Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex Parte Puttick: CA 1981

The applicant, then Astrid Proll, fled bail in Germany when awaiting trial on terrorist charges, entered England and under a false name, and married Mr Puttick. She resisted extradition saying that under the 1948 Act she was now a British National. She appealed against a decision that she could not rely upon her fraudulent behaviour.
Held: Her appeal failed.
The court considered the application of the doctrine of ex turpi causa no oritur actio: ‘It was well established that public policy required the courts to refuse to assist a criminal to benefit from his crime at least in serious cases.’ and ‘There is much authority on the circumstances in which the courts will refuse to enforce contractual rights upon grounds of public policy, but I doubt whether this is directly applicable where the right is conferred and the concomitant duty is imposed by statute.’ and ‘Statutory duties which are in terms absolute may nevertheless be subject to implied limitations based upon principles of public policy accepted by the courts at the time when the Act is passed.’ To apply this principle: ‘… Parliament can never have intended that a woman should be entitled to claim registration as a citizen … on the basis of a marriage achieved only on the basis of serious crime … the commission of the crime of perjury and forgery formed the foundation of her marriage … and … disentitled her to rely upon the right which she would otherwise have had to claim registration as a citizen. …’.

Donaldson LJ, Forbes J
[1981] 1 QB 767, [1981] 1 All ER 776
England and Wales
Appeal fromPuttick v Attorney General etc FD 1980
Astrid Proll, a former member of the Baader-Meinhof gang absconded while awaiting trial in Germany. She entered the UK using a passport which she had bought in the name of Senta Sauerbier, and married Robin Puttick under that name. The German . .

Cited by:
CitedSudershan Kumar Rampal v Surendra Rampal CA 19-Jul-2001
The parties were divorced, but when the husband applied for ancillary relief, the wife petitioned for nullity on the basis that the marriage was bigamous. The husband countered that she had known that his first marriage had only ended after this . .
CitedJ v S T (Formerly J) CA 21-Nov-1996
The parties had married, but the male partner was a transsexual, having been born female and having undergone treatment for Gender Identity Dysphoria. After IVF treatment, the couple had a child. As the marriage broke down the truth was revealed in . .
CitedRegina v Chief National Insurance Commissioner Ex Parte Connor QBD 1981
The court was asked whether the rule against forfeiture applied so as to disentitle an applicant from receiving a widow’s allowance when she had killed her husband with a knife. She had been held guilty of manslaughter but simply placed on . .
CitedJ and B CA 7-Nov-2002
The Crown prosecution service sought judicial review of a decision by the registrar of marriages to celebrate the marriage between the parties. He was due to face trial for murder, and she was to give evidence against him.
Held: The registrar . .
CitedRegina v Registrar General, ex parte Smith CA 1991
The applicant was detained in Broadmoor, having been convicted of murder in 1977 and of manslaughter in 1980. He suffered from serious mental instability and psychosis The second killing was of a fellow prisoner whom he believed to be his adoptive . .
CitedHicks, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 13-Dec-2005
The claimant, an Australian, presently held by the US as a suspected terrorist in Guantanamo Bay sought to be registered as a British Citizen, saying he was entitled to registration as of right.
Held: The past behaviour of an applicant was not . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 28 November 2021; Ref: scu.235261