Misfeasance in Public Office in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Jones v Swansea City Council
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 03 Marzo 1989

    The essence of the tort, as I understand it, is that someone holding public office has misconducted himself by purporting to exercise powers which were conferred on him not for his personal advantage but for the benefit of the public or a section of the public, either with intent to injure another or in the knowledge that he was acting ultra vires. It is the abuse of a public office which gives rise to the tort.

  • Three Rivers District Council v Governor and Company of the Bank of England (No. 3)
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Marzo 2001

    The rationale of the tort is that in a legal system based on the rule of law executive or administrative power "may be exercised only for the public good" and not for ulterior and improper purposes: Jones v. Swansea City Council [1990] 1 W.L.R. 54, 85F, per Nourse L.J.; a decision reversed on the facts but not on the law by the House of Lords: [1990] 1 W.L.R. 1453, at 1458.

    This type of case involves bad faith in the sense of the exercise of public power for an improper or ulterior motive. The second form is where a public officer acts knowing that he has no power to do the act complained of and that the act will probably injure the plaintiff. It involves bad faith inasmuch as the public officer does not have an honest belief that his act is lawful.

  • Bourgoin S.A. v Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 29 Julio 1985

    If an act is done deliberately and with knowledge of its consequences, I do not think that actor can sensibly say that he did not "intend" the consequences or that the act was not "aimed" at the person who, it is known, will suffer them.

  • R v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison and Others, ex parte Hague ; Weldon v Home Office
    • House of Lords
    • 24 Julio 1991

    This consideration also leads to the conclusion that a prison officer who acts in bad faith by deliberately subjecting a prisoner to a restraint which he knows he has no authority to impose may render himself personally liable to an action for false imprisonment as well as committing the tort of misfeasance in public office. Lacking the authority of the governor, he also lacks the protection of section 12(1).

  • Ashley v Chief Constable of Sussex Police
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 27 Julio 2006

    As to the first part, the respondent admitted negligence and false imprisonment and the judge accordingly gave judgment for the appellants on those claims as appropriate, with damages to be assessed. The respondent denied battery and misfeasance in public office. The judge struck out the claim for misfeasance in public office under CPR 3.4. She also gave summary judgment for the respondent under CPR 24 in respect of both the claim for battery and the claim for misfeasance in public office.

  • Darker and Others v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police
    • House of Lords
    • 27 Julio 2000

    But there is a crucial difference between statements made by police officers prior to giving evidence and things said or done in the ordinary course of preparing reports for use in evidence, where the functions that they are performing can be said to be those of witnesses or potential witnesses as they are related directly to what requires to be done to enable them to give evidence, and their conduct at earlier stages in the case when they are performing their functions as enforcers of the law or as investigators.

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Legislation
  • Immigration Act 2016
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2016
    ...... provision about language requirements for public sector workers; to make provision about fees for ... . (2) The Director is to hold office in accordance with the terms of his or her ... review or the tort of negligence or misfeasance in public office, arising out of anything done or ......
  • The Waste Enforcement (England and Wales) Regulations 2018
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2018
    ...... (b) (b) the tort of negligence or misfeasance in public office. . (2) Subsection (1) does not ......
  • Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011
    • Northern Ireland
    • 1 de Enero de 2011
    ...... closure is necessary in the interests of public safety. . . (2) A closure order is an order ... review, the tort of negligence or misfeasance in public office. . Interpretation . ......
  • Bankruptcy Act 1869
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1869
    ......a creditor or not, to fill the office of trustee of the. property of the bankrupt, at ...subject to such adjourned public examination as the Court may. direct. He shall ...misfeasance, neglect, or omission which may appear on such. ......
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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
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