Bates v Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone: ChD 1972

A solicitor applied to the court ex parte to restrain a committee acting under delegated powers from making an order changing the basis of charging for conveyancing on the ground that the committee was obliged to allow more time for consultation and representations before it made orders.
Held: There is no right to be heard or consulted before the making of primary or delegated legislation unless such is provided for by statute.
Megarry J said: ‘Let me accept that in the sphere of the so-called quasi-judicial the rules of natural justice run, and that in the administrative or executive field there is a general duty of fairness. Nevertheless the considerations in relation to a general duty of fairness do not seem to me to affect the process of legislation, whether primary or delegated. Many of those affected by delegated legislation and affected very substantially are never consulted in the process of enacting that legislation and yet they have no remedy. I do not know of any implied right to be consulted or to make objections or any principle whereby the courts may enjoin the legislative process at the suit of those who contend that insufficient time for consultation and consideration has been given.’


Megarry J


[1972] 1 WLR 1373, [1972] 3 All ER 1019


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Liverpool Corporation ex parte Liverpool Taxi Fleet Operators Association CA 1972
A number of taxi cab owners challenged a decision of the Council to increase the numbers of hackney cabs operating in the city. At a public meeting with the council prior to the decision, the chairman had given a public undertaking that the numbers . .

Cited by:

CitedBank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (No 2) SC 19-Jun-2013
The bank challenged measures taken by HM Treasury to restrict access to the United Kingdom’s financial markets by a major Iranian commercial bank, Bank Mellat, on the account of its alleged connection with Iran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Constitutional, Legal Professions

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.460359