Case Summaries: 4 November 2002
THE FOLLOWING notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.
Robinson v Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and ors ( UKHL 32); HL (Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett) 25 July 2002.
THE NORTHERN Ireland Assembly had power to make a valid election of a first minister even though the period of six weeks after the office had become vacant, prescribed under s 16(8) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, had expired. The six-week constraint had been introduced to preclude the possibility of indefinite deadlock, but there was no reason why Parliament should have intended to constrain the Assembly's power to elect otherwise than by subjecting it to the power and duty of the Secretary of State to intervene.
John Larkin QC, David Scoffield (McBurney & Co) for the appellant; Lord Goldsmith QC, Declan Morgan, Paul Maguire (Crown Solicitor, Northern Ireland) for the Secretary of State; Bernard McCloskey QC, Stephen Shaw (Departmental Solicitor) for the ministers.
Libel and slander
Kearns v General Council of the Bar; QBD (Eady J) 26 July 2002.
WHERE THERE was a common and corresponding interest between the publisher of information and its recipient, the communication attracted qualified privilege unless the publication was malicious. There was such an interest between the Bar Council, heads of chambers, senior clerks and practice managers, and communications between them were accordingly subject to qualified privilege. …