Supreme Court turns back on procedural appeals – Litigation Futures

‘The Supreme Court is not keen to entertain appeals on procedural points, its annual report has indicated. It handled 23 permissions to appeal (PTA) applications in relation to procedure in the year to 31 March 2019 – far more than any other category of law – and only granted permission in one of them.’

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Litigation Futures, 11th June 2019


Lady Hale gives the Michael Ryle Lecture at the House of Lords, London – Supreme Court

‘Should the Law Lords have left the House of Lords?’

Full speech

Supreme Court, 14th November 2018


Trinidad judge loses bid to halt legal inquiry into his private life – The Guardian

‘Judges in London have dismissed an attempt by the chief justice of Trinidad and Tobago to halt a legal investigation into his private life and alleged business dealings.’

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The Guardian, 16th August 2018


The history and importance of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council – OUP Blog

Posted June 8th, 2018 in legal history, news, Privy Council by sally

‘The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) signifies different things to different people. It is both a court and an advisory body. It rules on disputes ranging from the personal, such as the inheritance of a hereditary title amid accusations of historic infidelity, to those of great public importance, such as the validity of elections, or significant commercially, such as the ownership or control of Turkey’s largest mobile phone company. It renders advice to a Queen and a Sultan and sits as the final court for 30 overseas jurisdictions, including three republics. It is at the same time an anachronism and a functioning part of many modern systems of justice. For some it is a hanging court, and for others an upholder of human rights.’

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OUP Blog, 4th June 2018


Trinidad waits on British judges’ death row ruling as murders soar – The Guardian

Posted January 15th, 2018 in appeals, death penalty, jurisdiction, news, Privy Council, Trinidad & Tobago by sally

‘Five British judges will this week consider whether a prisoner who may be mentally ill should remain on death row after a Caribbean court convicted him of murdering another inmate.’

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The Guardian, 15th January 2018


Privy Council: ‘fairness’ central to whether evidence must be put to party at trial –

Posted August 21st, 2017 in cohabitation, cross-examination, evidence, news, Privy Council, shareholders by sally

‘The question of whether a case will fall if a judge rejects a party’s evidence on grounds which that party has not had a chance to explain during the trial should be based on whether the overall trial is fair, senior UK judges have indicated.’

Full Story, 18th August 2017


McPhee v The Queen – WLR Daily

McPhee v The Queen [2016] UKPC 29

‘The defendant, a 17-year-old from Nassau, was arrested on a neighbouring island of The Bahamas on suspicion of murder following an armed robbery. He gave his mother’s phone number in Nassau to the police but no contact with her was established and no lawyer was called. After more than 31 hours in custody, during which time the custody log showed he had been taken from his cell several times but without any record made of his being questioned, a church minister in his mid-seventies was asked to come to the police station to witness the defendant make a statement. The minister did not speak to the defendant alone nor offer him any advice, but observed that the defendant was hungry and gave the police money to buy him a meal, after which the defendant made a written statement under caution confessing to the murder. Apart from the confession the only evidence against the defendant was that of another defendant who became a prosecution witness during the trial. At trial, the defendant claimed that his statement had been made following torture and so was not admissible. The judge rejected the claim of torture but did not consider whether the taking of the defendant from his cells had been for the purpose of informal interrogation, or whether the minister could properly be said to have been acting as an “appropriate adult” for the witnessing of a juvenile’s confession, and allowed the confession to go before the jury. The defendant was convicted of murder. The conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The defendant appealed to the Privy Council on the grounds, inter alia, that the confession should have been excluded under section 20 of the Bahamas Evidence Act as being unreliable, by reason of the defendant having been subjected to unrecorded questioning in the absence of a lawyer or appropriate adult and in any event should have been excluded as unfair under section 178 of the Bahamas Evidence Act.’

WLR Daily, 24th October 2016


Supreme Court upholds right to claim against ‘malicious’ civil cases –

Posted July 29th, 2016 in costs, malicious prosecution, news, precedent, Privy Council, Supreme Court by tracey

‘Private individuals should have the right to bring a claim against another on the grounds that that person sued them in the civil courts with “unnecessary malice”, the UK’s highest court has ruled.’

Full story, 27th July 2016


Accountant wins legal claim to baronetcy in ‘cuckoo in the nest’ case that could challenge the British class system – Daily Telegraph

Posted June 21st, 2016 in DNA, news, peerages & dignities, Privy Council, time limits by sally

‘A retired accountant from Buckinghamshire is to be made a baronet in a landmark ruling set to shake the foundations of the British system of hereditary titles by opening them up to challenge through DNA tests for the first time.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 20th June 2016


UK judges to rule on death penalties for ‘intellectually disabled’ – The Guardian

‘The fate of two Trinidadian prisoners, both of whom have been condemned to death despite having extremely low IQs, will be decided by British judges this week.’

Full story

The Guardian, 15th May 2016


Material Contribution and Williams – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted March 22nd, 2016 in appeals, medical treatment, negligence, news, Privy Council by sally

‘On 25 January 2016 the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council handed down judgment in the case of Williams v The Bermuda Hospitals Board [2016] UKPC 4, the most recent reported decision regarding material contribution in clinical negligence cases. While not binding in domestic courts the case is highly persuasive authority.’

Full story

Hardwicke Chambers, 8th March 2016


Higher education reform much-needed, but government must take time to get the framework right, says expert –

‘Reforming higher education in England is both long overdue, and vitally needed to protect the sector’s hard-won reputation.’

Full story, 15th January 2016


When does the clock start ticking? Limitation and the Privy Council case of Maharaj v Johnson – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted December 9th, 2015 in contracts, limitations, negligence, news, Privy Council by sally

‘The majority of claims against professionals are framed in contract, the tort of negligence, or a combination of both. As readers of this article will be aware, the Limitation Act 1980 provides the same limitation period for both causes of action: “six years from the date on which the case of action arose.” But readers will also know that those periods frequently begin (and more importantly end) on different dates. This is because a breach of contract is actionable per se, i.e. without the need to prove damage, where as a claim in negligence requires proof of damage, which will often occur some time after the breach of duty, which is said to have caused it. For this reason many claims which are out of time for a claim in contract, are nevertheless in time for a claim in the tort of negligence.’

Full story

Hardwicke Chambers, 2nd December 2015


Senior British judges decide if DNA evidence can ‘uncover affair’ and settle Scottish hereditary title dispute – Daily Telegraph

‘Norman Murray Pringle, an accountant living in High Wycombe, is attempting to prove his aristocratic entitlement as the next baronet of Stichill.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 25th November 2015


The right to a fair trial: part two – OUP Blog

Posted November 10th, 2015 in death penalty, freedom of expression, human rights, news, Privy Council, trials by sally

‘Human rights law has had a long and tortuous history in the UK, defined by some of the most fascinating cases in legal memory.’

Full story

OUP Blog, 10th November 2015


Courts likely to look for evidence that journalists have verified alleged defamatory statements, says expert –

Posted October 16th, 2015 in defamation, evidence, media, news, Privy Council, public interest by sally

‘Journalists seeking to rely on the new ‘public interest’ defence to a claim of defamation will still have to be able to prove that they have taken steps to verify the accuracy of what they have published, an expert has said.’

Full story, 15th October 2015


Queen intervenes to settle title feud opening way to title pretenders – Daily Telegraph

Posted October 12th, 2015 in DNA, evidence, news, peerages & dignities, precedent, Privy Council by tracey

‘DNA evidence could be used for the first time to resolve a feud over a hereditary title after the Queen personally intervened in the case.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 11th October 2015


‘Broader interest of justice’ can trump parties’ duty of candour in judicial review cases, says Privy Council –

Posted June 22nd, 2015 in appeals, costs, disclosure, gambling, judicial review, licensing, news, Privy Council by tracey

‘Courts should not dismiss an application for judicial review solely on the grounds that one party has not complied with its duty to disclose all necessary facts and issues if doing so would not be in the interests of justice, one of the UK’s highest courts has ruled.’

Full story, 19th June 2015


Brantley and others v Constituency Boundaries Commission and others – WLR Daily

Posted May 21st, 2015 in boundaries, constitutional law, elections, law reports, Privy Council by sally

Brantley and others v Constituency Boundaries Commission and others [2015] UKPC 21; [2015] WLR (D) 209

‘A proclamation signed by the Governor General authorising alteration of the constituency boundaries in the territories of St Christopher and Nevis was made, under section 119 of the Constitution, when it was published in the Official Gazette; and it came into force, pursuant to section 50(6) of the Constitution, on the next dissolution of Parliament after it was made. Therefore, where the Governor General had dissolved Parliament with effect from 16 January 2015 and fixed the election date for 16 February 2015, and, by proclamation published in the Official Gazette on 20 January, authorised alteration of the constituency boundaries, the proclamation, having been made after the dissolution of Parliament, if valid only came into force on the dissolution of the Parliament elected in February 2015 and did not govern the 2015 election.’

WLR Daily, 11th May 2015


Nilon Limited v Royal Westminster Investments – Privy Council – claims involving BVI companies – 11 Stone Buildings

Posted March 17th, 2015 in appeals, choice of forum, foreign companies, jurisdiction, news, Privy Council by sally

‘The Privy Council decision in Nilon Limited v Royal Westminster Investments₁ has put the brakes on the expanding jurisdiction of the BVI Courts over claims involving BVI companies, and reiterated the need for a common sense approach to forum conveniens. Peter Head considers the decision.’

Full story (PDF)

11 Stone Buildings, February 2014