Birkdale District Electric Supply Co. Ltd v The Corporation of Southport: 1926

The appellants, having bound themselves not to exercise their discretion in the raising of electricity prices, were held not to have incompetently fettered their discretion, bearing in mind the commercial purposes for which the discretion was conferred and the commercial reasons for which the price fixing agreement had been entered to. Lord Birkenhead said that there is: ‘a well-established principle of law, that if a person or public body is entrusted by the legislature with certain powers and duties expressly or impliedly for public purposes, those persons or bodies cannot divest themselves of these powers and duties. They cannot enter into any contract or take any action incompatible with the due exercise of their powers or the discharge of their duties.’


Lord Birkenhead


[1926] AC 355


England and Wales

Cited by:

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 . .
CitedRegina (Nadarajah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Abdi v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 22-Nov-2005
The asylum applicant challenged a certificate given by the respondent that the claim for asylum was manifestly ill-founded. The respondent had made a mistake in applying the appropriate policy, but had sought to correct the error. The claimants . .
CitedKilby v Basildon District Council Admn 26-Jul-2006
Tenants complained that the authority landlord had purported to vary a clause in his secure tenancy agreement which gave certain management rights to tenants.
Held: The powers to let on secure tenancies were governed by statute. The clause . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Administrative, Utilities

Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.237255