Regina v Ministry of Defence ex parte Colin James Murray: QBD 15 Dec 1997

The defendant sought judicial review of his court-martial and of the confirming officers. He said the court should have heard that he committed the offence whist intixicated after taking an anti-malarial drug. The court dd not explain why it had found no causal connection beween the treatment and the offence.
Held: There is no over-riding principle of law that reasons must be given for a decision in disciplinary decisions, but fairness will often require them to be given. Does ‘fairness require in this case that reasons should have been given both as to why the Court reached the conclusion that there was no causal connection and why it decided that the sentence of imprisonment was required rather than some lesser sentence which would not have had the same dire consequences for the Applicant? The answer to that question must be in the affirmative. Are there public interest reasons why reasons should not be required? The only public interest reasons . . . advanced relied upon drawing analogies with other judicial bodies. I accept . . . submissions . . . that the examples which he gave are not analogous.’


Lord Bingham of Cornhill LCJ, Hooper J


Times 17-Dec-1997, [1997] EWHC Admin 1136




Army Act 1955 70, Armed Forces Act 1996, Rules of Procedure (Army) 1972 (SI 1972/316) 76(1)


CitedRegina v Civil Service Appeal Board, Ex parte Cunningham CA 1991
The court considered the effect of a disciplinary board failing to give reasons. The absence of any right to appeal may be a factor in deciding that reasons should be given. If it is ‘important that there should be an effective means of detecting . .
CitedRegina v Guppy and Another CACD 8-Mar-1994
Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) may hear (but not require) evidence in person from an appellant. . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Doody and Others HL 25-Jun-1993
A mandatory lifer is to be permitted to suggest the period of actual sentence to be served. The Home Secretary must give reasons for refusing a lifer’s release. What fairness requires in any particular case is ‘essentially an intuitive judgment’, . .
CitedLloyd v McMahon HL 12-Mar-1987
The district auditor had issued a certificate under the 1982 Act surcharging the appellant councillors in the sum of 106,103, pounds being the amount of a loss incurred or deficiency caused, as the auditor found, by their wilful misconduct.
CitedRegina v Universities Funding Council ex parte Institute of Dental Surgery QBD 30-Jul-1993
When considering whether a disciplinary board should have given reasons, the court may find the absence critical ‘where the decision appears aberrant’. ‘the giving of reasons may among other things concentrate the decision-maker’s mind on the right . .
CitedRegina v Mayor, Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, ex parte Matson CA 18-Aug-1995
The court considered the need to give reasons for the election of Aldermen. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Natural Justice, Armed Forces

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.87364