The First Secretary of State and Another v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd: CA 6 May 2005

Sedley LJ: ‘the interpretation of policy is not a matter for the Secretary of State, what a policy means is what it says. Except in the occasional case where a policy has been ambiguously or un-clearly expressed (see R v Derbyshire CCC, ex p Woods [1997] JPL 958), so that its maker has to amplify rather than interpret it, ministers are not entitled to thwart legitimate expectations by putting a strained or unconventional meaning on it. But what ministers do have both the power and the obligation to do – and Miss Lieven (for the Minister) readily acknowledged that this is her real point – is to apply their policy from case to case, keeping in balance the countervailing principles (a) that a policy is not a rule but a guide and (b) that like cases ought to be treated alike.’
Sedley LJ
[2005] EWCA Civ 520
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRaissi, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 22-Feb-2007
The claimant sought judicial review of a refusal to make an ex gratia payment for his imprisonment whilst successfully resisting extradition proceedings. Terrorist connections had been suggested, but the judge made an explicit finding that at no . .
CitedRaissi, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 14-Feb-2008
The claimant appealed against refusal of his request for judicial review of the defendant’s decision not to award him damages after his wrongful arrest and detention after he was wrongly suspected of involvement in terrorism. He had been discharged . .

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Updated: 04 April 2021; Ref: scu.249003