Administrative Courts are unlawful

Any Court which does not uphold the rule of law by failing to apply its mind to implement the will of an undeclared interest is unlawful.

Any unlawful administrative act is no act in law. Ridge v Baldwin [1964] AC 40 [1] says it all:

Lord Reid

“Time and again in the cases I have cited it has been stated that a decision given without regard to the principles of natural justice is void, and that was expressly decided in Wood v Woad (1874) LR 9 Ex I 90. I see no reason to doubt these authorities”.

Although there exists no clear definition of the principle of natural justice, it cannot be said for this reason that ‘therefore it does not exist: [65]

There is ‘an unbroken line of authority to the effect that an officer cannot lawfully be dismissed without first telling him what is alleged against him and hearing his defence of explanation’: [66]

As such, the power of dismissal under the 1882 Act cannot be lawfully exercised until the appellant had been properly informed of the charges against him and given the opportunity to make representations on his own behalf

Since the decision to dismiss the appellant was made ‘without regard to the principles of natural justice’, it is therefore void : [80]”

Lord Hodson added:

There are 3 features of natural justice (at p. 132B):

  • Right to be heard by an unbiased tribunal, and
  • Right to have notice of charges, and
  • Right to be heard in answer to those charges”

 Regina v Brentford Justices ex parte Catlin[1975] [2] Lord Widgery CJ expressed:

"A decision by magistrates whether to issue a summons pursuant to information laid involves the exercise of a judicial function, and is not merely administrative. A summons (or warrant) is merely machinery for giving a defendant notice of the proceedings and for getting him before the Court. If a Magistrates authorises the issue of a summons without having applied his mind to the information then he is guilty of dereliction of duty and if any justices clerk’s office a practice goes on of summonses being issued without information being laid before a magistrate at all then a very serious instance of maladministration arises which should have the attention of the authorities without delay…”

Under the rules of equity this principle applies to any action of the court and its officers.

[1] https://lawprof.co/public-law/procedural-fairness-cases/ridge-v-baldwin-1964-ac-40/

[2] https://swarb.co.uk/regina-v-brentford-justices-ex-parte-catlin-1975/