Archive for May, 2014

Judge Backs Reclusive Stroke Victim’s Family and Friends

A reclusive football supporter (BM), who became the focus of a legal dispute as he lay in a hospital bed after suffering a massive stroke, will have his financial affairs and property managed by a reliable cousin following a family judge’s ruling. Religion and football were the man’s only interests, but he had rarely left his home and had never been to see his favourite football team play due to the agoraphobia which had blighted his life. Since suffering a catastrophic brain haemorrhage, he had been in hospital, receiving 24-hour care. BM’s total assets, including his home and a bank account containing £138,000, came to over £400,000. There was no dispute that he lacked capacity to manage his own affairs and an issue therefore arose as to who should be appointed as BM’s deputy to perform that role for his benefit. A ... Read more

Family Judge Steps In to Save Suicidal Teenager’s Life

In a dramatic case that touched on the burning issue of whether individuals have the right to choose death over life, a family judge was called into action in the middle of the night to save the life of a teenage girl after she overdosed on paracetamol. The on-call judge had received an anguished call close to midnight from a solicitor representing an NHS Trust. The 17-year-old’s life was hanging by a thread as she ‘firmly resisted’ emergency treatment, saying that she was determined to die. Although she had a history of self-harm and mental illness, the judge was ‘not satisfied’ that she did not have capacity to choose for herself. However, he ruled that her right to life – enshrined in Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights – was paramount and opened the way for medics to ... Read more

Russian Consulate Divorce Invalid in UK

In a case which raised novel issues of international law in the context of divorce – and which resulted in a wife unwittingly entering into a bigamous marriage – the High Court has ruled that a Russian couple who divorced in their national consulate in London remained married under the laws of the United Kingdom. Following the breakdown of their childless relationship, the former couple attended the Russian consulate and obtained certificates of divorce. There was no dispute that they had been divorced in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation. The wife had subsequently re-married in America. The husband had planned to marry his fiancée in England before a question mark was raised as to his marital status. In consequence, she had to temporarily leave Britain. The former couple made common cause in seeking a declaration that they had been ... Read more

Guidance on Meaning of ‘Residence’ in Tax Context

In tackling the thorny issue of what does and does not constitute ‘residence’ in the context of tax, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has rejected a couple’s arguments that the sale of an investment property was free from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the basis that they lived in it as their only home for 25 days before selling it. The couple had lived in a five-bedroom home prior to disposing of it and moving into the flat, which they had owned for several years and which had previously been rented out to tenants. Contracts for the sale of the flat were exchanged eight days after they took up occupation and they moved out 16 days after that, when the sale was completed. The couple argued that the flat had, during their period of occupation, been their ‘only or main residence’ within ... Read more
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