leading cases

Florsheim Shoe Company v Cameron (1944) LRBG 77

Mr Justice (Acting) Edgar Mortimer Duke held that upon registration of a trade mark in Part C in the United Kingdom, the registration has the effect as if it were registered in British Guiana on the date of its registration in the United Kingdom.

This was the first decision which decided this issue and it is still regularly applied by the Registrar of Deeds.

Rose v Hanoman (1957) LRBG 25

The issue in this case related to a servitude for the grazing of cows, an issue of much importance at that time and continues to be.

The West Indian Court of Appeal held that where a servitude is mentioned on the transport of the dominant tenement and is absent from the transport of the servient tenement the servitude is valid provided the owner of the servient tenement had notice of the existence of the servitude in favour of the dominant tenement.

Attorney-General v McDoom and Others (1960) 2 WIR 373

The Federal Supreme Court – Civil Appellate Jurisdiction held that a licence of Crown Lands granted during Her Majesty’s Pleasure conferred an interest in land and is terminable for cause only. This case settled the issue of the nature of the licences and the meaning of ‘during Her Majesty’s Pleasure.’

British West Indian Airways v Bart (1966) 11 WIR 378

This is an important case which determined the respective rights of a carrier, a consignor and the party on whose behalf the consignor had acted. It also dealt with the status of the consignor’s customer as a sub-bailee entitled to sue BWIA, the exemption clause in the consignment note fundamental breach, privity of contract and damages. These wide ranging issues make this one of the most important cases dealt with by the Guyana Court of Appeal. This case was reported in Lloyd’s Law Reports and has been referred to in a number of English cases (Chancery Division in 1984; Queens Bench Division in 1989; Court of Appeal in 2001 and 2003).

Peter Persaud and Others v Pln Versailles & Schoon Ord Ltd (1970) 17 WIR 107

This case applied the principle of unjust enrichment while controversy was still raging in England as to whether such a principle existed or could be derived from the decision of Lord Mansfield in the 1760 English case, Moses v Macferlan. The Guyana Court of Appeal held that notwithstanding any controversy as to the existence of the principle in England, the Guyana Court of Appeal would hold that the principle applied in Guyana, as Chancellor Bollers said:

It is clear that controversy exists amongst the judges in England as to whether the principle of unjust benefit or unjust enrichment exists in the English law or not, and whether this principle which was derived from the genius of Lord Mansfield, as set forth by him in the case of Moses v Macferlan ((1760), 2 Burr 1005, 1 Wm Bl 219, 97 ER 676, 35 Digest (Repl) 167, 536), should find its place in English jurisprudence. But whether this is so or not, as I said on another occasion, as this country has now achieved the status of complete independence, we judges will no longer consider ourselves hidebound by English decisions, but with mature judgment in appropriate cases will strike out on our own and mould the common law to suit the needs of our ever-changing society.

This principle was not established in England until 21 years later in the House of Lords decision of Lipkin Gorman v Karpnale [1992] 4 All ER 512

Badri Persaud v Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd (1981) 31 WIR 196

The Court of Appeal that the limitation period for a claim for a liquidated sum under an insurance policy is six years under section 3 of the Limitation Act which specifies this period for ‘any bill of exchange, promissory note, or other writing not relating to lands or immovable property or the produce thereof...’. The Court held that the expression ‘other writing’ does not fall to be construed ejusdem generis, or in the same genre, with the words ‘bill of exchange, promissory note’.