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Court: Supreme Court

Supreme Court dismisses appeal concerning its role in governing the award of costs in lower courts

R (on the application of Gourlay) v Parole Board [2020] UKSC 50

The Supreme Court has dismissed this appeal concerning the application of the rule in  R (Davies) v Birmingham Deputy Coroner [2004] EWCA Civ 207, whereby courts and court-like bodies that do not actively engage in civil proceedings brought against them can avoid a costs liability. The appellants advanced a number of arguments concerning the inappropriateness of […]

Supreme Court holds that balance of probabilities is standard of proof for suicide inquest proceedings

R (on the application of Maughan) v Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2020] UKSC 46

James Maughan, the appellant’s brother, was a prisoner held in HMP Bullingdon. In July 2016, James Maughan was found hanging in his cell. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. At the subsequent inquest into his death, the respondent invited the jury to consider a narrative verdict to the effect that James Maughan committed suicide on […]

Supreme Court gives judgment on landmark Interchange Fee appeals

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v Visa Europe Services LLC & Ors [2020] UKSC 24

The UK Supreme Court has dismissed Mastercard’s and Visa’s appeals against the Court of Appeal’s finding that the first instance courts were bound by the Mastercard judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU to find that the multi-lateral interchange fees (MIFs) at issue in the domestic litigation restricted competition on the acquirer market. […]

Supreme Court refers case to CJEU for advice on Principle VAT Directive meaning

Zipvit Ltd v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2020] UKSC 15

The case concerned whether Zipvit, a trader selling vitamins and minerals by mail order, is entitled when accounting for VAT on its sales to make deductions of input VAT (the tax paid by the trader on goods and services purchased in connection with its business, as opposed to output VAT, which is the tax charged to the consumer by the trader on its goods or services) in respect of the price of postal services supplied to it by Royal Mail.
Zipvit claimed that under the Principal VAT Directive (2006/112/EC), article 168(a) it is entitled to deduct as input VAT the VAT due in respect of supplies or a VAT element deemed by law to be included in the price paid to Royal Mail for each supply. HMRC contended that on the proper interpretation of the Directive: (a) there was no VAT due or paid for the purposes of the Directive; and/or (b) since Zipvit at no point held invoices which showed that VAT was due and its amount, in compliance with the Directive, article 226(9) and (10) Zipvit is not entitled to recover input tax.
The Supreme Court unanimously decided that the legal position under the Directive is not clear. It held that it is common ground that at this stage in the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, in a case involving an issue of EU law which is unclear, the Supreme Court is obliged to refer that issue to the CJEU to obtain its advice on the point. Therefore, the Supreme Court made an order for a reference and set out the questions for the CJEU.

Sharing evidence with the US without death penalty assurances unlawful

Elgizouli (AP) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] UKSC 10

The appellant’s son is alleged to have been one of a group of terrorists operating in Syria, involved in the murder of US and British citizens. In 2015, the US made a mutual legal assistance request to the UK in relation to an investigation into the activities of that group. The Home Secretary requested an […]