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18 Cards in this Set

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Entick v Carrington

A public officer must show express legal authority for any interference with the person or property of the citizen. Public authorities may not exercise a power which is not justified by the law (formal interpretation of RoL)

R v Somerset County Council ex parte Fewings

For public bodies the rule is opposite to that of private individuals, and any action to be taken must be justified by positive law.

IRC v Rossminster Ltd

But nowadays there are many statutes which authorise interference and some in general terms.

Malone v Metropolitan Police Commissioner

Phone tapping here was lawful as there was no law making it unlawful. Though there was no statute allowing it either, tapping did not infringe any laws unlike in Entick where interference and seizure of the goods involved trespass.

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Simms

If you are going to interfere with human rights, you must do it with express legal authority.

R v Khan

Installation of devices by the police with Home Office approval involved unlawful acts of civil trespass & damage to property.

R(Binyam Mohammed) v SSFCA

UK government, MI5 and MI may have been complicit in torture, and withholding information was against the law.

R v Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court ex parte Bennett

Courts will not lend themselves to an action that is contrary to the rule of law.


-Rule of law had to be upheld, the defendant had been brought back in disregard of proper extradition process and in breach of international law. UK courts could thus refuse to try him.

R (Cornerhouse) v Director of Serious Fraud Office

Although affront to the rule of law and unlawful as ruled by lower courts, HoL eventually decided that investigation had to be discontinued as not doing so would entail a risk to national security.

M v Home Office

The government is subject to the law and by his non-compliance he was in contempt in court.

Burmah Oil Co Ltd v Lord Advocate

If executive were to make a practice of retrospectively overturning adverse judicial rulings, there would be no equality before the law and no public confidence in the legal process.

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Pierson

Home Secretary's discretionary power was limited by the principle of legality in the rule of law and the common law standards of fairness.


-Parliament was presumed not to legislate contrary to RoL.

Commissioners of Customs and Excise v Cure and Deeley

Executive body submitted that, on the strength of many authorities, that the statute used the widest words Parliament could use to 'confer unfettered discretion, and that they constitute the most unambiguous, plain and unqualified terminology'


-this was rejected by the courts

Golder v UK

Court expressly used concept of RoL: RoL is inherent in human rights, and one cannot have access to the rule of law without access to the courts.

Liversidge v Anderson

Lord Atkin (dissenting): law should not bend in times of war or emergency

R (on the application of Purdy) v DPP - UKHL

There is the requirement for clarity and accessibility of the law.

Gillian v UK

ECtHR - police stop and search powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 were too widely framed, failed to offer the individual protection against arbitrary interference.

Topper v Moldova

Since the Moldova government stepped in, this was a direct threat to RoL, as the judiciary was corruptible and partial, and court proceedings became not fair and not true.