The appellant, a British national and European citizen was in prison in Bali convicted of a criminal charge for which she might face the death penalty. Having insufficient funds she sought legal assistance from the respondent for hr appeal, and now appealed against its refusal.
Held: The appeal failed. The respondent’s policy was clear and longstanding.
Lord Dyson MR said: ‘ It is clearly established that a public body may not unlawfully fetter the exercise of a discretionary statutory power: see, for example, British Oxygen Co Ltd v Board of Trade  AC 610. But where a policy is made in the exercise of prerogative or common law powers (rather than a statutory discretion), there is no rule of law which requires the decision-maker to consider the facts of every case with a view to deciding whether, exceptionally, to depart from the policy in a particular case. This is because ‘it is within the power of the decision-maker to decide on the extent to which the power is to be exercised in, for example, setting up a scheme. He can decide on broad and clear criteria and either that there are no exceptions to the criteria in the scheme or, if there are exceptions in the scheme, what they should be’: R (Elias) v Secretary of State for Defence  1 WLR 3213, para 191.’
Lord Dyson MR, Elias, Patten LJJ
 EWCA Civ 581,  3 All ER 757,  WLR(D) 201,  1 WLR 2938
European Convention on Human Rights
England and Wales
Appeal from – Sandiford, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Admn 4-Feb-2013
The claimant was facing trial in Bali which would eventually lead to a sentence of death. She complained of inadequate legal assistance before and at the trial. She had been represented by a local lawyer, paid with funds (andpound;5,000) raised by . .
Cited – Zagorski and Baze, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Others Admn 29-Nov-2010
The claimants, in the US awaiting execution for murders, challenged the permitting by the defendant for export of the chemical Sodium Thipental which would be used for their execution. The respondent said that its use in general anaesthesia practice . .
Cited – Al-Skeini and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Jul-2011
(Grand Chamber) The exercise of jurisdiction, which is a threshold condition, is a necessary condition for a contracting state to be able to be held responsible for acts or omissions imputable to it which give rise to an allegation of the . .
Cited – Smith, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence and Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening) SC 30-Jun-2010
The deceased soldier died of heat exhaustion whilst on active service in Iraq. It was said that he was owed a duty under human rights laws, and that any coroner’s inquest should be a fuller one to satisfy the state’s duty under Article 2.
Cited – Soering v The United Kingdom ECHR 7-Jul-1989
(Plenary Court) The applicant was held in prison in the UK, pending extradition to the US to face allegations of murder, for which he faced the risk of the death sentence, which would be unlawful in the UK. If extradited, a representation would be . .
Cited – X v United Kingdom ECHR 15-Dec-1977
(Commission) The British court had ordered a Jordanian father to return his daughter to England. The English mother contacted the British consulate in Amman asking it to ‘obtain the custody of her daughter from the Jordanian Court’. The Consulate . .
Cited – Regina (Abbasi) v Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs CA 6-Nov-2002
There is no authority in law to support the imposition of an enforceable duty on the state to protect the citizen, and although the court was able to intervene, in limited ways, in the way in which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office used its . .
Cited – British Oxygen Co Ltd v Board of Trade HL 15-Jul-1970
Cylinders containing hydrogen gas were being put on a trailer pulled by a tractor for the purpose of delivery to the premises of the purchaser. One of the issues before the court was whether the function of the hydrogen trailers and the cylinders . .
Cited – Secretary of State for Defence v Elias CA 10-Oct-2006
The claimant said that a scheme drawn by the defendant for compensating British civilians interned by the Japanese during the second world war was indirectly discriminatory on racial grounds by requiring a national origin link with the UK. She had . .
Appeal from – Sandiford, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs SC 16-Jul-2014
The appellant a British Citizen awaited execution in Singapore after conviction on a drugs charge. The only way she might get legal help for a further appeal would be if she was given legal aid by the respondent. She sought assistance both on Human . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 October 2021; Ref: scu.510013