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Report No. 95

29. Should matters involving a point of law of general public importance leap-frog directly to the Supreme Court?

Under the (U.K.) Administration of Justice Act, 1969, appeals leap-frog direct to the House of Lords under certain circumstances. American Cyanamid Co. v. Upjohn Co., (1970) 3 All ER 785 a case concerning a petition for revocation of a patent was the first 'leap-frog' appeal heard by the House of Lords. Lord Denning in a recent case of A.C.T. Construction Ltd. v. Customs & Excise Commissioners, (1981) I WLR 49 (54) was dismayed at the prospect of different tribunals in U.K. giving different rulings as to whether under-pinning work which involved construction of additional foundation fell within the ordinary and natural meaning of the word 'maintenance' and wondered what Customs and Excise authorities should do when they are faced with conflicting decisions of various tribunals.

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