Administration ChargesCourt: LVT
References:  EWLVT BIR_LV_ADC_00CN_0
Administration ChargesCourt: LVT
SIC Kilcreggan Pier, Pontoons and Ferry Services – On 10 July 2012, Mr Calvert asked Argyll and Bute Council (the Council) to provide him with information for the last 12 months relating to Kilcreggan ferry service, pier and pontoons. Following a review, the Council disclosed some information, but relied on exemptions in FOISA for withholding other information.
Following an investigation, the Commissioner found that the Council was entitled to withhold the information from Mr Calvert, although it should have notified him that it was withholding certain information from him under section 25(1) of FOISA on the basis that it was otherwise accessible to him.
The claimants were disabled and despite promises had not had their seating needs met when flying with the defendantsCourt: CA
The claimants alleged that the defendant newspaper group had directly or through agents hacked their mobile phones. They suggested that articles published by the defendants could only have come from such activities. The defendants now sought summary judgment striking out two claims, and striking out elenets of all four claims.
Held: The applications failed.
Appeal against refusal of leave to bring judicial review of decision by the respondent to close the Independent Living Fund.Court: CA
List of properties in respect of which Argyll and Bute Council collects the waste water charges on behalf of Scottish WaterCourt: SIC
SIC Details of grants paid for common repairs to a block of flats – Mrs Shutt requested details of the total grant and the grant per apartment paid for common repairs to a block of flats from Argyll & Bute Council (the Council). When the Council did not respond to her initial request, Mrs Shutt requested a review. In its response, the Council provided details of the total grant but withheld the grant per apartment under section 38(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). Mrs Shutt remained dissatisfied and applied to the Commissioner for a decision.
Following an investigation, the Commissioner found that the information withheld was not exempt from disclosure in terms of section 38(1)(b) of FOISA and required the Council to release details of the grant paid for each apartment to Mrs Shutt.
The plaintiff claims damages as a result of injuries sustained by her when she fell at a step at Bunbeg Park, Lenadoon, Belfast on 31 December 2001. Her claim was dismissed at the County Court and she now appeals from the decision.Court: QBNI
ICO The complainant has requested information relating to the proposal to extend Poole Quay Boat Haven. The Commissioner’s decision is that Poole Harbour Commissioners has incorrectly applied the exception where disclosure would have an adverse effect upon the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest (regulation 12(5)(e)). The Commissioner has also decided, on the balance of probabilities, that no further information is held. The Commissioner requires the public authority disclose the withheld information detailed in paragraph 25 of this decision notice.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: EIR 12.5.e – Complaint Uphel
The defendant was subject to an injunction not to sell goods below a certain price. He sought to evade it by giving away with the goods, vouchers entitling th eshopper to other goods at a significant value.
Held: The device failed.
ICO The complainant requested information regarding the sale of Ickham Grazing Marshes by the Church Commissioners, information relating to the Council’s application to register Seaton Meadow as a Village Green and information about Seaton Meadow in general. The Council initially considered the whole request under the FOIA but later accepted that some information should have been considered under the EIR. It provided some information to the complainant but refused other information by virtue of sections 21, 22 and 42 of the FOIA. It also relied on section 1(1)(a) for information it discounted on the basis that it was produced by or received by Councillors and not therefore held for the purposes of FOIA. The Commissioner’s decision is that Wickhambreaux Parish Council (WPC) has not considered this request in compliance with the EIR. The Commissioner believes it is likely that all of it would be environmental information as defined by regulation 2(1)(a) to (f) of the EIR. The Commissioner also considers that the information withheld by virtue of section 42 of the FOIA, provided to him during the course of this investigation, falls within the definition of environmental information and should have been withheld under regulation 12(5)(b) of the EIR.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld, EIR 12.5.b – Complaint Upheld
The complainant has requested information relating to concerns about histopathology/pathology breast care services. North Bristol NHS Trust (the Trust) refused to comply with the request as it considers it is vexatious under section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Commissioner’s decision is that the Trust has correctly applied section 14 FOIA in this case and it was not therefore obliged to comply with the request. The Commissioner requires no steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 14 – Complaint Not upheld
SIC Statutory records kept by a fish farming business – Fish Legal on behalf of Loch Awe Improvement Association and Argyll District Salmon Fishery Board
(Fish Legal) requested from the Scottish Ministers (the Ministers) information relating to an escape of farmed fish including statutory records kept by the fish faming business. The Ministers responded by providing much of the information requested but also indicated that they did not hold the information contained in statutory records maintained by the fish farming business. Following a review, Fish Legal remained dissatisfied and applied to the Commissioner for a decision, arguing that the records were held by the fish farm on behalf of the Ministers, and so (in terms of regulation 2(2)(b)) were held by the Ministers for the purposes of the EIRs.
Following an investigation, the Commissioner found that statutory records compiled and retained by the fish farming business were not held on behalf of the Ministers therefore that the Ministers were correct to advise Fish Legal that these records were not held.
ICO The complainant has requested information about a police helicopter and to date he has not received a substantive response. The Information Commissioner’s decision is that the public authority has failed to provide a response to the request within the statutory time frame of 20 working days. He requires it to comply with the request or issue a valid refusal notice as set out in section 10 of the FOIA. The public authority must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Information Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld
ICO The complainant has requested information in relation to a unilateral undertaking in respect of a specific property. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council incorrectly applied the exemption for information provided in confidence but correctly applied the exemption for personal information. He does not require any steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 40 – Complaint Not upheld, FOI 41 – Complaint Upheld
The complainant has requested from the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (‘the Trust’Court: ICO
ICO The complainant has requested information relating to health and safety documents in relation to a specific company. The Commissioner’s decision is that the Health & Safety Executive does not hold any information within the scope of the request. The Commissioner does not require the public authority to take any steps as a result of this decision notice.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Not upheld
Claim for payment under ex gratia compensation scheme for service members imprisoned during second world war.Court: Admn
The parties disputed registration of the internet domain name ‘timberlandflooring.co.uk’Court: Nom
The bank had made payments to former employees to recompense them for the termination of a free service under which they had received tax advice.
Held: The payment was made in connection with past services as employees, and was chargeable to income tax.
EAT Claimant sought to add a new respondent by way of amendment, almost seven months after he was dismissed by the existing first respondents and some four months after he had lodged his claim with the tribunal. The tribunal allowed the amendment on the basis that the claimant was not adding a new claim but ‘merely seeking to amend to take account of the situation in which he found himself’ and it was just and equitable to allow the amendment. The new respondents appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal who upheld the appeal and remitted to a freshly constituted tribunal to rehear the amendment application. Observations made regarding the guidance on amendments given in Selkent Bus Co Ltd v Moore  ICR 836.Court: EAT
IPO PCT application WO 2009/128847 entitled ‘Apparatus for playing wagering games’ entered the UK national phase as patent application GB1018115.4. This invention allows a player to play a wagering game at a machine in the casino using funds in a remote account. Specifically, it allows one or more players to use syndicate funds or, alternatively, it gives a person remote from the player, the opportunity to allow the player in the casino to play on their behalf.
The hearing officer, applying the test as outlined in Aerotel/Macrossan, found that the application as claimed related to excluded matter. The applicant argued that the alleged contribution made by the invention was the activation or putting into operation of a game machine in response to two electronic events. This was referred to by the applicant as ‘conditioning’ the system. However, the Hearing Officer found that the contribution was a way of allowing a player in a casino to play a wagering game using funds from a third party and that this ‘conditioning’ was making sure that there are funds available for the user to play. This contribution was found to lie in an excluded area – as a method of doing business and as a computer programme.
The examiner exercised discretion on behalf of the comptroller and issued a report under Section 17(5)(b) to say that a search of the amended claims on file would serve no useful purpose. The hearing officer considered this exercise of discretion adverse to the applicant and found that the examiner was entitled to take this action because the invention as claimed related to excluded matter.
(Liverpool District Registry) The claimant sought damages in a death caused by lung cancer where the deceased had been a smoker exposed also to asbestos in working for th edefendant.
Held: Applying the Bonnington test of causation, the issue was whether the asbestos to which the victim had been exposed had made a material contribution to the cause of the victim’s lung cancer. The expert evidence, given by both medical and epidemiological experts, but each based on epidemiological data, was that asbestos and cigarette smoke not merely combined cumulatively to cause lung cancer, but that they had a synergistic effect in doing so. This satisfied the Bonnington test of causation, as the victim had been exposed both to significant quantities of asbestos fibres and to significant cigarette smoke.
The complainant requested information relating to the councils sale of land in Mickley. The council provided a report it had undertaken into the sale of the land stating that this would answer his concerns. However the complainant wrote back stating that the report did not answer the specific questions he had asked the council to respond to. The Commissioner’s decision is that the complainant is correct in arguing that the report does not answer all of his specific requests, although it does respond to some of them. However during the Commissioner’s investigation the council fully responded to the complainant. He therefore requires no steps to be taken by the council. The Commissioner’s decision is that North East Derbyshire District Council (the council) did not respond fully to the complainant within the specified time period of 20 working days required by section 10(1) of the Act.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld
The claimant alleged defamation by the defendant in making a false allegation against him.
Held: The second Jeynes principle does not mean that the court must always choose the least defamatory meaning available. Where there are two possible meanings, one less derogatory than the other, whether it is the more or the less derogatory meaning that the court should adopt is to be determined by reference to what the hypothetical reasonable reader would understand in all the circumstances. The followers of the defendant on Twitter, to whom her defamatory words were published, would have included a significant number who shared the interest of Mrs Bercow in politics and current affairs.
The court is entitled to take account of the nature of the hypothetical reasonable reader, in this case the ‘educated readership’ of the Guardian Weekend section, when deciding the impied meanings in a statement said to be defamatory. Tugendhat J warned of the Scylla and Charybdis between which the judge must steer a course: setting too low a meaning may deprive the claimant of his right to vindication before a court, and setting it too high may wrongly burden the defendant with libel proceedings which cannot be defended.Court: QBD
SIC On 29 August 2013, Mr Irving asked Argyll and Bute Council (the Council) for the identity of a complainant. The Council withheld the information in terms of regulation 11(2) of the EIRs on the basis that it was personal data, the disclosure of which would breach the first data protection principle.
Following an investigation, the Commissioner accepted that the Council was entitled to withhold the information on this basis.
The two claimants, each convicted of serios offences of false imprisonment and violent assault, complained of a press release issued by the defendant which, they said accused them of involvement in a murder.
Held: The words complained of do not mean that either of the claimants was a murderer, despite the headline ‘Three jailed for murder of Marvin Henry’. That is because the text of the press release makes it quite clear that neither of the claimants was jailed for murder, and it would be clear from the body of the press release that neither of them was involved in the murder in the sense of being convicted of murder, which would be what most normal people would understand by involvement in murder, but at the same time, it (rightly) states that the two murderers, McPhee and Irvani, were also convicted of false imprisonment and grievous bodily harm, the same offences as these claimants and the other man convicted, Faley. ‘I therefore conclude that the meaning of the words complained of is that the claimants were each jailed for a total of six years’ imprisonment for offences of grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment, committed in the course of their involvement in the lead-up to the murder of Marvin Henry. ‘
EAT Practice and Procedure : Striking-Out/Dismissal – Bias, misconduct and procedural irregularity
The Employment Judge made a determination of time limit issues and struck out Further and Better Particulars at a Case Management Discussion. He should not have done so: see rule 17(2) of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure 2004 then applicable. He should have considered (1) whether leave to amend was required in respect of any of the allegations in the Further and Better Particulars and (2) whether leave to amend should be granted, having regard to principles familiar from Selkent Bus Company v Moore  ICR 836 and Ali v Office of National Statistics  IRLR 201. Matter remitted for reconsideration along with other interlocutory issues presently in abeyance.
EAT Practice and Procedure : Bias, Misconduct and Procedural Irregularity – The Employment Tribunal made a single finding of unlawful race discrimination against the Respondent. It was, however, not open to the Employment Tribunal to make that finding having regard to the ET1 and the agreed issues. Appeal allowed.Court: EAT
EAT Unfair Dismissal : Compensation- Polkey deduction
An ET held that a dismissal (held subsequently, on appeal, to be by reason of redundancy) was unfair because of wholesale failings in respect of selection of the two claimants for dismissal. A conclusion that there was no evidence on which it could make a Polkey deduction, which was in any event two speculative, was overruled on earlier appeal, and the matter remitted to the ET. This was an appeal against a finding of 20% deduction for which no sufficient reasons had been given.
The appeal was allowed on ground of insufficiency of reasons, with observations made about the calculation of Polkey awards as part of the calculation of future loss.
At the invitation of the parties, the EAT assessed the appropriate deduction, on such evidence as there was, as being 33%.
SIC Scottish implementation of the LS/CMI risk assessment tool – Mr N asked the Scottish Ministers (the Ministers) for the information they held on the Scottish implementation of the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory risk assessment tool. The Ministers advised Mr N that the cost of complying with the request would exceed £600 and that they were therefore not obliged to comply.
Following an investigation, the Commissioner accepted that cost of complying with the request would exceed £600. While she found that the Ministers had failed to respond to Mr N’s requirement for review in time, she did not require the Ministers to take any action.
Challenge to jurisdition.Court: ComC
The claimant sought judicial review fo decisions:
‘i) The SSHD’s decision: a) to refuse to accept that the Claimant’s representations amounted to a fresh asylum/human rights claim per para 353 of the Immigration Rules and/or b) not to exercise her discretion under paragraph 353B to treat the Claimant’s case on an exceptional basis
ii) The SSHD’s decision to set removal directions in respect of the Claimant and to maintain those prior (it is alleged) to any or any proper and lawful consideration of representations. (The Claimant recognises that the order granting permission does not grant permission to challenge the decision to set removal directions in themselves. In addition the decision to set removal directions has long since passed and is now academic. If the claim fails then the SSHD will set new removal directions; if the claim succeeds the SSHD will not seek to remove pending the appeal.)
iii) The SSHD’s decision a) to refuse to accept the Claimant’s representations amounted to a fresh asylum/human rights claim, and b) the failure of the SSHD to exercise her discretion under paragraph 353B to treat the Claimant’s case on an exceptional basis.
The court was asked as to the setxent to which a trade mark holder could limit the use of similar logos by a competitor embroidering a near replica on items of clothing.
Held: In this case they did infringe.
Taxation – whether gaming or bettingCourt: UTTC
ECJ Appeal – Public contract awarded by the Commission – Rejection of the tender – Obligation to state the reasons on which the decision is based – Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 – Article 100(2) – Time-limit for replying to a request for information – Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 – Article 149(2)Court: ECJ
Where land had been acquired under the Act on trusts related specifically to the provision of education in accordance with a specified religion, the abandonment by the school of that purpose meant that the land reverted immediately to the original donor. It was clear that the trust established was not merely for educational purposes where the religious element was incidental. That element was the purpose of the gift.Court: ChD
Where an action was commenced before the new rules came into effect, but an application to strike out an action was issued and decided after they came into effect, that application could not be decided under the old rules. The new rules applied fundamentally different tests, and these tests had to be applied.Court: CA
An authority sending a young and inexperienced worker on a camping holiday with very limited provisions and no instruction, was partially responsible when she changed a gas canister near a lighted candle causing an explosion and fire and consequential injury. She might have known better, but the provision of candles implied that she was to use them.Court: CA
The protection of confidentiality could be granted to an idea only once it was particularised into a definite product or which was capable of being put into practice. In order to attract confidence an idea must (a) contain some significant element of originality; (b) be clearly identifiable (as an idea of the confider); (c) be of potential commercial attractiveness; and (d) be sufficiently well developed to be capable of actual realisation.Court: ChD
ECJ Right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States – Directive 2004/38/EC – Article 27 – Administrative prohibition on leaving the territory on account of failure to pay a debt owed to a private legal person – Principle of legal certainty with regard to administrative acts which have become final – Principles of equivalence and effectivenessCourt: ECJ
No exception to prohibition to action quanti minoris on sale and lease.Court: IHCS