Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex Parte Salem: HL 3 Mar 1999

The House of Lords has the power to hear a case where the parties have in effect settled and there remains no lis at issue, but the House will not hear such an academic case where no general issue of importance is at stake, or the facts are particular. There must be a good reason in the public interest for hearing such a case, and the House cited, as an example, a case: ‘where a discrete point of statutory construction arises which does not involve detailed consideration of facts and where a large number of similar cases exists or are anticipated so that the issue will most likely need to be resolved in the near future.’
Lord Slynn of Hadleigh said: ‘My Lords, I accept, as both counsel agree, that in a cause where there is an issue involving a public authority as to a question of public law, your Lordships have a discretion to hear the appeal, even if by the time the appeal reaches the House there is no longer a lis to be decided which will directly affect the rights and obligations of the parties inter se. The decisions in the Sun Life case and Ainsbury v Millington (and the reference to the latter in rule 42 of the Practice Directions applicable to Civil Appeals (January 1996) of your Lordships’ House) must be read accordingly as limited to disputes concerning private law rights between the parties to the case.’
Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle, Lord Steyn and Lord Clyde
Gazette 03-Mar-1999, Times 12-Feb-1999, [1999] UKHL 8, [1999] 1 AC 450, [1999] 2 All ER 42, [1999] 2 WLR 483
House of Lords, Bailii, WLR
England and Wales
Citing:
On appeal fromSalem v Secretary of State for Home Department CA 6-Mar-1998
The Secretary of State having decided against an application for asylum could direct non-payment of benefits although he would hear representations.
Held: Regulation 70(3A)(b)(i) defines a date by reference to the recording by the Secretary of . .
CitedAinsbury v Millington (Note) HL 1987
There had been a dispute between the parties as to a council house tenancy, but by the time it came before the House, the tenancy had ceased to exist, and the action was academic.
Held: Once the parties have settled their dispute there remains . .
CitedSun Life Assurance Co of Canada v Jervis HL 1944
The parties had disputed the terms of an insurance policy. The House considered whether it could hear the case once the dispute had been settled.
Held: There was no remaining dispute for the House to settle. Viscount Simon LC said: ‘My Lords, . .

Cited by:
CitedSalem v Secretary of State for Home Department CA 6-Mar-1998
The Secretary of State having decided against an application for asylum could direct non-payment of benefits although he would hear representations.
Held: Regulation 70(3A)(b)(i) defines a date by reference to the recording by the Secretary of . .
CitedCorner House Research, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry CA 1-Mar-2005
The applicant sought to bring an action to challenge new rules on approval of export credit guarantees. The company was non-profit and founded to support investigation of bribery. It had applied for a protected costs order to support the . .
CitedBowman v Fels (Bar Council and Others intervening) CA 8-Mar-2005
The parties had lived together in a house owned in the defendant’s name and in which she claimed an interest. The claimant’s solicitors notified NCIS that they thought the defendant had acted illegally in setting off against his VAT liability the . .
CitedRegina, (Ultraframe (UK) Ltd) v Central Arbitration Committee CA 22-Apr-2005
Two trade unions had sought recognition. Ballots had been held which almost secured recognition but fell a handful of votes short. The Unions criticised the way the ballots had been conducted, saying that a number of employees had not received . .
CitedHarb v King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and Another CA 9-Nov-2005
The wife sought to continue her claim for ancillary relief despite the death of her husband, the former King of Saudi Arabia.
Held: The court’s jurisdiction over the King had been challenged. However the claimants claim now abated on the death . .
CitedRolls-Royce plc v Unite the Union CA 14-May-2009
rolls_uniteCA2009
The parties disputed whether the inclusion of length of service within a selection matrix for redundancy purposes would amount to unlawful age discrimination. The court was asked whether it was correct to make a declaratory judgment when the case . .
CitedAVS v A NHS Foundation Trust and Another CA 17-Jan-2011
The claimant contracted sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob’s Disease disease. He executed a Lasting Power of Attorney in favour of his brother, expressing to him that he should do whatever was possible to protract his life. The brother now sought treatment . .
AppliedDolan and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Another CA 1-Dec-2020
Lockdown Measures not Ultra Vires the 1984 Act
The appellants, a businessman, and mother, appealed from refusal of leave to challenge regulations made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic on 26 March 2020 and since which introduced what was commonly known as a ‘lockdown’ in England. They . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 May 2021; Ref: scu.85536