LOCUS STANDI IN ACTIONS FOR A DECLARATION

DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1968.tb01207.x
AuthorJ. F. Garner
Publication Date01 Sep 1968
LOCUS
STANDI
IN ACTIONS
FOR
A
DECLARATION
BY
Order
15,
r.
16,
of the Rules of the Supreme Court
1965,
a single
judge of any Division of the High Court is empowered to
Make
binding declarations of right whether
or
not any consequential
relief is
or
could be claimed.”
As has been made clear by several writers,’ the declaration is
a
remedy which has in administrative law for some time been enjoying
an increasing popularity. On the other hand, it is a discretionary
remedy which cannot be demanded as of right and
it
will, indeed,
be refused if the court considers that some other remedy (in particu-
lar, certiorari) is more appropriate.’ As
Dr.
Yardley has shown in
relation to proceedings for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus,s
the
court’s discretion in granting one of these remedies may be
exercised in such a manner as to regulate the nature of the interest
that must be possessed by the plaintiff in order to justify
pro-
ceedings being taken by him; if the court considers an adequate
interest to be lacking, its discretion will be exercised
so
as to
refuse the plaintiff a remedy although
it
might grant the same
remedy on the same facts to a different plaintiff who is able to show
an adequate intere~t.~
Like most other systems of law, English law does not favour
the granting
of
an
actio popularis,
and therefore, as in the case of
other remedies, a declaration will be refused unless the plaintiff
can show he has a sufficient interest. The problem may resolve
itself, however, in practice into how close, how serious
or
how
personal must be this interest. This question is not made any easier
of solution by the existence of the competing remedy
of
the relator
action, where the Attorney-General at the relation of some person
interested
asks for an injunction
or
possibly only a declaration
in the public interest.” Here
it
is
a
matter for the Attorney’s
own
discretion as to whether he will lend his name to the proceedings,
1
Sea Lord Denning in
his
Harnlyn Lectures,
Freedom under the
Law
(1049)
at
p.
153,
and articles
by
(3.
J.
Rorrie at
18
M.L.R.
138
and
by
I.
Zamir at
[1958]
P.L.
341,
and also the latter author’a
book
The
Declaratory
Judgment
2
See
Punton
V.
Ministry
of
Pensions and
National
Insurance
(No.
2)
[106,1]
1
3
Two
articles
by
this writer, at (1956)
71
L.Q.R.
388
and
(1957)
73
L.Q.R.
534.
4
Or
locus standi;
in Arnerioa the same idea
is
known
as
standing,” and
in
French
droit
administmtif
as
intdrdt
pour
agir,”
or
intdrdt,”
simpliciter;
in Belgian
droit administratif,
it
is
said that
‘I
l’intdrdt
droit
&tre
personnel
(Most,
Prdcir
de
Droit
Administratif
Belge,
B.
523).
(1969).
All
E.R.
448.
512

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