Case Previews: R (Sandiford) v SSFCA, AIB Group v MRC, Les Laboratoires Servier v Apotex Inc and VB v Westminster Magistrates’ Court
13 Friday Jun 2014
R (Sandiford) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, heard 4 June 2014.
Court of Appeal judgment:  EWCA Civ 581
The appellant was convicted of drug trafficking offences in Indonesia and sentenced to death. The respondent has a strict policy not to provide legal funding in criminal proceedings abroad, notwithstanding the death penalty may apply. This Supreme Court will decide whether the respondent’s decision not to fund legal services for those facing criminal proceedings abroad, and especially in cases where the death penalty may be applied, is unlawful.
AIB Group (UK) plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors, heard 5 June 2014.
Court of Appeal judgment:  EWCA Civ 45
The appellant provided a loan to clients of the respondent in a re-mortgage transaction. The respondents held the loan funds on trust for the appellant pending completion. However, in error and breach of trust, they paid an incorrect amount to another company which also had a charge over the property. As a result, the appellant could not register a first charge over the property. The appellant claimed for reconstitution of the trust fund wrongly spent by the respondent in breach of trust. The Supreme Court will decide whether the appellant is entitled to compensation for the whole of the loan fund, or whether they can only recover their actual losses in all the circumstances.
Les Laboratoires Servier & Anor v Apotex Inc & Ors, heard 10 June 2014.
Court of Appeal judgment:  EWCA Civ 593
The Appellants, under a patent infringement action, had an injunction against the respondents to prevent them selling a pharmaceutical product in the UK. They gave a cross-undertaking of damages in return. The injunction was later discharged when the patent was held invalid. The respondent claimed damages for loss of sales against the cross-undertaking. The appellants argued they were protected by the defence of illegality as it transpired that the respondents manufactured the product in Canada in breach of another valid patent held there by the appellants.
The Court of Appeal held that the defence of illegality did not defeat the respondent’s claim for damages as they had acted honestly and reasonably, believing the patent to be invalid. However, they ordered that the damages payable should be reduced by the amount that they would have had to pay the appellants for manufacturing the medicine in breach of the Canadian patent.
The Supreme Court will decide whether the defence of illegality was available in this case.
VB v Westminster Magistrates’ Court and related appeals, heard 11 and 12 June 2014.
High Court judgment:  EWHC 889 (Admin)
The Government of Rwanda has requested the extradition of the appellants to stand trial for genocide and war crimes offences. The appellants fear an unfair trial if extradited to Rwanda. During extradition proceedings, the appellants sought to introduce evidence who were not willing to give evidence should that evidence be disclosed to the Government of Rwanda, as they feared for their safety. The judge held she could not receive private evidence.
The Supreme Court will decide whether a party to extradition proceedings may rely on evidence not disclosed to the other.