Miller and Dos Santos v The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and Others: QBD 13 Nov 2016

Article 50 Notice Requires Parliament’s Authority

The applicant challenged a decision by the respondent that he could use Crown prerogative powers to issue a notice under section 50 TUE to initiate the United Kingdom leaving the EU following the referendum under the 2015 Act.
Held: Once the notice had been given, it was irrevocable. Consultation with Parliament on such an important matter was required, and it was not something which could be done through the Crown prerogative: ‘Interpreting the ECA 1972 in the light of the constitutional background referred to above, we consider that it is clear that Parliament intended to legislate by that Act so as to introduce EU law into domestic law (and to create the category (ii) rights) in such a way that this could not be undone by exercise of Crown prerogative power. With the enactment of the ECA 1972, the Crown has no prerogative power to effect a withdrawal from the Community Treaties on whose continued existence the EU law rights introduced into domestic law depend (rights in categories (i) and (iii)) and on whose continued existence the wider rights of British citizens in category (ii) also depend. The Crown therefore has no prerogative power to effect a withdrawal from the relevant Treaties by giving notice under Article 50 of the TEU.’

Lord Dyson MR, John Thomas LCJ, Sales LJ
[2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin), [2016] WLR(D) 564
Judiciary, Bailii, WLRD
Treaty on European Union 50, European Communities Act 1972, European Union Referendum Act 2015, Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 20, Bill of Rights 1688 1, Act of Union 1707
England and Wales
CitedBurmah Oil Company (Burma Trading) Limited v Lord Advocate HL 21-Apr-1964
The General Officer Commanding during the war of 1939 to 1945 ordered the appellants oil installations near Rangoon to be destroyed. The Japanese were advancing and the Government wished to deny them the resources. It was done on the day before the . .
CitedJackson and others v Attorney General HL 13-Oct-2005
The applicant sought to challenge the 2004 Hunting Act, saying that it had been passed under the provisions of the 1949 Parliament Act which was itself an unlawful extension of the powers given by the 1911 Parliament Act to allow the House of . .
CitedProclamations, Case of KBD 1-Nov-1610
The King, as the executive government, sought to govern by making proclamations. In particular the court rejected the proposition that ‘the King by his proclamation may prohibit new buildings in and about London’
Held: The monarch had no power . .
CitedThe Zamora PC 1916
Lord Parker said: ‘The idea that the King in Council, or indeed any branch of the Executive, has power to prescribe or alter the law to be administered by the Courts of law in this country is out of harmony with the principles of our Constitution. . .
CitedAttorney General v De Keyser’s Royal Hotel Ltd HL 10-May-1920
A hotel had been requisitioned during the war for defence purposes. The owner claimed compensation. The AG argued that the liability to pay compensation had been displaced by statute giving the Crown the necessary powers.
Held: There is an . .
CitedSecretary of State in Council of India v Kamachee Boye Sahab PC 9-Jul-1859
‘The transactions of independent states between each other are governed by other laws than those which municipal courts administer: such courts have neither the means of deciding what is right, nor the power of enforcing any decision which they may . .
CitedJH Rayner (Mincing Lane) Ltd v Department of Trade and Industry HL 1989
An undisclosed principal will not be permitted to claim to be party to a contract if this is contrary to the terms of the contract itself. Thus the provision in the standard form B contract of the London Metal Exchange ‘this contract is made between . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame (No 2) HL 11-Oct-1990
The validity of certain United Kingdom legislation was challenged on the basis that it contravened provisions of the EEC Treaty by depriving the applicants of their Community rights to fish in European waters, and an interlocutory injunction was . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ex parte Rees-Mogg Admn 30-Jul-1993
The applicant, a former editor of the Times, sought judicial review of the decision by the respondent to ratify the EU Treaty (Maastricht), saying that it would increase the powers of the European Parliament without it having been approved by . .
CitedThoburn v Sunderland City Council etc Admn 18-Feb-2002
Various shopkeepers appealed convictions for breach of regulations requiring food sold by weight to be described in metric amounts. They claimed that the Regulations made under the 1985 Act, to the extent that they were inconsistent with it . .
CitedUBS Ag, London Branch and Another v Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig Gmbh ComC 15-Oct-2010
The defendant asked the court to decline jurisdiction.
Held: Gloster J stated: ‘In the present case the relevant requirement is to be found in CPR 7.5. That provides that a claim form which is to be served within the jurisdiction must be . .
CitedHS2 Action Alliance Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Transport and Another SC 22-Jan-2014
The government planned to promote a large scale rail development (HS2), announcing this in a command paper. The main issues, in summary, were, first, whether it should have been preceded by strategic environmental assessment, under the relevant . .
CitedWalker v Baird and Another PC 4-Aug-1892
(Newfoundland) A treaty, which does not terminate a state of war, has no legal effect upon the rights and duties of the subjects of the Crown and speaking generally no power resides in the Crown to compel them to obey the provisions of a treaty, or . .
CitedAnisminic Ltd v Foreign Compensation Commission HL 17-Dec-1968
There are no degrees of nullity
The plaintiffs had owned mining property in Egypt. Their interests were damaged and or sequestrated and they sought compensation from the Respondent Commission. The plaintiffs brought an action for the declaration rejecting their claims was a . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms HL 8-Jul-1999
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful
The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without . .
CitedFitzgerald v Muldoon 1976
A Labour government introduced a contributory superannuation scheme. Statute made contribution by employer and employee compulsory. The leader of the National opposition, Muldoon, promised to abolish the scheme immediately on becoming government. . .
CitedLaker Airways v Department of Trade CA 15-Dec-1976
Policy guidance issued by the respondent was unlawful because it was contrary to the statutory objectives laid down for the Civil Aviation Authority by section 3 of the 1971 Act. The court discussed the status of guidance issued by the respondent: . .
CitedMcCord, Re Judicial Review QBNI 28-Oct-2016
The claimant made application for judicial review of the stated intention of the Government of the UK to issue an article 50 notice to leave the EU, by means of the use of the royal Prerogative. They said that any use of the royal prerogative had . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex Parte Pierson HL 24-Jul-1997
The Home Secretary may not later extend the tariff for a lifer, after it had been set by an earlier Home Secretary, merely to satisfy needs of retribution and deterrence: ‘A power conferred by Parliament in general terms is not to be taken to . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Fire Brigades Union HL 5-Apr-1995
Parliament had passed the 1988 Act which provided for a new Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. Instead of implementing the Act, the Home Secretary drew up a non-statutory scheme for a tarriff based system by using prerogative powers. The . .
CitedThomas Cook and James Charles Cook v Sir James Gordon Sprigg PC 1-Aug-1899
Municipal courts have not and cannot have the competence to adjudicate upon or to enforce the rights arising out of transactions entered into by independent sovereign states between themselves on the plane of international law.
(Cape of Good . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromMiller and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Exiting The European Union SC 24-Jan-2017
Parliament’s Approval if statute rights affected
In a referendum, the people had voted to leave the European Union. That would require a notice to the Union under Article 50 TEU. The Secretary of State appealed against an order requiring Parliamentary approval before issuing the notice, he saying . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 31 December 2021; Ref: scu.570776