The House considered the propriety of a tribunal chairman seeing material not placed before the parties. This was a wardship case.
Held: Where the interests of the parents and the child conflicted, ‘the welfare of the child must dominate’.
Lord Devlin spoke of ‘the fundamental principle of justice that the judge should not look at material that the parties before him have not seen’.
Referring to ‘the ordinary principles of a judicial inquiry’, he continued: ‘They include the rules that all justice shall be done openly and that it shall be done only after a fair hearing; and also the rule that is in point here, namely, that judgment shall be given only upon evidence that is made known to all parties. Some of these principles are so fundamental that they must be observed by everyone who is acting judicially, whether he is sitting in a court of law or not; and these are called the principles of natural justice. The rule in point here is undoubtedly one of those.’ and ‘[w]here the judge sits purely as an arbiter and relies on the parties for information, the parties have a correlative right that he should act only on information which they have had the opportunity of testing. Where the judge is not sitting purely, or primarily, as an arbiter, but is charged with the paramount duty of protecting one outside the conflict, a rule that is designed for just arbitrament cannot in all circumstances prevail.’
 AC 201,  3 All ER 191
England and Wales
Appeal from – In Re K (Infants) CA 2-Jan-1963
The court discussed the need for those appearing before tribunals to be given sufficient access to all the material placed before the judge. Upjohn LJ said: ‘It seems to be fundamental to any judicial inquiry that a person or other properly . .
At first Instance (Dicta approved) – In re K (Infants) ChD 1963
Ungoed Thomas J discussed the balance of interests in a wardship case, as it affected disclosure of documents: ‘However, where the paramount purpose is the welfare of the infant, the procedure and rules of evidence should serve and certainly not . .
Cited – Roberts v Parole Board HL 7-Jul-2005
Balancing Rights of Prisoner and Society
The appellant had been convicted of the murder of three police officers in 1966. His tariff of thirty years had now long expired. He complained that material put before the Parole Board reviewing has case had not been disclosed to him.
Held: . .
Cited – In re W (Children) (Family proceedings: Evidence) (Abuse: Oral Evidence) SC 3-Mar-2010
The court considered the approach to be taken when considering whether to order a child’s attendance at court in care proceedings. It was argued that the starting point of assuming that a child should not attend, failed to respect the human right to . .
Cited – Al Rawi and Others v The Security Service and Others CA 4-May-2010
Each claimant had been captured and mistreated by the US government, and claimed the involvement in and responsibility for that mistreatment by the respondents. The court was asked whether a court in England and Wales, in the absence of statutory . .
Cited – Chief Constable and Another v YK and Others FD 6-Oct-2010
The court gave directions in Forced Marriage Protection order applications. An order had been made at the request of the police on behalf of A, and the court had declined to discharge it on A’s own application.
Held: Special advocates were not . .
Cited – In re A (A Child) SC 12-Dec-2012
A woman, X, had made an allegation in confidence she had been sexually assaulted as a child. The court was asked whether that confidence could be overriden to allow an investigation to protect if necessary a child still living with the man. Evidence . .
Cited – A v British Broadcasting Corporation (Scotland) SC 8-May-2014
Anonymised Party to Proceedings
The BBC challenged an order made by the Court of Session in judicial review proceedings, permitting the applicant review to delete his name and address and substituting letters of the alphabet, in the exercise (or, as the BBC argues, purported . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Children, Administrative, Natural Justice
Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.228359