Rex v Nat Bell Liquors Ltd: PC 7 Apr 1922

(Alberta) Lord Sumner said: ‘Long before Jervis’s Acts statutes had been passed which created an inferior court, and declared its decisions to be ‘final’ and ‘without appeal’, and again and again the Court of the King’s Bench had held that the language of this kind did not restrict or take away the right of the court to bring the proceedings before itself by certiorari. There is no need to regard this as a conflict between the court and Parliament; on the contrary, the latter, by continuing to use the same language in subsequent enactments, accepted this interpretation which is now clearly established and is applicable to Canadian legislation, both Dominion and Provincial, when regulating the rights of certiorari and of appeal in similar terms. The Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1848, was intended to produce and did produce its result by a simple change in procedure without unduly ousting the supervisory jurisdiction of the superior court.’ An error on the face of a judgment could not be said to make the decision a nullity. The error ‘however grave, is a wrong exercise of the jurisdiction which he has, and not a usurpation of a jurisdiction which he has not’
As to the supervisory jurisdiction of the superior court: ‘Its jurisdiction is to see that the inferior court has not exceeded its own, and for that very reason it is bound not to interfere in what has been done within that jurisdiction, for in so doing it would itself, in turn, transgress the limits within which its own jurisdiction of supervision, not of review, is confined. That supervision goes to two points: one is the area of the inferior jurisdiction and the qualifications and conditions of its exercise; the other is the observance of the law in the course of its exercise.’
Sumner, Buckmaster, Atkinson, Wrenbury and Carson LL
[1922] 2 AC 128, [1922] UKPC 35, Appeal No. 97 of 1921
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Medical Appeal Tribunal ex parte Gilmore; Re Gilmore’s Application CA 25-Feb-1957
The claimant had received two injuries resulting in his total blindness. He sought an order of certiorari against the respondent who had found only a 20% disability. The tribunal responded that its decision, under the Act was final.
Held: In . .
CitedHM Revenue and Customs, Regina (on the Application of) v Raymond Machell QC and others Admn 21-Nov-2005
The claimant had had goods taken and destroyed by Revenue and Customs, which had been found to be wrongfully condemned. They had been awarded the market value of the goods at UK prices, though they had been bought in France.
Held: The market . .
CitedRidge v Baldwin (No 1) HL 14-Mar-1963
No Condemnation Without Opportunity For Defence
Ridge, a Chief Constable, had been wrongfully dismissed because he was not given the opportunity of presenting his defence. He had been acquitted of the charges brought against him, but the judge at trial had made adverse comments about his . .
CitedAnisminic Ltd v Foreign Compensation Commission HL 17-Dec-1968
All Public Law Challenges are For a Nullity
The plaintiffs had owned mining property in Egypt. Their interests were damaged and or sequestrated and they sought compensation from the Respondent Commission. The plaintiffs brought an action for the declaration rejecting their claims was a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 October 2021; Ref: scu.222195