Regina v Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Ex Parte Al-Fayed: CA 5 Nov 1997

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards had published a report relating to a complaint by the applicant against a Member of Parliament.
Held: The applicant sought permission to challenge this by judicial review. The applicant’s appeal failed. No judicial review was possible of the workings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards despite the absence of any Appeal from his findings. To allow a judicial review would be to impugn the House of Commons. Lord Woolf MR said: ‘Activities of government are the basic fare of judicial review. Activities of Parliament are not the basic fare of judicial review. Indeed activities of Parliament are accepted in general by Mr. Pannick to be not subject to judicial review. If I may put it this way, if what was being sought here was judicial review of the Standing Committee responsible for supervising the activities of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Mr. Pannick would accept that judicial review was not available.’ and ‘The focus of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is on the propriety of the workings and the activities of those engaged within Parliament. He is one of the means by which the select committee set up by the House carries out its functions, which are accepted to be part of the proceedings of the House. This being the role of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, it would be inappropriate for this court to use its supervisory powers to control what the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards does in relation to an investigation of this sort. The responsibility for supervising the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is placed by Parliament, through its standing orders, on the Committee of Standards and Privileges of the House, and it is for that body to perform that role and not the courts.’
Lord Woolf MR
Gazette 05-Nov-1997, [1997] EWCA Civ 2488, [1998] 1 WLR 669, [1998] 1 All ER 93
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedHamilton v Al Fayed HL 23-Mar-2000
The claimant MP sued the defendant in defamation after he had alleged that the MP had corruptly solicited and received payments and benefits in kind as a reward for parliamentary services rendered.
Held: Parliament has protected by privilege . .
CitedChaytor and Others, Regina v CACD 30-Jul-2010
The defendants had been members of the Houses of Commons and of Lords. They faced charges of dishonesty in respect of their expenses claims. They now appealed a finding that they were not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament under . .
CitedChaytor and Others, Regina v SC 1-Dec-2010
The defendants faced trial on charges of false accounting in connection in different ways with their expenses claims whilst serving as members of the House of Commons. They appealed against rejection of their assertion that the court had no . .

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Updated: 24 April 2021; Ref: scu.87524