Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Cheblak: CA 1991

Because of the importance placed on the swift and efficient determination of lawfulness of the restraint, habeas corpus applications are given priority in the organisation of the business of the court.
In order to be permitted to present a judicial review application the applicant must raise an arguable case on each of the grounds on which he seeks to challenge the impugned decision.
Lord Donaldson MR explained the difference between habeas corpus and judicial review: ‘Although, as I have said, the 2 forms of relief which the applicant seeks are interrelated on the facts of his case, they are essentially different. A writ of habeas corpus will issue where someone is detained without any authority or the purported authority is beyond the powers of the person authorising the detention and so is unlawful. The remedy of judicial review is available where the decision or action sought to be impugned is within the powers of the person taking it but, due to procedural error, a misappreciation of the law, a failure to take account of relevant matters, a taking account of irrelevant matters or the fundamental unreasonableness of the decision or action, it should never have been taken. In such a case the decision or action is lawful, unless and until it is set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction. In the case of detention, if the warrant, or the underlying decision to deport, were set aside but the detention continued, a writ of habeas corpus would issue.’
. . And: ‘the exercise of the jurisdiction of the courts in cases involving national security is necessarily restricted, not by any unwillingness to act in protection of the rights of individuals or any lack of independence of the executive, but by the nature or the subject matter. National security is the exclusive responsibility of the executive.’

Lord Donaldson MR
[1991] 1 WLR 890
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedTF, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice CA 18-Dec-2008
The claimant had been near to completing a sentence for serious violence. He now challenged the way in which, as his sentenced approached completion, the defendant had sought an order transferring him to a secure mental hospital. He was served with . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Judicial Review, Constitutional

Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.279144