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Madzimbamuto v Lardner-Burke

[1969] 1 AC 645:

Case summary last updated at 07/02/2020 16:52 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Madzimbamuto v Lardner-Burke

Under a state of emergency in Rhodesia, R (Rhodsia minister for justice) made a valid detention order against P. While detained, the government of Rhodesia unilaterally proclaimed independence and Westminster parl declared all function of the Rhodesia government and legislature to be illegal and void. M’s detention period under the valid detention order was ended but R issued a new detention order to extend his detention. Privy Council said that, despite the illegitimate government being the only effective government, in law its actions were void and the detention of P under the invalid order was illegal. It was also established that while there was a convention that parliament in Westminster wouldn’t legislate without the governor-general’s approval (as had been done with the act declaring the Rhodesia government dissolved), conventions do not have binding effect. Thus the Act de- legitimising Rhodesia’s govt was valid and thus the new detention order by R was not. The Privy Council majority said that a convention might be broken or a law might be considered unconstitutional, but the courts nevertheless have no power to strike down legislation

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