Industrial Injuries and the Teabreak

DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1966.tb01127.x
Publication Date01 Jul 1966
AuthorJudith Reid
INDUSTRIAL INJURIES AND
THE
TEABREAK
WHEN
in
1040
the legislature gave to statutory bodies the responsi-
bility of deciding
on
claims for industrial injury benefit the courts
must have been filled with
a,
quiet rejoicing, for cases under the
old workmen’s compensation scheme had been many and trouble-
some, The recent case of
R.
v.
Industrial
Injuries Commissioner,
ex
p.
A.E.U.
(No.
2)’
makes
it
clear that the old days are still
remcmbcred with distastc
:
an
application
for
certiorari to quash
a
decision of the Industrial Injuries Commissioner was refused by
the Court of Appeal, Lord Denning
M.R.
no
doubt expressing the
feelings of the court when he said that
it
would be unfortunate
if,
by means of applications for ccrtiorari, the court should become
engulfed in
a
stream of cases under the present Act.” Thus ended
the saga of
Mr.
Culverwell, knocked down by
a
fork-lift truck
while enjoying
an
illicit five-minute extension of
his
teabreak,
apparently
a
man
of considerable tenacity of purpose since his
claim for benefit was heard (and refused)
on
no
less than five
occasions,9 over
a
period of almost two-and-*half years.
Whether one agrees with the statutory authorities and the judges
that
Mr.
Culvcrwell’s conduct did take him outside the course of his
employment
or
not, the case raises some important questions of
principle. First,
is
the court’s reluctance to interfere justified
?
While the risk of
an
avalanche of applications for certiorari in cases
such
as
this
is
probably
a
real one, and the apprehension of the
Master of the Rolls understandable, there
is
little to be said for
a
complete denial of responsibility
on
these grounds alone. The
courts can and readily do exercise
a
supervisory function over
all
kinds of semi-judicial tribunals, whether statutory
or
not
4;
it
seems
strange that they should use what might be taken
as
evidence of a
need for such supervision
as
a
reason for refusing to exercise
it.
More fundamental objections to judicial intervention may, however,
be raised. Quite apart from the question whether certiorari is
a
National Ineurance (Induetrial Injurice) Act
1946,
now consolidated in the
National Ineuranco (Induetrial In’urice) Act
1966.
[l9G6] 2
W.L.R.
97
;
[l9GG] 1
All
d.R.
07.
Bcforo tho Local Insurance Officer, the Local Appcal Tribunal,
the
Induetrial
Injurice Commieeioner, the Diviaional Court and the Court
of
Appeal.
Tho
Court
of
Ap
en1 allowed hie appeal againet the rcfueal of
the
Diviaional Court
to
grant feave
to
appl
for
an order
of
certiorari
(The
Times,
October
21, 1066)
and
eubeequcntly iteelf {eard the application.
Ccrtiornri wae granted in
R.
v.
Deputy
IndurlriaZ
Injuries Commissionsr, ez
p.
Jones
[1062]
2
Q.B.
667
nnd in
R.
v.
Industrial
In~uries Commissioner, ex
p.
Ward
[19G6]
2
Q.B.
112;
ace
nleo
Punton
v.
Minister
of
Pensions
and
National
Insurance
(No.
2) [l064] 1
W.L.R.
226
and Professor
de
Smith’s note
on
thie
cam
in
(1964) 27
M.L.R.
458.
889

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