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Smith v. East Elloe

[1956] AC 736

Case summary last updated at 07/01/2020 19:49 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Smith v. East Elloe

This case concerned compulsory purchase provisions in the Acquisition of Land (Authorisation Procedure) Act 1946.  It was provided that any application must be made to the High Court within six weeks of notice of the confirmation or making of the Compulsory Purchase Order and it was further provided that otherwise the Compulsory Purchase Order should not be questioned in any legal proceedings. It was held by the House of Lords that this was a plain prohibition against questioning the validity of the order, whereby the jurisdiction of the Court was ousted in respect of any proceedings other than in accordance with the statute.  

Viscount Simons: “……I find it quite impossible to qualify the words of the paragraph in the manner suggested.  It may be that the legislature had not in mind the possibility of an Order being made by a local authority in bad faith or even the possibility of an Order being made in good faith being mistakenly, capriciously or wantonly challenged. This is a matter for speculation.  What is abundantly clear is that words are used which are wide enough to cover any kind of challenge which any aggrieved person may think fit to make.  I cannot think of any wider words. Any addition would be mere tautology”.  

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