Macnaughton v Macnaughton’s Trustees: IHCS 1953

It is not the function of the courts to decide hypothetical questions which do not impact on the parties before them. Lord Justice-Clerk Thomson said: ‘Our Courts have consistently acted on the view that it is their function in the ordinary run of contentious litigation to decide only live, practical questions, and that they have no concern with hypothetical, premature or academic questions, nor do they exist to advise litigants as to the policy which they should adopt in the ordering of their affairs. The Courts are neither a debating club nor an advisory bureau. Just what is a live practical question is not always easy to decide and must, in the long run, turn on the circumstances of the particular case.’
Lord Justice-Clerk Thomson
[1953] SC 387
Cited by:
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Limit to Declaratory Refilef as to Future Acts
The applicant newspaper editor wanted to campaign for a republican government. Articles were published, and he sought confirmation that he would not be prosecuted under the Act, in the light of the 1998 Act.
Held: Declaratory relief as to the . .
CitedBritish American Tobacco (Investments) Ltd v United States of America CA 30-Jul-2004
The claimant appealed an order for its London solicitor to be examined in connection with proceedings in the US.
Held: A court should not make an order which was superfluous. The witness had now given his evidence. However, the foreign . .
CitedClarke v Fennoscandia Ltd and others (Scotland) HL 12-Dec-2007
After being awarded costs in proceedings in the US, the defendants chased the claimant for their costs in Scotland. He sought an interdict saying that the judgment had been obtained by fraud. The defendant had give an undertaking not to pursue the . .
CitedAshley and Another v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 23-Apr-2008
The claimants sought to bring an action for damages after a family member suspected of dealing drugs, was shot by the police. At the time he was naked. The police officer had been acquitted by a criminal court of murder. The chief constable now . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 October 2021; Ref: scu.184054