Steed v Secretary of State for the Home Department: HL 26 May 2000

The claimant surrendered guns and ammunition under the 1997 Act, and was due to be compensated. His claim was not settled, and he commenced an action in the County Court for the sums claimed. The defendant denied any duty to pay up within a reasonable period, and asserted that any claim must be by way of judicial review. The defendant appealed and lost the case in the Court of Appeal, and appealed again.
Held: It was possible for a citizen to claim by way of summons sums due to him after the confiscation of his handguns, where the delay became unreasonable. There was no need to begin such proceedings by judicial review where the issue was not so much a decision, but rather the failure to deliver a statutory requirement within a reasonable time. Payment for scheduled types of handguns could be made within 30 days, and for guns which required individual valuation, 60 days was reasonable.


Lord Slynn of Hadley Lord Woolf M.R. Lord Hope of Craighead Lord Clyde Lord Millett


Times 26-May-2000, Gazette 08-Jun-2000, [2000] UKHL 32, [2000] 3 All ER 226, [2000] 1 WLR 1169


House of Lords, Bailii


Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, Firearms Act 1968 5


England and Wales


Appeal fromSteed v Secretary of State for Home Office CA 1-May-1998
The plaintiff claimed compensation after surrendering his firearm and ammunition. There had been a long delay in processing the claim, and he sued. The Home Office entered a defence denying that there was any obligation to process claims within a . .
CitedRye, Henson and J B Trustees Limited Trustees of Dennis Rye Pension Fund v Sheffield City Council and Frederick Henson and Rye (the Trustees of the Dennis Rye 1992 Grandchildren Settlement Fund) v Sheffield City Council CA 31-Jul-1997
Courts must not get tied up in public law/private law judicial review or other arguments when remedies and results provided by both jurisdictions are similar. The guidelines set down involved: ‘not only considering the technical questions of the . .
CitedO’Reilly v Mackman HL 1982
Remission of Sentence is a Privilege not a Right
The plaintiffs had begun their action, to challenge their loss of remission as prisoners, by means of a writ, rather than by an action for judicial review, and so had sidestepped the requirement for the action to be brought within strict time . .
CitedCocks v Thanet District Council HL 25-Nov-1981
The applicant had been given temporary accomodation under the Act. He sought to enforce the obligation on the respondent to house him permanently by an action in the county court. The authority said the action should have been by judicial review. . .
CitedMercury Communications Ltd v Director General of Telecommunications and Another HL 10-Feb-1995
The Secretary of State’s decision on the grant of a Telecommunications licence was challengeable by Summons and not by Judicial Review. A dispute between Mercury and BT as to charges as set by the Director General is a private not a public dispute. . .
CitedRoy v Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Family Practitioner Committee HL 6-Feb-1992
The respondent had withheld part of the plaintiff’s GP payments saying that he had failed to devote himself full time to his practice. The plaintiff sued, and the defendant sought to strike out his application, saying that his application had to be . .

Cited by:

CitedPhonographic Performance Limited v Department of Trade and Industry HM Attorney General ChD 23-Jul-2004
The claimant represented the interests of copyright holders, and complained that the defendant had failed to implement the Directive properly, leaving them unable properly to collect royalties in the music rental market. The respondent argued that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Administrative, Judicial Review

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.89525