Constitution in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Doody ; R v Same, ex parte Pierson ; R v Same, ex parte Smart ; R v Same, ex parte Pegg
    • House of Lords
    • 24 Jun 1993

    Fairness will very often require that a person who may be adversely affected by the decision will have an opportunity to make representations on his own behalf either before the decision is taken with a view to producing a favourable result: or after it is taken, with a view to procuring its modification; or both.

  • Pepper (Inspector of Taxes) v Hart
    • House of Lords
    • 26 Nov 1992

    The days have long passed when the courts adopted a strict constructionist view of interpretation which required them to adopt the literal meaning of the language. The courts now adopt a purposive approach which seeks to give effect to the true purpose of legislation and are prepared to look at much extraneous material that bears upon the background against which the legislation was enacted.

  • R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Simms
    • House of Lords
    • 08 Jul 1999

    Fundamental rights cannot be overridden by general or ambiguous words. This is because there is too great a risk that the full implications of their unqualified meaning may have passed unnoticed in the democratic process. In the absence of express language or necessary implication to the contrary, the courts therefore presume that even the most general words were intended to be subject to the basic rights of the individual.

  • Anisminic Ltd v Foreign Compensation Commission
    • House of Lords
    • 17 Dec 1968

    But there are many cases where, although the tribunal had jurisdiction to enter on the enquiry, it has done or failed to do something in the course of the enquiry which is of such a nature that its decision is a nullity. It may in perfect good faith have misconstrued the provisions giving it power to act so that it failed to deal with the question remitted to it and decided some question which was not remitted to it.

  • Woolmington v DPP
    • House of Lords
    • 05 Apr 1935

    Throughout the web of the English Criminal Law one golden thread is always to be seen that it is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoner's guilt subject to what I have already said as to the defence of insanity and subject also to any statutory exception. No matter what the charge or where the trial, the principle that the prosecution must prove the guilt of the prisoner is part of the common law of England and no attempt to whittle it down can be entertained.

  • Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Nov 1984

    By "irrationality" I mean what can by now be succinctly referred to as "Wednesbury unreasonableness" ( Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd. v. Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 K.B. 223). It applies to a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it.

  • Brown v Stott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline)
    • Privy Council
    • 05 Dec 2000

    The jurisprudence of the European Court very clearly establishes that while the overall fairness of a criminal trial cannot be compromised, the constituent rights comprised, whether expressly or implicitly, within article 6 are not themselves absolute. Limited qualification of these rights is acceptable if reasonably directed by national authorities towards a clear and proper public objective and if representing no greater qualification than the situation calls for.

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