The Queen v Burah: PC 5 Jun 1978

The Board was asked whether Act No. XXII of 1869 of the Indian Legislature was inconsistent with the Indian High Courts Act (24 and 25 Vict. c. 104) or with the Charter of the High Court, or whether it was within the legislative power of the Governor-General in Council.
Held: The 1869 Indian statute did not contravene the Indian High Courts Act nor the letters patent issued under it.
Lord Selborne said: ‘The Indian Legislature has powers expressly limited by the Act of the Imperial Parliament which created it, and it can, of course, do nothing beyond the limits which circumscribe these powers. But, when acting within those limits, it is not in any sense an agent or delegate of the Imperial Parliament which has, and was intended to have, plenary powers of legislation, as large and of the same nature, as those of Parliament itself. The established Courts of Justice, when a question arises whether the prescribed limits have been exceeded, must of necessity determine that question; and the only way in which they can properly do so, is by looking to the terms of the instrument by which, affirmatively, the legislative powers were created, and by which, negatively, they were restricted. If what has been done is legislation, within the general scope of the affirmative words which give the power, and if it violates no express condition or restriction by which that power is limited (in which category would, of course, be included any Act of the Imperial Parliament at variance with it), it is not for any Court of Justice to enquire further, or to enlarge constructively those conditions and restrictions.’
Lord Selborne, Sir James W. Colvile, Sir Barnes Peacock, Sir Montague E. Smith, Sir Robert P. Collier
3 App Cas 889, (1877-78) LR 3 App Cas 889, [1878] UKPC 1, [1873] 3 AC 889, [1878] UKPC 26
Bailii, Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
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CitedJackson and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Her Majesty’s Attorney General Admn 28-Jan-2005
The 2004 Act had been passed without the approval of the House of Lords and under the provisions of the 1911 Act as amended by the 1949 Act. The 1949 Act had used the provisions of the 1911 Act to amend the 1911 Act. The claimant said this meant . .
CitedJackson and others v Attorney General HL 13-Oct-2005
The applicant sought to challenge the 2004 Hunting Act, saying that it had been passed under the provisions of the 1949 Parliament Act which was itself an unlawful extension of the powers given by the 1911 Parliament Act to allow the House of . .
CitedBancoult, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 2) HL 22-Oct-2008
The claimants challenged the 2004 Order which prevented their return to their homes on the Chagos Islands. The islanders had been taken off the island to leave it for use as a US airbase. In 2004, the island was no longer needed, and payment had . .
CitedBuilding Construction Employees and Builders’ Labourers Federation of New South Wales v Minister for Industrial Relations 1986
(New South Wales Court of Appeal) The court upheld the validity of a law which directed a particular outcome of a judicial act. The words included the formula ‘prescribe and confine the scope of the legislative field open to the New South Wales . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 22 January 2021; Ref: scu.222717