Scrivens v Ethical Standards Officer: Admn 11 Apr 2005

The councillor appealed an adjudication that he had failed adequately to declare an interest at a meeting of the council. The officer thought the duty to withdraw was entirely objective, the applicant that it was a matter for his honest judgment. At one meeting, he had declared an interest, but failed to withdraw, and at two other meetings failed to declare a personal or prejudicial interest.
Held: The applicant relied upon the Richardson case, but that case made no suggestion of a subjective test: ‘in this context the decision of a member as to his interest is not lawful if it is made reasonably but is wrong. The comparison with other decisions of public authorities that are the subject of judicial review proceedings is inapt. Given that this is a context where, on the Appellant’s submission, the member is very much a judge in his own cause, an objective test for both the existence of a relevant interest and a failure to comply with the code is appropriate and indeed necessary.’


Mr Justice Stanley Burnton


[2005] EWHC 529 (Admin)




Local Government Act 2000 79(15), Relevant Authorities (General Principles) Order 2001


England and Wales


CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedLawal v Northern Spirit Limited HL 19-Jun-2003
Counsel appearing at the tribunal had previously sat as a judge with a tribunal member. The opposing party asserted bias in the tribunal.
Held: The test in Gough should be restated in part so that the court must first ascertain all the . .
CitedRichardson and Orme v North Yorkshire County Council CA 19-Dec-2003
The claimants appealed against an order dismissing their application for a judicial review of the respondent’s grant of planning permission. They contended that a councillor with an interest in the matter had wrongfully not been excluded from the . .
CitedGeorgiou v London Borough of Enfield; Cygnet Healthcare Ltd, Rainbow Developments, J Patel Admn 7-Apr-2004
The claimant sought to challenge a decision of the council to grant a Listed Building consent. Members who decided the applications had also been members of the Council’s Conservation Advisory Group which had held a meeting before the Planning . .
CitedKadhim v Housing Benefit Board, London Borough of Brent CA 20-Dec-2000
A lower court was not bound to follow a decision of a higher court, where the decision at issue had been based, on the relevant point, on an unargued assumption about the law, which had in turn been pivotal to the decision of that higher court: ‘The . .
CitedRe Hetherington 1990
The court looked to whether a decision of a superior court was binding when the point had not been argued: ‘In my judgment the authorities clearly establish that even where a decision of a point of law in a particular sense was essential to an . .
CitedBaker v The Queen PC 1975
The Court of Appeal for Jamaica was not bound by a proposition of law contained in a previous decision of the Board which the Board had assumed without argument to be correct for the purpose of disposing of that case. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government

Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.224097