COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION (Administrative Court)
Mr Justice Sullivan
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE LAWS
LORD JUSTICE NEUBERGER
| THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF SINCLAIR INVESTMENTS (KENSINGTON) LIMITED
|- and -
|THE LANDS TRIBUNAL
MANUELA DA GRACA
1st Interested Party
2nd Interested Party
Mr Jonathan Karas (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) as Advocate to the Court
Hearing dates : 4th October 2005
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Neuberger :
"to maintain amend renew replace and at all times during the...term to keep in good and substantial repair cleansed and decorated the whole of the building...including...the roof structure and foundations...and to do all such acts matters and things as may in the lessor's reasonable discretion be necessary or advisable for the proper maintenance or administration...of the building".
"The conclusions of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal on the issues about which the applicant complains are ones which it reasonably could have reached. In the light of the submissions which have been made by the parties there are no reasonable grounds for concluding that the decision may have been wrong."
The relevant statutory provisions
Does section 3(4) of the 1949 Act preclude the application for judicial review?
The grounds upon which judicial review will be granted in cases such as this
"Nearly 50 years ago Denning LJ stated in R v- Medical Appeal Tribunal ex p Gilmore  1 QB 574 at 583 that 'the remedy by certiorari is never to be taken away by any statute except by the most clear and explicit words'. All the authorities to which we have been referred indicate that this remains true today".
"If the [IAT] errs in its evaluation of the prospects of success of an appeal as a result of an error of law which is apparent from its reasons, permission to claim judicial review may be granted. In reality, the application to claim judicial review comes close to being a renewed application for permission to appeal to the [IAT]."
"We do not consider that Judges of the Administrative Court should be required to devote time to considering applications for permission to claim judicial review on grounds such as these. They should dismiss them summarily in the exercise of their discretion. The ground for so doing is that Parliament has put in place an adequate system for reviewing the merits of decisions made by District Judges and it is not appropriate that there should be a further review of these by the High Court. This, we believe, reflects the intention of Parliament when enacting section 54(4) of the [Access to Justice Act]1999."
"It seems to us that the key finding made by Collins J was that, in the light of the two-tier tribunal system, statutory review was a satisfactory judicial process for the question that it was designed to address. This is the critical issue. Does the procedure as a whole carry a satisfactory assurance that the rights of those entitled to asylum will be upheld?"
"[T]here is a 'coherent statutory scheme' for dealing with disputes relating to service charges. It does not ensure that an LVT's decision will be 'reviewed' by a legally qualified judge, but that is not inconsistent with the underlying purpose of the scheme: to remove such disputes from the Courts, and dispose of them simply, expeditiously and inexpensively by a hearing before a specialist tribunal, the LVT, with a limited right of appeal to the Lands Tribunal."
Should judicial review be granted in this case?
"I have regard to the age, (over 150 years) and the design of the building. It has no damp-proof course. I bear in mind the limited interest of the tenant and the poor condition of the premises when the term started. It is common ground that it would be sensible to put in a damp-proof course. In my judgment, to require the tenant to insert a damp-proof course would be to require him to give back to the landlord a different thing from that [originally] demised to him The circumstances are very different from those involved in the consideration of the landlord's covenant in Elmcroft Developments."
The same view was taken by Hale LJ, who, in paragraph , said that the question of whether "admittedly sensible works fall within [a] particular repairing covenant" was "in every case a matter of fact and degree", depending also on the wording of the covenant in question.
Lord Justice Laws
Lord Justice Auld