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R v Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey Club, ex parte Aga Khan

[1993] 1 WLR 909

Case summary last updated at 05/01/2020 15:25 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey Club, ex parte Aga Khan

D regulated the horse racing profession by the issue of licences and permits by which the club's stewards entered into contracts with racecourse managers, owners, trainers and jockeys, who were required to submit to a comprehensive regulatory code. It derived authority from contract but dominated the sport. CA held that D’s powers and duties were in no sense governmental but derived from the contractual relationship between the club and those agreeing to be bound by the Rules of Racing. Such powers gave rise to private rights enforceable by private action in which effective relief by way of declaration, injunction and damages was available. Accordingly, the club's decision was not amenable to judicial review. 
Sir Thomas Bingham MR: He says that Law v. National Greyhound Racing Club is still good law and stands for the proposition that “public law remedies do not lie against domestic bodies, as they derive solely from the consent of the parties.” He says that ex parte Datafin did not change this even though it allowed more factors to be taken into account that just the source of powers/duties. If Datafin was largely based on the fact that it was impossible to enter the market without submitting to the regulation of the body, and the same is true here because of de facto domination by the Jockey Club then he ought to have granted judicial review. Also why is it relevant that some private law actions exist if they don’t protect the individual to the same extent? Having a private cause of action shouldn’t and usually doesn’t prevent someone from bringing a public law action too. 

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