Regina v Commissioners for the Special Purposes of the Income Tax: CA 27 Jun 1888

Lord Esher MR pointed out that while it is generally correct to say that a tribunal cannot give itself jurisdiction by a wrong decision on the facts there may be cases in which the legislature endows a tribunal with jurisdiction, provided that a certain state of facts exists and further endows it with jurisdiction to decide, without any appeal from their decision, whether or not that state of affairs does or did exist, that is, to decide whether a condition precedent was satisfied for the further exercise of jurisdiction: ‘But there is another state of things which may exist. The legislature may intrust the tribunal or body with a jurisdiction, which includes the jurisdiction to determine whether the preliminary state of facts exists as well as the jurisdiction, on finding that it does exist, to proceed further . . ‘
Lord Esher MR set out the complementary responsibilities of court and tribunal: ‘When an inferior court or tribunal or body, which has to exercise the power of deciding facts, is first established by Act of Parliament, the legislature has to consider what powers it will give that tribunal or body. It may in effect say that, if a certain state of facts exists and is shown to such tribunal or body before it proceeds to do certain things, it shall have jurisdiction to do such things, but not otherwise. There it is not for them conclusively to decide whether that state of facts exists, and, if they exercise the jurisdiction without its existence, what they do may be questioned, and it will be held that they have acted without jurisdiction.’
Lord Esher MR
(1888) 21 QBD 313
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAhsan v Carter CA 28-Jul-2005
The claimant sought to assert race discrimination by the Labour Party in not selecting him as a political candidate. The defendant, chairman of the party appealed.
Held: A political party when selecting candidates was not acting as a . .
CitedAnisminic Ltd v Foreign Compensation Commission HL 17-Dec-1968
All Public Law Challenges are For a 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 September 2021; Ref: scu.229691