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Jurisdiction Cases

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This is an extract of our Jurisdiction Cases document, which we sell as part of our Administrative Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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Cases: Jurisdiction SS for Education v Tameside MBC 1977: Facts: In the Tameside area, local concil took decision to bring with scheme all schools under a comprehensive umbrella where every child would be let in and not selected like in Grammar schools. SS had seen and approved these plans (not not mandated that they be executed). Then new political adminstration took over and changed the plans a bit. This worried SS. So SS ordered mandanamus that the previous admin plans be carried out, and so the new council appealed. Issue: Whether SS decision that it would lead to educational chaos can be challenged. Lord Wilberforce: 'The statue has been framed, 'if SS satisfied'. This decision must be made on basis of certain facts, and while that is for SS, seeing whether those relevant facts are present and taken into account is job for court. In these cases it is said that the courts cannot substitute their opinion for that of the minister: they can interfere on such grounds as that the minister has acted right outside his powers or outside the purpose of the Act, or unfairly, or upon an incorrect basis of fact. But there is no universal rule as to the principles on which the exercise of a discretion may be reviewed: each statute or type of statute must be individually looked at. Crucial here: that the SS actually has the power to substitute its own decision, even though council is given a discretion. And here, SS must ensure that disruptions are not unreasonable. This is what the case turns on - would disruptions be unreasonable?
Held: SS fundamentally misdirected himself, proposed actions of new council not unreasonable (makes sense, because they agreed to partly implement new scheme but in more phased a manner).

Impact of Error of Law South East Asia Fire Bricks 1981: Held: Privy Council, held dismissing the appeal, that the provision in the Malaysian Industrial Relations Act 1967 s.29(3)(a) that an award of the Industrial Court should be final and conclusive and should not be "challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed or called into question in any court of law" was amply wide enough to include certiorari in the High Court, even where there was an error in law on the face of the record, unless the error was one affecting jurisdiction Lord Fraser: p 369-370: Sometimes there can be..... If error within jurisdiction, then can be quashed. PC said there is an error of law, so they cannot review it. So they cannot... it.

Re Racal 1981 Facts: A High Court judge had refused to make an order under Companies Act authorising the inspection of a company's books or papers. The Act said that the decision of the High Court judge 'is not appealable'. Notwithstanding these clear words, the Director of Public Prosecutions, who had applied for the order, appealed. The Court of Appeal assumed jurisdiction,

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