Regina v His Honour Judge Sir Donald Hurst, ex parte Smith: QBD 1960

The County Court Judge had directed the removal from the electoral register the names of a number of persons who were not party to the proceedings before him. Motions were brought in the Divisional Court for an order of certiorari to quash his directions. The issue arose as to whether there was jurisdiction to do so, having regard to s.107 of the County Courts Act 1959 which provided: ‘Subject to the provisions of any other Act relating to county courts, no judgment or order of any judge of county courts, nor any appeal proceedings brought before him or pending in his court, shall be removed by appeal, motion, certiorari or otherwise into any other court whatever, except in the manner and according to the provisions of this Act mentioned.’
Held: Lord Parker CJ said: ‘The leading case on the matter is Ex p. Bradlaugh (1878), 3 Q.B.D. 509, where Mellor, J., put the principle in these words . . ‘It is well established that the provision taking away the certiorari does not apply where there was an absence of jurisdiction. The consequence of holding otherwise would be that a metropolitan magistrate could make any order he pleased without question.’
To the same effect is a number of cases including, coming to quite recent times, R. v. Worthington-Evans, Ex p. Madan [1959] 2 Q.B. at p.152 and Re Gilmore’s Application [1957] 1 Q.B. at p.588. I am quite satisfied that certiorari will lie against a county court judge if he has acted without jurisdiction, notwithstanding the sections of the County Courts Act, 1959, to which I have referred.’
Lord Parker CJ
[1960] 2 All ER 385
County Courts Act 1959 107
England and Wales
Cited by:
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Updated: 17 September 2021; Ref: scu.442689