Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills: SC 25 Feb 2015

Appeal about the distribution of European Structural Funds among the regions of the United Kingdom. It arises out of the complaint of a number of local authorities in Merseyside and South Yorkshire about the way in which it is proposed to distribute funds allocated to the United Kingdom for the years 2014 to 2020. The appellants say that they should receive more and other regions correspondingly less.
Held: The appeal failed (Lord Mance, Lord Carnwath and Lady Hale dissenting).
The appellants could not succeed simply by pointing to the classification of Merseyside and South Yorkshire as transition regions, and denouncing the outcome of the Secretary of State’s two decisions as more burdensome to them than to others in the same category. They must show that there was something unlawful about the process or reasoning by which that outcome was arrived at.
A decision allocating such funds was reviewable, but courts must be cautious about intervening because this: (i) had been a use of a discretion and courts have properly been reluctant to intervene; (ii) involved very delicate questions about the distribution of finite domestic and EU resources, in which the legitimacy of the decision-making process depends to a high degree on ministers’ political accountability; and (iii) had been approved by the European Commission.

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge
[2015] UKSC 6, [2015] PTSR 322, UKSC 2014/0204
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary
England and Wales
Appeal fromRotherham Borough Council and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills CA 28-Jul-2014
The authorities appealed against rejection of their complaint that the respondent had acted unlawfully in its allocation of European Union structural funds giving priority to other regions. . .
CitedMatadeen and others v M G C Pointu and others (Mauritius) PC 18-Feb-1998
It is a well recognised canon of construction that domestic legislation, including the Constitution, should if possible be construed so as to conform to international instruments to which the state is party. Lord Hoffmann said: ‘of course persons . .
CitedMichalak v London Borough of Wandsworth CA 6-Mar-2002
The appellant had occupied for a long time a room in a house let by the authority. After the death of the tenant, the appellant sought, but was refused, a statutory tenancy. He claimed to be a member of the tenant’s family, and that the list of . .
CitedCarson, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; Reynolds v Same HL 26-May-2005
One claimant said that as a foreign resident pensioner, she had been excluded from the annual uprating of state retirement pension, and that this was an infringement of her human rights. Another complained at the lower levels of job-seeker’s . .
CitedGhaidan v Godin-Mendoza HL 21-Jun-2004
Same Sex Partner Entitled to tenancy Succession
The protected tenant had died. His same-sex partner sought a statutory inheritance of the tenancy.
Held: His appeal succeeded. The Fitzpatrick case referred to the position before the 1998 Act: ‘Discriminatory law undermines the rule of law . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State ex parte Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council HL 4-Oct-1990
16 local authorities joined together to challenge the bringing in of the community charge, and of rules giving central government a greater say over management of local finance by local authorities.
Held: Acts which are essentially political . .
CitedRegina v Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Secretary of State For Health, ex Parte Fedesa and Others ECJ 13-Nov-1990
ECJ 1. Community law – Principles – Legal certainty – Protection of legitimate expectations – Prohibition of the use in livestock farming of certain substances having a hormonal action in the absence of unanimity . .
CitedFranz Egenberger GmbH Molkerei und Trockenwerk v Bundesanstalt fur Landwirtschaft und Ernahrung, intervening party: Fonterra (Logistics) Ltd ECJ 11-Jul-2006
ECJ Milk and milk products – Regulation (EC) No 2535/2001 – New Zealand butter – Import licence procedures – Inward Monitoring Arrangement (IMA 1) certificate. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, European

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.543272