Regina v Secretary of State for Social Services, ex parte Camden London Borough Council: CA 1987

A directory referred to in a statutory instrument setting a level of benefits had not itself been passed by Parliament.
Held: There was no legal flaw in a statutory instrument which fixed the amount of benefits by reference to a directory separately published by the Secretary of State. The directory had not been laid before Parliament with the draft instrument but was already in existence and able to be referred to.
Slade LJ referred with approval to Macpherson J’s observations in the court below about the technique of reference to outside documents in a statutory instrument. The judge said that, provided the reference was to an existing document and there was no question of sub-delegation, there was no objection to this practice in the eyes of the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments and that there had been an increasing tendency to resort to this technique. The court’s task was to look to see whether the reference offended against the provisions of the enabling statute and was in truth simply part of the regulations by which the Secretary of State purported to exercise his powers. If that inquiry is negative, then all is well. Any control of the extended use of references which are permissible in their own statutory context was a matter for Parliament and its practices.


Slade, Parker and Mustill LJJ


[1987] 1 WLR 819


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedSecretary of State for The Home Department v Pankina CA 23-Jun-2010
Each claimant had graduated from a tertiary college and wished to stay on in the UK. They challenged the points based system for assessing elgibility introduced in 2008 after they had commenced their studies. The new rules tightened the criteria for . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Benefits, Constitutional

Updated: 26 May 2022; Ref: scu.417812