The House considered whether it would have power to make a ruling with prospective effect only. Lord Diplock said the matter deserved further consideration; Lord Simon said that the possibility of prospective overruling should be seriously considered, but that he would prefer legislation, saying that ‘informed professional opinion’ was probably to the effect that the House had no power to overrule decisions with prospective effect only.
Viscount Dilhorne discussed the freedom if any to overturn a recent case: ‘[I]f the view be that the decision is clearly wrong, it is, I think, easier to decide that a recent case should not be followed than if it is one that has stood for a long time, for if it is in the latter category many may have acted in reliance on it.’
Lord Reid said that the power given to the House by the Practice Statement was to be applied only in a small number of cases in which previous decisions of the House were ‘thought to be impeding the proper development of the law or to have led to results which were unjust or contrary to public policy.’
Lord Diplock said: ‘Section 5 (1946 Act), which contains the general description of and conditions of entitlement to each of the three benefits, avoids the use of the compound phrase ‘personal injury by accident’ which had appeared in successive Workmen’s Compensation Acts since 1897. It is reasonable to suppose that the change in phraseology was deliberate – though there is an isolated lapse into the expression ‘personal injury by accident’ in section 48(2) of the statute.’
Lord Diplock, Lord Simon of Glaisdale, Lord Reid
 AC 944
Workmen’s Compensation Act 1946 5
England and Wales
Cited – Practice Statement (Judicial Precedent) HL 1966
The House gave guidance how it would treat an invitation to depart from a previous decision of the House. Such a course was possible, but the direction was not an ‘open sesame’ for a differently constituted committee to prefer their views to those . .
Cited – National Westminster Bank plc v Spectrum Plus Limited and others HL 30-Jun-2005
Former HL decision in Siebe Gorman overruled
The company had become insolvent. The bank had a debenture and claimed that its charge over the book debts had become a fixed charge. The preferential creditors said that the charge was a floating charge and that they took priority.
Held: The . .
Cited – Horton v Sadler and Another HL 14-Jun-2006
The claimant had been injured in a road traffic accident for which the defendant was responsible in negligence. The defendant was not insured, and so a claim was to be made against the MIB. The plaintiff issued proceedings just before the expiry of . .
Cited – Gibson v United States of America PC 23-Jul-2007
(The Bahamas) The US government sought the extradition of the appellant from the Bahamas on drugs charges. The warrants were found to be void, and the defendant released unconditionally, when the nmagistrate rejected evidence from an admitted . .
Cited – Chartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd and Others HL 1-Jul-2009
Mutual Knowledge admissible to construe contract
The parties had entered into a development contract in respect of a site in Wandsworth, under which balancing compensation was to be paid. They disagreed as to its calculation. Persimmon sought rectification to reflect the negotiations.
Held: . .
Cited – Regina v Kansal (2) HL 29-Nov-2001
The prosecutor had lead and relied at trial on evidence obtained by compulsory questioning under the 1986 Act.
Held: In doing so the prosecutor was acting to give effect to section 433.
The decision in Lambert to disallow retrospective . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 July 2021; Ref: scu.228279