Isobel 7It’s another busy week in the Supreme Court. On Monday 22 April 2013 the linked Northern Irish appeals of Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland v Elliott and Public Prosecution Service v McKee will be heard by a panel of five (L Neuberger, L Hale, L Mance, L Kerr and L Hughes). The appellants were convicted of theft, and the principal evidence against them related to fingerprints found at the crime scene, which matched fingerprints which were taken from the appellants on their arrest by the Livescan device. The Livescan device had not been approved by the Secretary of State as required by the relevant statutory provisions, but the evidence was held to be admissible against the appellants. The issue for the Supreme Court is whether fingerprint impressions taken by the Livescan fingerprinting device are admissible in evidence where the approval from the Secretary of State for use of that device was not in place, as required by the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 art 61(8)(b).

On Tuesday 23 April 2013 is the appeal of Cusack v London Borough of Harrow. The matter concerns a premises forecourt which was used as a car park for the respondent’s business, until the appellant borough decided the situation was dangerous for pedestrians and other road users, and erected barriers in order to prevent people parking there. At first instance and in the High Court it was held that the Council was entitled to do so pursuant to the Highways Act 1980 s 80, under which provision no compensation is payable to the respondent. The Court of Appeal reversed those decisions, holding that the appellant was required to use s 66 instead, a narrower provision aimed at improving public safety and under which compensation would be payable to the respondent. The Supreme Court will clarify the position of a local authority where there are two overlapping powers, and whether the local authority, having regard to financial savings, can choose which to invoke or whether it must use the narrower and most focused provision of the two.

In Courtroom 2 on Wednesday 24 April 2013 is the appeal of Vestergaard Frandsen A/S (now called mvf3 Apps) & Ors v Bestnet Europe Ltd & Ors. This involves a claim for misuse of confidential information – the respondents are ex-employees of the appellant company who went on to develop a competing product, which the appellant argues was developed from information contained on their database. The information was obtained via a third party, and the Court of Appeal held that it could not be shown that the respondents knew the information from the appellant’s database had been used to develop the product. It is for the Supreme Court to determine whether or not a party who is the subject of a duty of confidence must have actual or objective knowledge that the acts complained of constitute a breach of that duty.

On Wednesday 24 April 2013 the Supreme Court will hand down judgment in: Barts & the London NHS Trust v Verma, Uprichard v Scottish Ministers & Anor, and Salvesen & Ors  v The Lord Advocate.

There are three cases listed in the Privy Council this week: Laing v The Queen, a Bermudian appeal on Tuesday 23 April, Welch v The Attorney General, from Antigua and Barbuda, on Wednesday 24 April, and French v Public Prosecutor of the Central Department of Investigation and Prosecution in Lisbon on Thursday 25 April. No case details are currently available for these matters.

The following Supreme Court judgments remain outstanding:

R (Faulkner) v Secretary of State for Justice & Anor and R (Faulkner) v Secretary of State for Justice & The Parole Board, heard 19 – 21 November 2012.

Hayes v Willoughby, heard 17 January 2013.

WHA Ltd & Anor v HMRC, heard 21 – 24 January 2013.

SL v Westminster City Council, heard 28 – 29 January 2013.

The President of the Methodist Conference v Preston, heard 13 – 14 February 2013.

Ministry of Defence v Smith & Ors, heard 18 – 21 February 2013.

BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd & Ors v Neuberger Berman Europe Ltd (on behalf of Sealink Funding Ltd & Ors), BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd & Ors v Patron EMF S.A.R.L., and BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd & Ors v Eurosail-UK 2007- 3BL PLC, heard 25 – 26 February 2013.

In the Matter of B (a Child), heard 25 – 26 February 2013.

Benedetti v Sawiris & Ors, heard 26 – 28 February 2013.

Petrodel Resources Ltd & Ors v Prest, heard 5 – 6 March 2013.

R v Brown, heard 7 March 2013.

R (ClientEarth) v The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, heard 7 March 2013.

Futter & Anor v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and Pitt & Anor v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, heard 12 – 14 April 2013.

Abela & Ors v Baadarani, heard 10 – 11 April 2013.

Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs v Marks and Spencer PLC, heard 15 April 2013.

Booth v The Parole Board, Osborn v The Parole Board and In the matter of an application of Reilly for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland), heard 16 – 18 April 2013.