Post Office v Estuary Radio Ltd: CA 1968

On the proper inerpretation of the legislation, the extent of application of the legislative regime is determined by reference to the concept of the UK’s territorial waters as defined from time to time by the Crown. When the exercise of the Royal Prerogative directly effects an extension or contraction of the jurisdiction without the constitutional need for internal legislation, the court may not only be empowered but required to adjudicate upon the meaning or scope of the terms of an international treaty.
Diplock LJ said: ‘there is a presumption that the Crown did not intend to break an international treaty (see Salomon v Commissioners of Customs and Excise), and if there is any ambiguity in the Order in Council, it should be resolved so as to accord with the provisions of the Convention in so far as that is a plausible meaning of the express words of the order.’
. . And ‘It still lies within the prerogative power of the Crown to extend its sovereignty and jurisdiction to areas of land or sea over which it has not previously claimed or exercised sovereignty or jurisdiction. For such extension, the authority of Parliament is not required.’


Diplock LJ


[1968] 2 QB 740, [1967] 3 All ER 622


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMaclaine Watson and Co Ltd v International Tin Council HL 2-Jan-1989
The International Tin Council was a body constituted by an international treaty not incorporated into law in the United Kingdom. The ITC was also created a legal person in the United Kingdom by article 5 1972 Order.
Held: As a legal person in . .
CitedOccidental Exploration and Production Company vRepublic of Ecuador CA 9-Sep-2005
The parties had arbitrated their dispute in London under a bilateral investment treaty between the US and Ecuador. The republic sought to appeal the arbitration. The applicant now appealed an order that the English High Court had jurisdiction to . .
CitedMiller 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: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.230263