Fox v Lawson

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
JudgeLord Diplock,Lord Hodson,Viscount Dilhorne,Lord Cross of Chelsea,Lord Kilbrandon
Judgment Date12 February 1974
Judgment citation (vLex)[1974] UKHL J0212-2
Date12 February 1974
CourtHouse of Lords

[1974] UKHL J0212-2

House of Lords

Lord Diplock

Lord Hodson

Viscount Dilhorne

Lord Cross of Chelsea

Lord Kilbrandon

Fox and Others
(on Appeal From a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division)

Upon Report from the Appellate Committee, to whom was referred the Cause Lawson against Fox and others (on Appeal from a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division), that the Committee had heard Counsel on Monday the 28th day of January last, upon the Petition and Appeal of John Lawson of Bromyard Avenue, London, W.3, praying, That the matter of the Order set forth in the Schedule thereto, namely, an Order of a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice of the 27th of February 1973, might be reviewed before Her Majesty the Queen, in Her Court of Parliament, and that the said Order might be reversed, varied or altered, or that the Petitioner might have such other relief in the premises as to Her Majesty the Queen in Her Court of Parliament, might seem meet; and Henry William Fox and Seabourne Express Limited, the Respondents to the said Appeal not having entered Appearance thereto and not being represented:

It is Ordered and Adjudged, in the name of the House of Lords, by the Lords of Appeal sitting in the House of Lords during the Dissolution of Parliament, by virtue of a Writing dated the 8th day of February 1974 by the Counsellors of State to whom had been delegated certain Royal Functions as specified in Letters Patent dated the 24th day of January 1974, pursuant to the provisions of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876, That the said Order of a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice of the 27th day of February 1973, complained of in the said Appeal, be, and the same is hereby, Varied, and that the Cause be, and the same is hereby, Remitted back to a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice with a direction to that Court to give directions to the Beacontree Magistrates' Court to convict the Respondents on all the Informations except those numbered 3 and 6: And it is further Ordered, That the Second Respondents do pay, or cause to be paid, to the said Appellant the Costs in the Beacontree Magistrates' Court in respect of the Informations numbered 4 and 5: And it is further Ordered, That the Appellant do pay or cause to be paid to the said Respondents the Costs incurred by them in the Divisional Court: And it is also further Ordered, That there be no Order as to Costs in this House.

Lord Diplock

My Lords,


The first Respondent, Mr. Fox ("the driver"), was employed by the second Respondent, Seabourne Express Limited ("the employers"), as the driver of a goods vehicle. On four occasions he drove it on round trips by Channel Ferry between the employers' depot in Barking and a destination in France The driver and the employers were convicted by the Beacontree Justices of offences under the provisions of Part VI of the Transport Act, 1968, alleged to have been committed in England on the return journey of each of these round trips. This Part of the Act deals with the permitted hours of work of drivers of goods vehicles and the keeping of records relating thereto. The driver was convicted of offences

  • ( a) of driving his vehicle for periods amounting in the aggregate to more than 10 hours on a working day, contrary to section 96(1) of the Act;

  • ( b) of working as the driver of a goods vehicle for a working day which exceeded 11 hours, contrary to section 96(3)( a) of the Act, and

  • ( c) of failing to enter in his driver's record book, the records prescribed by the Drivers' Hours (Goods Vehicles) (Keeping of Records) Regulations, 1970, made under section 98(1) of the Act.


The employers were convicted of permitting the driver to commit each of these offences.


The Respondents appealed to the Divisional Court by way of case stated. That Court by a majority (Ashworth J. dissenting) quashed all the convictions, but certified that the following point of law of general public importance was involved:—

"Whether in deciding if an offence has been committed under section 96(1) and 96(3)( a) of the Transport Act, 1968, it is right to take into account hours of work and hours of driving done and hours of...

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6 cases
  • Butler v Dublin Corporation
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 22 January 1999
  • Weston v an Bord Pleanála and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 14 March 2008
    ...1 IR 177 applied; Grealish v An Bord Pleanála (Unrep, O'Neill J, 24/10/2006), O'Donoghue v An Bord Pleanála [1991] ILRM 750, Lawson v Fox [1974] AC 803, South Bucks District Council v Porter (No 2) [2004] 1 WLR and Mulholland v An Bord Pleanála (No 2) [2006] 1 IR 453 followed; The State (F......
  • H. v South Dublin County Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 12 March 2020
    ...statutory context, bearing in mind that the Act may be called in aid to assist in the construction of the Regulations. See Fox v Lawton [1974] A.C. 803 per Diplock L.J. and Frascati Estates v Walker [1975] I.R. 77, that “It is legitimate to use the Act as an aid to the construction of the R......
  • Healy v Noonan
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 3 April 2017 use the Act as an aid in construction of the regulations. To do the converse is to put the cart before the horse” Lawson -v- Fox [1974] A.C. 803, 809. Examining the ordinary meaning of “making of an Application” the essential components were in place after the fax had been successfully d......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles

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