Chief Adjudication Officer and Another v Foster: HL 7 Apr 1993

The Social Security Commissioners have the jurisdiction and power to decide if a Regulation is ultra vires the powers under which it purports to have been made.
Lord Bridge said of the Social Security Commissioners: ‘My conclusion is that the commissioners have undoubted jurisdiction to determine any challenge to the vires of a provision in regulations made by the Secretary of State as being beyond the scope of the enabling power whenever it is necessary to do so in determining whether a decision under appeal was erroneous in point of law. I am pleased to reach that conclusion for two reasons First, it avoids a cumbrous duplicity of proceedings which could only add to the already overburdened list of applications for judicial review awaiting determination by the Divisional Court. Second, it is, in my view, highly desirable that when the Court of Appeal, or indeed your Lordships House, are called upon to determine an issue of the kind in question they should have the benefit of the views upon it of one or more of the commissioners who have great expertise in this somewhat esoteric area of the law’.


Lord Bridge


Gazette 07-Apr-1993, [1993] AC 754, [1993] 2 WLR 292, [1993] 1 All ER 705


Social Security Act 1975 22(4)

Cited by:

CitedBoddington v British Transport Police HL 2-Apr-1998
The defendant had been convicted, under regulations made under the Act, of smoking in a railway carriage. He sought to challenge the validity of the regulations themselves. He wanted to argue that the power to ban smoking on carriages did not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Benefits, Administrative

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.79024