Attorney-General for New South Wales v Perpetual Trustee Co Ltd: PC 14 Mar 1955

(Australia) The Crown could not recover damages for the loss of the services of a police constable as the result of injuries caused by the negligence of a third person. A chief constable was an office held under the Crown, and the usual relationship of master and servant did not apply.
Viscount Simonds said: ”And he is to be regarded as a servant or minister of the King because, as Lord Blackburn said in Coomber v Berks JJ (9 App Cas at p67), the administration of justice, both criminal and civil, and the preservation of order and prevention of crime by means of what is now called police, are amongst the most important functions of government and, by the constitution of this country, these functions do, of common right, belong to the Crown. A constable, then, may be said in a certain context, and sometimes with the appendage ‘or minister’, to be a ‘servant of the Crown”


Viscount Simonds


[1955] AC 457, [1955] UKPC 6, [1955] 1 All ER 846, [1955] 2 WLR 707





Cited by:

CitedCoulter v Chief Constable of Dorset Police ChD 12-Dec-2003
The claimant had failed in an action for damages against the respondent, and had failed to pay the costs award. The respondent issued a statutory demand. He claimed that it was invalid because the chief constable had changed in the interim, and . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex Parte Northumbria Police Authority CA 18-Nov-1987
The Authority appealed from refusal of judicial review of a circular issued by the respondent as to the supply of Plastic Baton Rounds and CS gas from central resources only. The authority suggested that the circular amounted to permission for the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Employment, Police

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.189947