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R v Foreign Secretary, ex parte World Development Movement

[1995] 1 WLR 386

Case summary last updated at 08/01/2020 14:19 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Foreign Secretary, ex parte World Development Movement

Legislation granted the secretary of state power to make grants in support of overseas development projects. He decided to make a grant in support of one that was clearly not economically viable, but where the grant would have protected the UK government’s credibility. We are only concerned here with the question of standing: CA said that P, a pressure group, had locus standi. 
Rose LJ: The courts have taken an increasingly liberal approach to standing and he endorses what was said by Wilberforce (and Lord Fraser) in National Federation of Self-Employed about when the issue of standing often may need to be dealt with in the actual hearing. A number of factors influenced Rose LJ’s conclusion that P had standing: (1) “The importance of the issue raised; (2) “The likely absence of any other responsible challenger”; (3) “The nature of the breach of duty against which relief is sought”; (4) “The prominence of these applicants in giving advice, guidance and assistance with regard to aid” (they had advised parliamentary committees etc). All these militate towards a finding that P has sufficient interest within S.31(3) Supreme Court Act 1981.

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