Flaherty v National Greyhound Racing Club Ltd: CA 14 Sep 2005

The club regulated greyhound racing. The claimant had complained that its disciplinary proceedings had been conducted unfairly. He said that a panel member had an interest as veterinary surgeon in the proceedings at the stadium at which the alleged offence occurred.
Held: The appeal by the club succeeded. No bias whether real or apparent had been found, and the judge’s conclusion could not stand.
Baker LJ said that bodies such as the defendant, should be afforded ‘as great a latitude as is consistent with the fundamental requirements of fairness’ and ‘it is not in the interest of sport to double guess’. They ‘have unrivalled and practical knowledge of the particular sport that they are required to regulate. They cannot be expected to act in every detail as if they are a court of law. Provided they act lawfully and within the ambit of their powers the courts should allow them to get on with the job that they are required to do’.


Baker LJ


[2005] EWCA Civ 1117, [2006] ISLR SLR-8




England and Wales


CitedMcInnes v Onslow-Fane ChD 1978
The applicant had been granted a boxing manager’s licence for several years. He appealed its refusal now over a few years.
Held: The case was in the application for a licence rather than in a forfeiture or an expectation class, and there was . .
CitedLaw v National Greyhound Racing Club Limited CA 29-Jul-1983
The plaintiff alleged abuse of the discretion conferred on the club by the rules. His trainer’s licence had been suspended. He said that it was contrary to an implied term of an agreement between the trainer and the racing club that any action taken . .
MentionedCowley v Heartley 24-Jul-1986
It is the courts’ function to control illegality and make sure that a body does not act outside its powers. . .
CitedDiane Modahl v British Athletic Federation CA 12-Oct-2001
The claimant had been banned from competing as an athlete after failing a drugs test which she said was faulty. Her appeal was upheld, but she claimed damages for breach of contract in failing to provide an unbiased hearing. She appealed dismissal . .
CitedRegina v Gough (Robert) HL 1993
The defendant had been convicted of robbery. He appealed, saying that a member of the jury was a neighbour to his brother, and there was therefore a risk of bias. This was of particular significance as the defendant was charged with conspiracy with . .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedIn Re Medicaments and Related Classes of Goods (No 2); Director General of Fair Trading v Proprietary Association of Great Britain and Proprietary Articles Trade Association CA 21-Dec-2000
The claimants alleged that a connection between a member of the Restrictive Practices Court, who was to hear a complaint and another company, disclosed bias against them. She had not recused herself.
Held: When asking whether material . .
CitedLocabail (UK) Ltd, Regina v Bayfield Properties Ltd CA 17-Nov-1999
Adverse Comments by Judge Need not be Show of Bias
In five cases, leave to appeal was sought on the basis that a party had been refused disqualification of judges on grounds of bias. The court considered the circumstances under which a fear of bias in a court may prove to be well founded: ‘The mere . .
CitedCooper v Wilson 1937
Police officers can be removed from office only by a valid exercise of the statutory power of dismissal. The principles of natural justice applied in the dismissal. . .
CitedRegina v Leicestershire Fire Authority ex parte Thompson 1978
The proceedings of a watch committee are fatally flawed by the presence of the chief officer. . .
CitedDeepak Fertilisers and Petrochemical Limited v Davy McKee (UK) London Limited CA 12-Jul-2002
‘The general rule in adversarial proceedings, as between the parties, is that one party should not be entitled to impugn the evidence of another party’s witness if he has not asked appropriate questions enabling the witness to deal with the . .
CitedMan O’War Station Limited and Huruhe Station Limited v Auckland County Council (formerly Waiheke County Council) and H M Attorney General for New Zealand (Judgment No 2) PC 17-Jun-2002
(New Zealand) A road was to be constructed over land but the land was sold with no entry in the registers to indicate any public right of way. The land owner said no right of way existed. The authority said that the dedication followed from the . .
CitedMan O’War Station Limited and Huruhe Station Limited v Auckland City Council (formerly Waiheke County Council) and H M Attorney General for New Zealand (Judgment No 1) PC 29-May-2002
PC (New Zealand) It was unreal to suggest that a prior past professional association between a witness and the judge gave rise to a danger of partiality. . .
CitedCalvin v Carr PC 15-Jan-1979
(New South Wales) It was argued that a decision of the stewards of the Australian Jockey Club was void for having been made in breach of the rules of natural justice.
Held: The stewards were entitled to use the evidence of their eyes and their . .
CitedNwabueze v General Medical Council PC 6-Apr-2000
Deliberations of the professional conduct committee hearing a case of professional conduct were in the presence of an assessor who gave advice to the committee. After returning from deliberation the assessor described the advice given, and the . .
CitedRegina v Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust ex parte L Admn 30-Oct-1997
In considering whether a complainant had had a fair hearing in a domestic tribunal, the court may consider the identity or status of an ‘outsider’ whose his identity or status, even though he remains silent, may operate to influence the tribunal. . .
CitedRegina v Inner West London Coroner Ex Parte Dallaglio, and Ex Parte Lockwood Croft CA 16-Jun-1994
A coroner’s comment that the deceased’s relative was ‘unhinged’ displayed a bias which was irreparable. ‘The description ‘apparent bias’ traditionally given to this head of bias is not entirely apt, for if despite the appearance of bias the court is . .
Appeal fromFlaherty v National Greyhound Racing Club Limited ChD 8-Dec-2004
The claimant alleged that his case had been dealt with unjustly and in breach of natural justice by the respondents. . .

Cited by:

CitedMcKeown v British Horseracing Authority QBD 12-Mar-2010
The jockey claimant challenged disciplinary proceedings brought against him by the defendant authority.
Held: The findings were upheld in part but remitted for consideration of giving the claimant opportunity to challenge certain evidence. . .
CitedWatson v University of Strathclyde EAT 1-Feb-2011
EAT UNFAIR DISMISSAL – Constructive dismissal
Apparent bias. Whether Employment Tribunal had erred in failing to find that there was apparent bias where a member of the panel (the University Secretary) . .
CitedSankofa and Another v The Football Association Ltd ComC 12-Jan-2007
The claimant sought an injunction to order the defendant football association from preventing him playing on a football match. He had been sent off and was subject to an automatic additional one match ban. He sought to exercise a right under the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Administrative

Updated: 04 July 2022; Ref: scu.230031