercise was carried out by the court. To hold otherwise would have a serious and obvious “chilling effect” which would deter people from answering the AAIB’s questions with the necessary candour.

[2016] EWHC 2280 (QB)

When refusing an application for permission to appeal against the registration of an overseas freezing order, the Court of Appeal commented that when dealing with such challenges, Crown Court judges in England and Wales should refuse to entertain evidence or arguments directed at the substantive basis for the making of the initial freezing order. Only the courts of the issuing state had the jurisdiction to consider such arguments.

[2016] EWCA Crim 1393

The court refused a mother’s application for a Norwich Pharmacal order against the police to obtain material arising from a fraud investigation involving a personal development coach who had provided counselling to her daughter. Although the mother alleged that the coach had poisoned her daughter’s mind against her, she had no cause of action against the coach. The application also failed because the police had been investigating potential criminal conduct against women counselled by the coach, not against the mother.

[2016] EWHC 2214 (QB)

A district judge had not erred in ordering the extradition of an acknowledged fugitive to Poland to face prosecution for an offence of blackmail. Despite there being a lengthy delay in seeking the extradition due to the suspension of the prosecution case, the bar to extradition in the Extradition Act 2003 s.14 was not satisfied as the fugitive had known throughout that the prosecution was merely suspended and not concluded.

[2016] EWHC 3244 (Admin)

When a designated person appealed against an asset-freezing order under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 s.26, the Treasury had to justify the order it had made. The court concluded that designation had been justified to prevent the appellant providing financial assistance to a proscribed organisation, but the renewal of the designation was not justified when, by the time of renewal, different circumstances applied.

[2016] EWHC 2039 (Admin)

The court refused to grant an injunction to prevent traveller communities from parking or placing mobile homes on roads during an airshow. Local authorities already had a range of powers to deal with parking and placing vehicles, and granting it could set a precedent where similar injunctions were sought for all public events.

[2016] EWHC 2050 (QB)

The court imposed an 18-month custodial sentence for contempt of court on a Russian businessman who had failed to provide asset disclosure as required by a worldwide freezing injunction, and had refused to participate in the court proceedings.

[2016] EWHC 1239 (Admin)
[2016] EWHC 1993 (Admin)

The court refused a letter of request from the United States requiring a chief financial officer to give evidence at a trial concerning allegations of false accounting within his former company. Given that he was defending unparticularised related proceedings in the Chancery Division and the other party had refused to rule out using his evidence in those proceedings, granting the request would be oppressive and would breach his right to a fair hearing.

[2016] EWHC 1942 (QB)

The court did not have jurisdiction to order an oral hearing to reconsider the refusal of an application for permission to seek judicial review of decision made in criminal proceedings where the claim had been recorded as being totally without merit.

[2016] EWHC 1760 (Admin)

The court considered the extent of the secretary of state’s discretion when serving a foreign judgment under the Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 s.1. Service of a judgment was not the same as enforcement of it. In circumstances where service would not have a direct and material impact on the recipient, the secretary of state was under no obligation to investigate the consequences of effecting service. However, there might be cases where service of a judgment would engage ECHR art.6 and where further investigation was called for.

[2016] UKSC 37

Where there were parallel criminal and civil proceedings regarding the same incidents, the first court should not anticipate or allow for a likely future sentence, but should ensure that the basis of its sentence was clear and that a transcript was made available. It was for the second court, which should be fully informed, to sentence in the light of the first so as to ensure that there was no double punishment for the same act.

[2016] EWCA Civ 608

The judge below had been wrong to conclude that consideration of the making of a protective costs order in favour of the appellant, who was appealing against his designation under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 s.2(1) , should await the disclosure process. There was no reason why the matter could not be considered before the disclosure exercise took place.

[2016] EWCA Civ 568

The court refused an application by the National Crime Agency for a direction that a claimant should provide the encryption key or password to computers seized under a search warrant. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 s.49 had been passed to deal with the disclosure sought and the court’s case management powers were not to be used to circumvent specific legislation.

[2016] EWCA Crim 781

Applications to discharge property freezing orders failed where the applicants had been acquitted of mortgage fraud despite putting false information on mortgage application forms. Their acquittals did not mean that the funds involved were not arguably the proceeds of unlawful conduct.

[2016] EWHC 899 (Admin)

Issue estoppel arising from the application of res judicata was not appropriate in the context of extradition proceedings. There was nothing in the scheme of the Framework Decision or the Extradition Act 2003 that supported a different approach. A requested person’s extradition to Latvia had not been an abuse of process even though he had previously been discharged in Scotland pursuant to a European arrest warrant on substantially the same matters; he had avoided extradition the first time because of the deficiencies in the medical treatment available for him on his return, but the position had since changed.

[2016] EWHC 802 (Admin)