Percy and Another v Hall and Others: QBD 31 May 1996

There was no wrongful arrest where the bylaw under which it was made was invalid. The question is the belief of the arresting officers. The effect of retrospective legislation is not always fully worked through. English law provides no cause of action for invalid administrative acts as such. A ‘second actor’ may be blameless if he detains a person in reliance on what appears to be a lawful authority, whether issued by a ‘first actor’ or otherwise.
Simon Brown LJ said of a byelaw under consideration: ‘Better . . to treat the instrument as valid unless so uncertain in its language as to have no ascertainable meaning, or so unclear in its effect as to be incapable of certain application in any case.’


Simon Brown LJ, Schliemann LJ


Times 31-May-1996, [1997] QB 924

Cited by:

CitedInter Lotto (Uk) Ltd v Camelot Group Plc CA 30-Jul-2003
The claimant and defendant had each operated using a the name ‘HotSpot’ for a name for its lottery. The respondent had registered the name as a trade mark. The claimant began to use the name first and claimed in passing off, and the respondent . .
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 . .
CitedID and others v The Home Office (BAIL for Immigration Detainees intervening) CA 27-Jan-2005
The claimants sought damages and other reliefs after being wrongfully detained by immigration officers for several days, during which they had been detained at a detention centre and left locked up when it burned down, being released only by other . .
CitedTabernacle v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 6-Mar-2008
The court considered the validity of bye-laws used to exclude protesters from land near a military base at Aldermarston.
Held: The byelaw which banned an ‘camp’ was sufficiently certain, but not that part which sought to ban any person who . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Police, Administrative

Updated: 09 April 2022; Ref: scu.84667