The Minister had revoked the plaintiffs’ licence in order to protect English turkey producers against competition from French turkey producers, knowing that this was in breach of the UK’s obligations under article 30 of the EEC treaty, that the act would and was calculated to injure the plaintiffs in their businesses, and that protecting English turkey farmers was not a purpose for the achievement of which the relevant powers were conferred upon him.
Held: The court considered the tort of misfeasance in public office ‘I do not read any of the decisions to which I have been referred as precluding the commission of the tort of misfeasance in public office where the officer actually knew that he had no power to do that which he did, and that his act would injure the plaintiff as subsequently it does. I read the judgment in Dunlop v Woollahra Municipal Council  AC 158 in the sense that malice and knowledge are alternatives. There is no sensible reason why the common law should not afford a remedy to the injured party in circumstances such as are before me. There is no sensible distinction between the case where an officer performs an act which has no power to perform with the object of injuring A (which the defendant accepts is actionable at the instance of A) and the case where an officer performs an act which he knows he has no power to perform with the object of conferring a benefit on B but which has the foreseeable and actual consequence of injury to A (which the defendant denies is actionable at the instance of A). In my judgment each case is actionable at the instance of A and, accordingly, I determine that paragraphs 23 and 36 of the amended statement of claim do disclose a cause of action.’
England and Wales
Cited – Dunlop v Woollahra Municipal Council PC 1982
A plaintiff can allege misfeasance in public office against a body such as a local authority or a government ministry. The tort was well establshed. . .
Appeal from – Bourgoin SA v Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Food CA 1985
The plaintiffs were French producers of turkeys. They alleged that the Minister revoked their licence to import turkeys into this country by a decision that was ultra vires and motivated by a desire to assist British turkey producers, and that this . .
Cited – Douglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others (No 3) CA 18-May-2005
The principal claimants sold the rights to take photographs of their wedding to a co-claimant magazine (OK). Persons acting on behalf of the defendants took unauthorised photographs which the defendants published. The claimants had retained joint . .
Cited – Warner-Lambert Company Llc v Generics (UK) Ltd (T/A Mylan) and Another SC 14-Nov-2018
These proceedings raise, for the first time in the courts of the United Kingdom, the question how the concepts of sufficiency and infringement are to be applied to a patent relating to a specified medical use of a known pharmaceutical compound. Four . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 18 October 2021; Ref: scu.225473