Liversidge v Sir John Anderson: HL 3 Nov Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex Parte Abdi, Same v Same. In Rex v. Leman Street Police Station Inspector (1) it was held that art. an order made by Sir John Anderson as Home Secretary on May 26, , under reg. There was a 4/5 ruling AGAINST Liversidge in , it was ruled that no court can investigate whether the Secretary of State had reasonable.

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United States users see 17 U. Slade for the appellant.

Sir Donald Somervell A. Where the Secretary of State, acting in good faith under reg. The matter is one for the executive discretion of the Secretary of Liversicge. Therefore, in an action by a person detained andersin the Secretary of State for damages for false imprisonment the court cannot compel the defendant to give particulars of the grounds liversidye which he had reasonable cause to believe the plaintiff andersno be a person of hostile associations or that by reason of such hostile associations it was necessary to exercise control over the plaintiff.

The production by the Secretary of State of an order of detention, made by him and ex facie regular and duly authenticated, constitutes a defence to such an action unless the plaintiff discharges the burden of lkversidge that the order is invalid: So held, affirming the decision of the Court of Appeal, Lord Atkin dissenting. The appellant applied for particulars a of the grounds on which the respondent had reasonable cause to believe the appellant to be a anderrson of hostile associations and b of the grounds on which the respondent had reasonable cause to believe that by reason of such hostile associations it was necessary to exercise control over the appellant.

Master Moseley refused to make any order and that order was upheld by the judge in chambers, who, however, gave leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. That court held that the appellant at the present stage was not entitled to any of the particulars he was claiming and the appeal was dismissed, but, liversidg regard to the great importance of the questions arising out of orders for detention under reg.

The question is whether the Secretary of State has power under reg. In considering this the court must confine itself to the construction of the regulation, and the Secretary of State must satisfy the court that he had reasonable cause to believe what is alleged against the appellant, namely, hostile associations. In such a case the onus is on the respondent, and.

The court may in livegsidge cases have to accept the decision of the Home Secretary. The power conferred on the Home Secretary of interfering as he may with the liberty lliversidge the subject must be strictly construed, and, in the absence of compelling evidence, is to be construed in favour of the subject: Halliday f and Eshugbayi Eleko v.

Officer Administering the Government of Nigeria 2. The Secretary ahderson State may alone be in possession of the facts. The order should not be construed as meaning that, if the Home Secretary in his own opinion thinks that there is reasonable cause to act as he did, that is sufficient. When a person is detained against his will, justification for that step must be clearly established: Jackson 3 it was held that in an action for false imprisonment on a criminal charge by a person not being a peace officer, mere belief of guilt is not sufficient justification, but facts must be shown on which the belief was grounded so that the court may judge whether or not the defendant had probable cause for making the arrest.

Liversidge v Anderson by Ellie Wonnacott on Prezi

See also Green v. Garbutt 4 and Alman v. In any interference with the liberty of the subject punctilious regularity must be observed. Grey 1 it was held that the removal of a person from one part of a prison to another without authority was a trespass. As was said in Holroyd v. The appellant was detained by an order which is regular in point of form.

The admission or proof of an order ex facie regular as it is in this case is a complete answer to the claim for damages for false imprisonment. The contention on behalf of the appellant that a reasonable cause for the detention as a matter of law must be established is not well founded.

We start with a detention under a regulation made by virtue of a statute, and no particular form is prescribed. The ground on which the Home Secretary can act is the fact of hostile associations of the person in question. Lister 3 Kelly C. Here the Home Secretary had all the facts before him and on these he had reasonable cause to make the order he did. It was for him, and not for the court, to decide on the facts. As was said by Lord Finlay L.

The question is whether there is ground for suspicion that a particular person may be disposed to help the enemy. The duty of deciding this question is thrown by the regulation on the Secretary of State and an advisory committee before whom the person affected can show any grounds why the order may be revoked or varied.


If it had been intended that the persons in question could have recourse to the court it would have been quite unnecessary to set up the advisory committee procedure.

The language used clearly shows that it is the Home Secretary who is to exercise his judgment. His act is an executive act, and it cannot be canvassed directly or indirectly in court. The responsibility remains with the executive.

Leman Street Police Station Inspector 1 it was held that art. If it had been intended that a detention order should not be impugnable it would have been easy to insert a statement to that effect in the regulation.

That was not done.

The House took time for consideration. My Lords, by this appeal andersom appellant, so far as form is concerned, is seeking merely to have certain particulars from the defendants, the present Secretary of State for Home Affairs and his predecessor in that office, of their defence in an action of false imprisonment.

The learned master, the judge in chambers Tucker J. In such a case this House would not, generally speaking, entertain an appeal, liverdidge the circumstances are exceptional. The real object of the application is to raise at this early stage the vital question as to what onus, if any, lies on the respondents as defendants in the action in the circumstances of the case. The appellant is a person who was detained by liversigde order made by Sir John Anderson as Home Secretary on May 26,under reg.

The detention has been continued by the present Home Secretary. The validity of that detention has been liversldge in the action in which the appellant claims damages for false imprisonment, and consequential relief.

Such an action used to be described as an action for trespass vi et armis. The general rule of law in these cases is well stated by Abbot C. If it is valid, the action must clearly fail. The appellant, accordingly, seeks to throw on the respondents the burden of justifying the order.

It will be convenient shortly to state the pleadings to show how, as a matter of pleading, the question of particulars arises.

The appellant plaintiff claimed by his writ dated March 14,a declaration that his detention in Brixton prison was and is unlawful, and damages for false imprisonment.

Paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 of the statement of claim are as follows: By a document dated May 26,and expressed to be a detention order under reg. In consequence and by reason of the said order and direction the plaintiff was on or about May 29,arrested, and he has since been and still is detained and imprisoned at H.

In the premises the defendants have and each of them has caused and procured the unlawful detention and imprisonment of the plaintiff and the second-named defendant continues and intends to continue the same. Save as above expressly admitted, none of the allegations contained in the statement of claim is admitted.

It is desirable to state, so far as relevant, the Act of Parliament and the regulations under which the order for detention or the document purporting to be such an order was made.

It was under the provisions of the Act of that the Defence General Regulations,were made, and they have been from time to time amended.

Regulation 18B of the Defence General Regulations,referred to in para. The regulation continues thus: If the Secretary of State has reasonable cause to believe any person to have been or to be a member of, or to have been or to be active in the furtherance of the objects of, any such organization as is hereinafter mentioned, and that it is necessary to exercise control over him, he may make an order against that person directing that he be detained.

The organizations hereinbefore referred to are any organization as respects which the Secretary of State is satisfied that either a the organization is subject to foreign influence or control, or b the persons in control of the organization have or have had associations with persons concerned in the government of, or sympathies with the system of government of, any Power with which His Majesty is at war, and in either case that there is danger of the utilization of the organization for purposes prejudicial to the public safety, the defence of the realm, the maintenance of public order, the efficient prosecution of any war in which His Majesty may be engaged, or the maintenance of supplies or services essential to the life of the community.

At any time after an order has been made against any person under this regulation, the Secretary of State may direct that the operation of the order be suspended subject to such conditions: For the purposes of this regulation, there shall be one or more advisory committees consisting of persons appointed by the Secretary of State; and any person aggrieved by the making of an order against him, by a refusal of the Secretary of State to suspend the operation of such an order, by any condition attached to a direction given by the Secretary of State or by the revocation of any such direction, under the powers conferred by this regulation, may make his objections to such a committee.


It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to secure that any person against whom an order is made under this regulation shall be afforded the earliest practicable opportunity of making to the Secretary of State representations in writing with respect thereto and that he shall be informed of his right, whether or not such representations are made, to make his objections to such an advisory committee as aforesaid.

The Secretary of State shall make a report to Parliament at least once in every month as to the action taken under this regulation including the number of persons detained under orders made thereunder and as to the number of cases, if any, in which he has declined to follow the advice of any such advisory committee as aforesaid.

If any person fails to comply with a condition attached to a direction given by the Secretary of State under para. Any person detained in pursuance of this regulation shall be deemed to be in lawful custody and shall be detained in such place as may be authorized by the Secretary of State and in accordance with instructions issued by him.

On April 29,the appellant applied to the master in chambers inter alia for the following particulars, namely, particulars in writing of the allegation in para. On May 8,Master Moseley heard the application and refused anderwon make any order thereon.

The appellant appealed from the said refusal and on May 23,Tucker J. The judgment of the court was delivered by MacKinnon L. It was held by the court that on the detention order ligersidge proved or admitted livrsidge onus was on the appellant to prove that the order was invalid.

The judgment proceeded as follows: As the case proceeds at the hearing, as often happens, the onus of proof may be shifted. If the plaintiff adduces evidence which goes to show the invalidity of the order, that might happen.

Liversage v Anderson [1942]

If, upon that happening, the defendants produced evidence which was embarrassing to the plaintiff, by way of surprise or novelty, the judge would no doubt protect him by way of adjournment.

Conceivably, in a proper case, the judge might andersob that stage make some order by way of particulars of the allegations of the defendants. These, however, are but hypothetical considerations as to possible developments at a later stage of the litigation. At this stage we are quite clear that the plaintiff is wrong in his proposition as to the burden of proof inherently resting upon himself and upon the defendants respectively.

Having regard to the great importance of the questions arising out of orders for detention under reg.

Liversidge v Anderson – Wikipedia

The Court of Appeal in October,had had to consider the true meaning of reg. Secretary of State for Home Affairs. Ex parte Lees 1. That was an application for a writ liverdidge habeas corpus by Mr. Sir John Anderson in that case had made an affidavit stating that he had received and considered reports and information from persons in responsible positions who were experienced in.

Lees was a member of such an organization stating the effect of the affidavit shortly as is defined in reg. The Court of Appeal then decided that the court could not act as a court of appeal from the decision of the Secretary of State and that his affidavit proved to the satisfaction of the court that he had reasonable cause to believe, and did honestly believe, the matters in question, and, that being so, the order was validly issued.

As I understand the judgment in the Lees case it negatived the idea that the court had any power to inquire into the grounds for the belief of the Secretary of State his good faith not being impugned or to consider whether there were grounds on which he could reasonably arrive at his belief.

The Court of Appeal in the present case was, therefore, precluded by the previous decision from considering the main point argued before your Lordships, namely, the question whether there were in fact reasonable grounds for the beliefs a that the appellant was a person of hostile associations and b that by reason thereof it was necessary to exercise control over him.

In anddrson case, however, the Secretary of State who made the order and his andersom in office have not made any affidavit in the action, and the appellant, therefore, is entitled to contend, and does contend, that the mere production of an order signed by the Secretary of State is not a sufficient prima facie defence to the action of false imprisonment and that an onus lies on the respondents to give evidence at the trial to annderson that Sir Kiversidge Anderson had reasonable grounds for the belief recited in the order.

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