Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust was heard on 7 June 2018. This case is considering steels_becky-311x288whether non-clinically trained reception staff at an A&E department owed a tortious duty of care to the appellant to provide him with accurate information regarding waiting times. This matter arose where the appellant received a blow to the head but was told by the A&E receptionist that waiting times to be seen would be 4 to 5 hours when in fact a triage nurse would have seen the appellant within 30 minutes to assess how quickly he needed to be seen by a doctor. As a result of this information the appellant returned home where his condition deteriorated and he suffered permanent brain damage, and he is now seeking damages for negligence from the NHS Trust.

Barnardo’s v Buckinghamshire & Ors was heard on 11 June 2018. This appeal is considering the proper construction of terms of a Pension Scheme. The appellant employer asked the respondent Trustees to substitute the Consumer Price Index in the pension scheme, replacing the previously used Retail Prices Index as this would reduce the deficit in the pension scheme, though would also significantly reduce future increases in pensions payable to pensioners. The case went to the Supreme Court to determine whether the Trustees have the power to do so, with the lower courts finding that they do not.

Nottingham City Council v Parr & Anor was heard on 13 June 2018. This case is considering whether the provision empowering a local authority licensing a house in multiple occupation to impose conditions regulating the use or occupation of the house under the Housing Act 2004, s 67, includes the power to limit the category of person for whom the house in multiple occupation is suitable. This question arose in light of the facts present in this case where the appellant local authority contends that the legislation does not permit the respondents to specify the use of rooms could only be by students, as it argued that setting conditions by reference to an occupier’s personal characteristics is unclear, unworkable and so unenforceable.

In the matter of an application by Geraldine Finucane for Judicial Review (NI) was heard on 26 and 27 June 2018. This appeal is considering whether the respondent Secretary of State’s decision to appoint Sir Desmond de Silva to conduct a review into Patrick Finucane’s murder rather than to hold a public inquiry was taken in accordance with the stated decision making process, whether the appellant had a legitimate expectation that a public inquiry would be established, and whether the failure to establish one is compatible with ECHR, art 2. This followed the murder of Patrick Finucane by an illegal paramilitary group which targeted him as it targeted suspected republican terrorists, despite Mr Finucane having no terrorist connections, and the State knew of the plan to murder him and either took no action to prevent this or was complicit.

Warner v Scapa Flow Charters (Scotland) was heard on 28 June 2018. This case is considering whether the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, s 18(3) operates as a ‘suspension or interruption’ to a claim made under art 16 of the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974. This matter arose as the respondent’s husband died in a diving accident due to the failure of the appellants to take reasonable care, but the appellants claim her action for damages is time-barred under the Athens Convention.

Dooneen Ltd (t/a McGuines Associates) & Anor v Mond (Scotland) was heard on 3 July 2018. This appeal is considering the construction of the expression ‘final distribution’ in a voluntary trust deed for creditors. In this case the appellant granted a trust deed for his creditors under which the final distribution of the estate would terminate the trust deed. He made a distribution to the creditors under the trust deed, declaring it to be a ‘first and final dividend’. However at this point he was not aware that vested in him as trustee was a right of action against the Bank of Scotland in relation to PPI policies which had been mis-sold to the second respondent. Upon becoming aware of this he received a compensation payment as a trustee. However the respondents have contended that, because the appellant was not aware of the compensation assets at the time of his earlier dividend, this was the final distribution and therefore the trust was terminated, meaning the right to compensation vested in the second respondent.

Regency Villas Title Ltd & Ors v Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd & Ors was heard on 4 and 5 July 2018. This case is considering the correct approach to the requirement that to qualify as an easement a right must provide ‘utility and benefit’ in the use of the dominant land, in particular where the right is to recreation which is enjoyed in a self-contained way on the servient land. This arose as a transfer was made in 1981 and it is now unclear whether this granted the respondents easements to use the gardens and sporting and recreational facilities on the appellants’ land, or only personal rights to do so. This matters as easements can be transferred to third parties, whilst personal rights are incapable of being so transferred. The Court of Appeal held that the majority of the transfers were easements but that facilities which were built after the time of the 1981 transfer were not included, and this decision is now being appealed and cross-appealed by both sides.

OWD Ltd trading as Birmingham Cash & Carry (in liquidation) & Anor v Commissioners for HMRC (expedited) was heard on 12 June 2018. This case is considering whether, where HMRC have identified the appellants as unfit to continue to operate as alcohol wholesalers due to the new Part 6A to the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979, HMRC nonetheless have the power to allow them to continue to trade lawfully pending the outcome of a court appeal against the decision as without such a temporary measure, the businesses would fail before the court appeal could be heard. The case is also considering whether the High Court is entitled to grant such interim relief to enable the appellants to continue trading lawfully pending the court appeal outcome.

R (DA & Ors) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (expedited) was heard on 17 until 19 July 2018. This appeal is brought by three lone parents who have two children under the age of two. It is considering whether the application of the revised benefit cap, introduced by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, s 8, to lone parents with children under the age of two unlawfully discriminates against the parents and/or the children contrary to ECHR, art 14, read with art 8 and/or art 2 of the First Protocol, and the UK’s international obligations under the UNCRC, art 3. It also considers whether the application is irrational. Whilst the High Court found in favour of the lone parents when they sought judicial review, the Court of Appeal reversed this finding, leading the appellants to bring the case to the Supreme Court.

The UK Withdrawal from the EU (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill (expedited) was heard on 24 and 25 July 2018. This matter is considering whether the legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament is within the devolved legislative powers. It was referred to the Supreme Court by the UK Government’s Law Officers, the Attorney General and the Advocate General for Scotland.

Cases in which judgment has already been handed down or there is or is going to be a longer Preview are not included in the above summary.