Baron v Sunderland Corporation

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date10 December 1965
Judgment citation (vLex)[1965] EWCA Civ J1210-1
CourtCourt of Appeal
Date10 December 1965

[1965] EWCA Civ J1210-1

In The Supreme Court of Judicature

Court of Appeal

(From: His Honour Judge Sharp - Sunderland County Court)


Lord Justice Davies

Lord Justice Russell and

Lord Justice Salmon

Frederick Baron
County Borough of Sunderland

Mr. NEIL McKINNON. Q. C. and Mr. RODNEY BAX (instructed by Messrs. craigen, Wilders & Sorrell, London, N.22) appeared on behalf of the Appellant (plaintiff).

Mr. R. A. PERCY (instructed by Messrs. Sharpe, Pritchard & Co., Agents for Mr. J. Storey, Town Clerk, Sunderland) appeared on behalf of the Respondents (Defendants).


(without calling upon Counsel for the Appellant to reply)


This is an appeal from an order of Judge Sharp, sitting at Sunderland County Court on the 17th June, 1965, when he stayed the plaintiff's action under section 4 of the Arbitration Act on the ground that there was a valid submission to arbitration of the dispute between the parties. The application had been refused by the Registrar, but the Judge reversed the Registrar's decision and, as I say, stayed the action.


The action was one commenced on the 22nd April of this year by Mr. Baron, the plaintiff, who is a schoolmaster in the employ of the Sunderland Borough Council, for £135. His claim, put shortly, was this. He said that under the Burnham Scale he was entitled to an annual increment of his fixed salary of £60 a year; the £135 was for a period of just over two years. He said that he was a qualified teacher of the blind and he had been teaching deaf" and partially deaf children and so he was entitled to this increment.


It is necessary, I think, that I should quite shortly refer to two statutory instruments and to a paragraph of the Burnham Scale. The first statutory instrument to which we were referred is No. 2361 of 1961. The instrument refers to the Burnham Report, and article 3 provides as follows: "In respect of any period after 31st December, 1961, the remuneration paid to full-time teachers in Primary and Secondary schools maintained by Local education Authorities shall be in accordance with the scales contained in the above-mentioned Report". Then article 4: "A Committee of Reference shall be constituted to which questions of interpretation of the Report may be referred, as therein provided".


That statutory instrument was revoked in 1963 and the relevant article in force thereafter is article 3 (l) of Statutory Instrument No. 1234: "With effect from 1st April, 1963. the remuneration payable to full-time teachers in Primaryand Secondary schools maintained by Local Education Authorities shall, subject to the provisions of this Order, be determined in accordance with the scales and other provisions contained in the Report as amended by the Schedule to this Order, and Local Education Authorities shall pay to such teachers remuneration so determined".


There is no express reference in that statutory instrument of 1963 to the Committee which was set up. But it docs obviously in its terms include all the provisions of the Burnham Report.


Now one need not, I think, look at Section "C" of the Burnham Report, which deals with the various increases in salary which may be allowed, and one may turn right away to Section "V", "Committee of Reference". "There shall be appointed a Joint Committee of Reference, consisting of ten members nominated by the representatives of local education authorities on the Burnham Committee and ten members nominated by the representatives of the Teachers, and the Honorary Secretaries" — that is, of the main Burnham Committee — "ex officio". That is the constitution of the Committee — ten representatives of the local education authorities, ten representatives of the teachers, and the ex officio Honorary Secretaries. Now these are the important words: "…. any question relating to the interpretation of the provisions of this Report brought forward by a Local Education Authority acting through the Authoritie's Panel or by any association of teachers acting through the Teacher's Panel or by consent of the Chairman of the Burnham Committee shall be considered and determined by the Joint Committee".


What was said before the County Court judge on behalf of the defendants here was that that was an arbitration clause to which the plaintiff, as consenting to the terms of his contract, and the defendants, as his employers, were parties and by which they were bound. It was on that ground that the learned judge stayed the action.


It seems to me that that is about as unlike an arbitrationclause as anything one could imagine. It is necessary in an arbitration clause that each party shall agree to refer disputes to arbitration; and it is an essential ingredient in that that either party may in the event of a dispute arising refer it in the provided manner to arbitration. In other words, the clause must give bilateral rights of reference. The present clause, as I see it, does nothing of the kind. It provides that the local education authority, acting through the Authoritie's Panel, may "bring forward" (to use the words in the Report) the question — or the association of teachers, acting through the Teacher's Panel may do so, or alternatively by consent of the Chairman someone else may do so....

To continue reading

Request your trial
4 cases
  • Pittalis v Sherefettin
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 27 February 1986
    ...agreement to refer future disputes to arbitration". Leaving aside for the moment the question which I mention later, based upon Baron v. Sunderland Corporation (1966) 2 Q.B. 56, in my opinion the lease did contain an agreement to refer a further dispute to arbitration. That agreement was i......
  • Anzen Ltd and Others v Hermes One Ltd (British Virgin Islands)
    • United Kingdom
    • Privy Council
    • 18 January 2016
    ...that it was an essential ingredient of an arbitration clause that in order to be valid it must give bilateral rights of reference: Baron v Sunderland Corp [1966] 2 QB 56 per Davies LJ at 64. However that is no longer the case: Pittalis v Sherefettin [1986] QB 868, where the Court of Appea......
  • Anzen Ltd and Others v Hermes One Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • Privy Council
    • 18 January 2016
    ...that it was an essential ingredient of an arbitration clause that in order to be valid it must give bilateral rights of reference: Baron v. Sunderland Corp [1966] 2 Q.B. 56 per Davies, L.J. at 64. However that is no longer the case: Pittalis v. Sherefettin [1986] Q.B. 868, where the Court o......
  • Westfal-Larsen & Company A/S v Ikerigi Compania Naviera S.A. (Messiniaki Bergin)
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • Invalid date

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT