Regina v Secretary of State for Social Security, Ex parte Britnell (Alan): HL 1991

The applicant claimed and was paid benefits. There was later determined to have been an overpayment. A sum was recovered by deductions, but then he was granted only supplementary allowance. No deductions could be made from that, but the respondent relied upon the transitional provisions in the regulations to continue to make deductions. The claimant asserted that the amendment to the Act brought about under the regulation was ultra vires.
Held: The alteration made was not so significant or radical as to make it ultra vires. Lord Keith of Kinkel/b>: ‘[A] power to modify the provisions of a statute should be narrowly and strictly construed, and that view is indeed a correct one.’
Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Brandon of Oakwood, Lord Ackner, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton and Lord Jauncy of Tullichettle
[1991] 1 WLR 198, [1991] 2 All ER 726
Social Security Act 1986 53 89(1), Social Security (Payments on Account, Overpayment and Recovery) Regulations 1987 20(2)
England and Wales
ApprovedMcKiernon v Secretary of State for Social Security CA 26-Oct-1989
A statute granting a power to be amended by a subordinate instrument can only do so by an express power: ‘Whether subject to the negative or affirmative resolution procedure, [subordinate legislation] is subject to much briefer, if any, examination . .
Guardian 31-Oct-89, Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Transcript No 1017 of 1989

Cited by:
CitedOakley Inc v Animal Ltd and others PatC 17-Feb-2005
A design for sunglasses was challenged for prior publication. However the law in England differed from that apparently imposed from Europe as to the existence of a 12 month period of grace before applying for registration.
Held: Instruments . .
[2005] EWHC 210 (Ch), Times 10-Mar-05
CitedThe Public Law Project, Regina (on The Application of) v Lord Chancellor SC 13-Jul-2016
Proposed changes to the Legal Aid regulations were challenged as being invalid, for being discriminatory. If regulations are not authorised under statute, they will be invalid, even if they have been approved by resolutions of both Houses under the . .
[2016] UKSC 39, [2016] AC 153, [2016] HRLR 17, [2016] WLR(D) 384, [2016] 3 WLR 387, UKSC 2015/0255

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 18 December 2020; Ref: scu.222833