James P Corey Transport Limited and Owen Jacobson and Belfast Harbour Commissioners

JurisdictionNorthern Ireland
Neutral Citation[2021] NICA 6
Date27 January 2021
CourtCourt of Appeal (Northern Ireland)
1
Neutral Citation No: [2021] NICA 6
Judgment: approved by the Court for handing down
(subject to editorial corrections)*
Ref: McC11399
Delivered: 27/01/2021
IN HER MAJESTY’S COURT OF APPEAL IN NORTHERN IRELAND
________
ON APPEAL BY CASE STATED FROM THE LANDS TRIBUNAL FOR
NORTHERN IRELAND
________
BETWEEN:
JAMES P COREY TRANSPORT LIMITED AND OWEN JACOBSON
Appellants;
and
BELFAST HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS
Respondent.
________
Before: McCloskey LJ, Maguire LJ and McFarland J
________
McCLOSKEY LJ (delivering the judgment of the Court)
Introduction
[1] On the second of two successive listings (26 November 2020 and 13 January
2021) and having heard the parties’ respective counsel on both occasions, th e court
enunciated its decision to determine these combined appeals by case stated by the
mechanism of full remittal to the Lands Tribunal for the purpose of de novo hearing
and determination, in the exercise of its power under section 38(1)(f) of the
Judicature (NI) Act 1978. In what follows we set out our reasons for so deciding.
[2] This judgment has the following appendices:
(a) Appendix 1: The order of this court dated 26 November 2020.
(b) Appendix 2: Transcript of this court’s decision and ruling on the same date.
2
The Underlying Proceedings
[3] Corey Transport Limited and Owen Jacobson (“the appellants”) are
commercial operators. Both occupied and carried on certain business operations
upon and from separate sites within the Belfast Harbour Estate owned by the Belfast
Harbour Commissioners (“the respondent”). The first appellant is in the business of
road haulage and the second manufactures modular buildings. It appears that they
carry out their respective businesses exclusively from the disputed premises. Their
occupation and use of the two different sites dates from circa 2005/2007.
[4] In 2018 the parties found themselves in dispute, triggered by the respondent’s
service of notices to quit stimulated by a plan to execute certain port re development
works. Both appellants refused to vacate their respective premises. On 4 June 2019
they initiated legal proceedings against the respondent by filing tenancy applications
under the business tenancies legislation with the Lands Tribunal (“the Tribunal”).
[5] While the evidence before this court does not include any initial directions or
orders of the Tribunal, it is evident from the papers that the Tribunal directed a
hearing on the preliminary issue of whether the appellants were tenants or licensees
of the respondent. This stimulated a joint statement of case on behalf of the
appellants and a replying statement of case on behalf of the respondent. Next there
was a hearing before the Tribunal. Evidence was given by each of the appellants and
by a director of the respondent. The parties were represented by counsel and the
Tribunal received submissions. The proceedings, from their inception, were
conducted by the professional member of the Tribunal. The decision of the Tribunal
was evidently reserved. The observation that the proceedings were conducted and
completed with commendable expedition is appropriate.
[6] By its written decision dated 18 February 2020 the Tribunal determined,
at [47]:
The Tribunal ………… finds both applicants to be licensees
and on that basis their Tenancy Applications are dismissed.
The Tribunal’s formal order, which is dated 18 May 2020 in both cases dismissed
each of the appellant’s tenancy applications and ordered that they pay the
respondent’s costs to be taxed in default of agreement.
The Two Cases Stated
[7] Next, in both cases the Tribunal was requested by the appellants to state a
case for the opinion of the Court of Appeal. The procedure adopted in each case was
the same. The appellants’ solicitors lodged with the Tribunal a document entitled
Case Stated by the Lands Tribunal”, in the following terms:

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1 cases
  • Lee Brown and Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Northern Ireland)
    • 31 d1 Janeiro d1 2022
    ...This principle has been reiterated most recently in James P Corey Transport Limited and Owen Jacobson v Belfast Harbour Commissioners [2021] NICA 6. Of course we note that these cases did not involve Convention rights. [63] In Director of Public Prosecutions v Ziegler and others [2021] UKSC......

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