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S E Asia Fire Bricks v Non-Metallic Mineral Products Manufacturing Employees' Union

[1981] AC 363 (PC)

Case summary last updated at 07/01/2020 18:33 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case S E Asia Fire Bricks v Non-Metallic Mineral Products Manufacturing Employees' Union

In Malaysia, an industrial court ruled that D had to take back employees, P, after a strike, and statute provided that an award of the industrial court was “final” and “no award shall be challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed, or called into question in any court of law”. PC allowed the ouster clause to be effective, but maintaining the distinction between jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional errors of law, depending on whether the mistake was so “fundamental” as to place the decision outside of the court’s jurisdiction. This was not the case here. 
 
Lord Fraser: “The industrial court applied its mind to the proper question for the purpose of making the award. The award was accordingly within the jurisdiction of the court…[the ouster clause] effectively ousted the jurisdiction of the high court to quash the decision by certiorari proceedings. He rejected the argument of Lord Denning in Pearlman that the distinction between jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional matters should be disregarded. Instead they endorsed the dictum of Lane LJ (see above). 

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