Law Report: Case Summaries

The Independent (London, England), May 2, 1994 | Go to article overview
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Law Report: Case Summaries


The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Adoption

Re S (a minor); CA (Staughton, Waite, Peter Gibson LJJ); 21 April 1994.

The court's power to impose a condition on the making of an adoption order should be exercised very rarely. Although a judge was fully entitled to be troubled by a degree of medical risk involved where the adopting parents were Jehovah's Witnesses, a condition that they would not withhold consent to a blood transfusion was not necessary in the interests of the child, in view of the procedures available to doctors in an urgent situation or by way of specific issue order under the Children Act 1989. In a case where such sensitive and problematic issues arose and where the only party represented was the applicant, the appointment of a guardian ad litem under r 18 of the Adoption Rules was called for.

Vear Mayer (Wilford McBain, Brixton) for the appellants; Robin Spon-Smith, amicus curiae.

Contract

Bovis Homes Ltd v Oakcliff Investment Corpn & anr; ChD (Harman J); 30 March 1994.

In considering whether time was of the essence of a term in a contract, so that breach of it amounted to repudiation, the court must bear in mind the nature of the obligation imposed by the term. If the term required a single act to be done, it was easier to conclude that the time for doing it might be of the essence of the term. But where one sub-clause contained a continuous series of stipulations, requiring a builder not only to "complete the development works within three years" but also to do so "in a substantial and workmanlike manner", "with materials of good quality" and "in conformity with the provisions" of planning approvals, statute and the applicable byelaws, so that breaches of the clause could occur in many different ways wholly unrelated to time, then it would not be correct to treat the time stipulation as a separate obligation, breach of which would have entirely different consequences from those resulting from breach of the other parts of the clause.

Kim Lewison QC and R Stewart (Masons) for the plaintiff; Leolin Price QC and Shan Warnock-Smith (Blakes) for the defendants.

Immigration

R v Home Secretary, ex p Teame; CA (Staughton, Hoffmann LJJ, Sir Roger Parker); 25 March 1994.

The existence of a court order for residence or wardship, or an application for such an order under the Children Act 1989, did not preclude the Home Secretary from making a deportation order under the Immigration Act 1971 in respect of the person with whom the child had been ordered to reside and the deportation or removal of such a person could not, therefore, amount to contempt of court.

Elizabeth Szwed (Jane Coker & Ptrs, Tottenham) for the Chimren Act applicant; Richard Scannell (Jane Coker & Ptrs) for the judicial review applicant; Vera Mayer (Goodman Ray, Hackney) for the applicant's sister; Nicholas Carden (Official Solicitor) for the guardian ad litem; Steven Kovats (Treasury Solicitor) for the Home Secretary.

Crime

R v Redman; CA (Cr Div) (Russell LJ, Alliott J, Sir Tasker Watkins); 18 April 1994.

A trial judge erred in summing up the case on a different basis from that put forward in argument and in declining to add to the summing up after the matter was drawn to his attention by counsel.

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