Pretty v Solly: CA 24 Jan 1859

In a statutory construction the specific overrides the general – generalia specialibus non derogant. Sir John Romilly MR said: ‘The general rules which are applicable to particular and general enactments in statutes are very clear, the only difficulty is in their application. The rule is, that wherever there is a particular enactment and a general enactment in the same statute, and the latter, taken in its most comprehensive sense, would overrule the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the general enactment must be taken to affect only the other parts of the statute to which it may properly apply.’


Sir John Romilly MR


[1859] EngR 249, (1859) 26 Beav 606, (1859) 53 ER 1032




England and Wales

Cited by:

AppliedCusack v London Borough of Harrow CA 7-Dec-2011
The claimant sought compensation after the Borough ordered fencing to be erected along the roadside so as to obstruct vehicular access to and from his premises. If the action was taken under section 66(2) and not section 80, then Lewison LJ said . .
CitedCusack v London Borough of Harrow SC 19-Jun-2013
The landowner practised from property in Harrow. The former garden had now for many years been used as a forecourt open to the highway, for parking cars of staff and clients. Cars crossed the footpath to gain access, and backing out into the road . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.287601