Secretary of State for Social Security v Tunnicliffe: CA 1991

Staughton LJ considered the interpretation of an Act of Parliament to give it retrospective powers: ‘In my judgment the true principle is that Parliament is presumed not to have intended to alter the law applicable to past events and transactions in a manner which is unfair to those concerned in them, unless a contrary intention appears. It is not simply a question of classifying an enactment as retrospective or not retrospective. Rather it may well be a matter of degree – the greater the unfairness, the more it is to be expected that Parliament will make it clear if that is intended.’


Staughton LJ


[1991] 2 All ER 712


England and Wales


Appeal fromSecretary of State v Tunnicliffe SSCS 13-Dec-1990
Recovery of overpayment – payment made before repeal of section 119 of the Social Security Act 1975 – whether claimant had an ‘acquired’ or ‘accrued’ right that survived the repeal . .

Cited by:

CitedWilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2) HL 10-Jul-2003
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent lender of its . .
CitedSecretary of State for Energy and Climate Change v Friends of The Earth and Others CA 25-Jan-2012
The Secretary had issued a consultation on the payments for solar energy feed-in-tarriffs, with a view to the new rate being brought in in April 2012. As the consultation ended, he proposed to reduce rates from December 2011. He now appealed against . .
CitedRe Erskine 1948 Trust ChD 29-Mar-2012
The trust was created in 1948, and provided gifts over, which had now failed. The court considered the construction of the term ‘stautory next of kin’. The possible beneficiaries claimed through being adopted, arguing that at the date of the last . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 23 June 2022; Ref: scu.184408