REVIEWS

DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1953.tb02122.x
Publication Date01 Apr 1953
REVIEWS
PRINCIPLES
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW.
By
J.
A.
G.
GRIFFITH,
LL.M.,
Lecturer
in
Administrative Law
in
the University
of
London,
of
the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law, and
H.
STREET,
LL.M.,
PH.D.,
Senior Lecturer
in
Law, University
of
Manchester,
Solicitor
of
the Supreme Court. [London
:
Sir Isaac Pitman
&
Sons,
Ltd.
1952.
xxxiii and
316
pp.
80s.l
THIS
is the first textbook to be published on English Administrative Law.
The need for such
a
book has long been felt, and
our
thanks are due to
Professor Street and
Mr.
Griffith for
so
ably filling this gap on
our
shelves.
It
will be welcomed as
a
manual by all teachers of Constitutional Law and
Administrative Law and all students of Administrative Law, and as
a
reference
book for the keener student of Constitutional Law. In the introductory
chapter the learned authors discuss the various English definitions of Adminis-
trative Law, and accept that
of
Sir Ivor Jennings that it is “the law relating
to the Administration. It determines the organisation, powers and duties
of
administrative authorities.” They wisely do not attempt to draw any definite
distinction between Administrative Law and Constitutional Law
:
it is
a
matter
of convenience and emphasis. They say in the Preface that
Administrative
Law is now
a
strong claimant for the status of
a
compulsory subject in legal
education.” We agree that the study of Constitutional Law should be com-
pulsory, and that sufficient emphasis should be placed on the Administrative
Law aspects; but we do not think there is room
for
Administrative Law
as
a
separate compulsory subject in the undergraduate curriculum.
In
countries
where the study of Constitutional Law is limited by a written Constitution the
answer may well be different. The main topics of the book are-as we should
expect-the legislative, administrative and judicial powers of the Adrninistra-
tion, and the Parliamentary and judicial control of each, with a final chapter
on
Public Corporations. There is one important omission, namely, Local Govern-
ment, an intentional exclusion which is justified by the fact that this branch
of public law has been adequately covered in other books. References to local
authorities keep on breaking in; and, of course, the student must remember
that on any definition of Administrative Law the law relating to local authori-
ties forms an important part
of
that subject.
Mr.
Griffith wrote the first draft
of the chapters on legislative powers and public corporations, and Professor
Street wrote the first draft of the chapters on administrative and judicial
powers and suits against the Administration; but we are not invited to distri-
bute praise and blame between the two collaborators.
The work
is
thorough, reliable, sound in generalisation and accurate in
detail. Eschewing polemics, the authors approach the underlying political
problems in
a
detached and objective way. Illustrative examples are gener-
ously provided by way of cases, statutory provisions
or
descriptions of
institutions, and these are interspersed with illuminating but not excessive
statistics. References to practice sometimes supplement the strictly legal
sources. The respect shown for judicial authority is unusual in writers
of
this branch of law. The learned authors always try faithfully to state the
principles which the courts appear to have laid down, instead of condemning
the judges for not deciding as they themselves would have done. This does
not mean that they evade ditficultirs; but where two cases seem to be incon-
sistent they try to reconcile tliern instead
of
drnouncing both as wrong.
Among the p;issages which strike
us
as being particularly helpful are the
analysis
of
the definition
of
Statutory Instruments, especially as regards
248
APRIL
1953
REVIEWS
249
powers to make statutory rules conferred before the Statutory Instruments
Act,
1946,
came into force (pp.
44-52);
the discussion of sub-delegated legis-
lation (pp.
55-56, 61-69);
and the critical summary of the various types
of
administrative tribunals (pp.
18&96),
after
a
courageous attempt to give a
general description of their composition and powers (pp.
158
et
seq.).
The
point is well made that the cases of
Errington, Robinson, Johnson
and
Franklin
were decided on the interpretation of the statutes concerned (p.
178),
and the
authors are probably right in thinking that the
Franklin Case
does not overrule
the
Enington
Case
(p.
177).
It
is true that the House of Lords affirmed the
Court of Appeal in
Franklido
Case
(p.
176),
but they did
so
on
a
different
ground. The principle relating to prerogative legislation for Colonies
is
for
once correctly stated
(p.
104),
though the authority for it in its modern form
is not
Campbell
v.
Hall
but
Sammzlt
v.
Strickland.
The Lands Tribunal
is
thought to be admirably devised (p.
161),
but the Rent Tribunals are not
regarded as satisfactory (p.
164).
The decision in
R.
v.
Northumberlcrnd
Compeneation
Appeal
Tribunal,
ex
p.
Shaw,
which caused some excitement,
is
put into proper perspective by the reminder that few tribunals are compelled
to make
a
full record (p.
214).
Whether public corporations are Crown
servants for purposes of civil liability and proceedings the authors think
depends on the degree of control exercised by the Government, and this view
leads to the suggestion that the Central Land Board and the Agricultural
Land Commission are Crown servants, that Regional Hospital Boards are
probably Crown servants, and that the position of the New Town Develop-
ment Corporations is uncertain (pp.
247-48, 299-302).
It
may be that
a
contractual relationship exists between statutory undertaker and consumer
(p.
258),
but we are not convinced that Departments which were incorporated
before the Crown Proceedings Act,
1947,
without being expressly made suable,
can still be sued otherwise than under the provisions of this Act (p.
251).
One of the less satisfactory passages is that on statutory interpretation,
the principles of which it is not possible to discuss in the limited space
available (pp.
100-108).
Denning L.J.’s dictum in
Seaford
Cmrt
Eetates,
Ltd.
v.
Asher,
set out here at some length, was not approved in the House
of
Lords, as
a
footnote indicates; and we derive confusion rather than help
from
the statement quoted from Professor Willis’s article in
16
Cadi& Bar
Review.
It
is no longer correct to say that penal statutes are strictly con-
strued, apart from the fact that “strictly” is ambiguous. The arrangement
due to division of labour separates the discussion of the exclusion of judicial
control over delegated legislation (pp.
116-119)
from the similar problem
relating to the judicial powers of administrative bodies (pp.
221-222).
The
exposition of the conceptual and functional distinctions between administrative
and judicial powers at the beginning of chapter
4
will not be easy reading for
the student (pp.
140-52);
but this was probably the most difficult part of
the book
to
write, and the authors must not be blamed in
so
far
as
the
difficulty is inherent in the subject-matter. Among the methods of judicial
review the treatment of habeas corpus is scarcely adequate, and under
action
for damages” nuisance and negligence might be mentioned (p.
236).
As
regards the question whether statutes bind the Crown, the distinction between
the statements of principle in
Tamlin
v.
Hawford
and
Plrovince
of
Bombay
v.
Municipal
Corporation
of Bombay
does not appear from p.
266
to be
significant; in any event in the next edition account
will
no doubt be taken
of the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal (if that is allowed to stand)
in
Bank
voor
Handel
v.
Blatford,
where incidentally Denning L.J. states
the principle differently from his statement in
Tamlilt
v.
Hnmnnfwd.
The
account of Parliamentary control over public corporations
is
rather summary
(pp.
28.2-8),
and no reference is made to the periodical reviews foreshadowed
by Mr. Herbert Morrison as Leader
of
the House of Commons
on
October
25, 1950.
A
misprint in the title of \$’infield’s
Tort
in
a
footnote to p.
242
might
conceal
a
theory
of
civil liability. The right-hand page-heading in Chap.
5

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