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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But in a time of emergency when the life of the whole nation is at stake it may well be that a regulation for the defence of the realm may quite properly have a meaning which because of its drastic invasion of the liberty of the subject the courts would be slow to attribute to a peace time measure.

In A-G of St. Pages using citations with format and no URL. What is to happen then? The argument on construction has primarily turned upon para.

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.

It is essentially a matter of expert and instructed conclusion or suspicion whether or not the acts in which the subject has been concerned were such as to be prejudicial to the public safety or defence of the realm; even more obviously is the belief or decision that by reason thereof it is necessary to exercise control over him a matter of executive discretion.

I have preferred to deal with the substance, but in view of what was said in the Court of Appeal I should add that, in my opinion, the production by the Secretary of State of an order of detention by him ex facie regular and duly authenticated, such as the House has before it in this case, constitutes a peremptory defence to any action of false imprisonment and places on the plaintiff the burden of establishing that andwrson order is unwarranted, defective or otherwise invalid.

The Secretary of State may by order provide for empowering any regional commissioner who has liversidte cause to believe any person to be [as specified in reg. The supposed difficulty is grossly exaggerated, even if it is not a fantasy. It will naturally be in the most dangerous cases, where detention is most essential to the public safety, that the information before the Secretary of State is most likely to be of a confidential character, precluding its disclosure.

Lister 3 Kelly C. My Lords, I make no apology for having discussed so fully the various aspects of the question before the House, for it is one of the highest importance.


Apart, however, from these considerations, I am of opinion that the arguments above enumerated in favour of the construction for which the Attorney-General contends must greatly outweigh any arguments which your Lordships have heard on the other side and that his construction must prevail.

Liversidge v. Anderson

Thus Andereon find the following expressions used with relation to various powers confided to various persons: And when a lascivious youth under twenty-three years old is anderzon with having carnal knowledge of a girl under sixteen, it is not for him but for the jury to decide if he had reasonable grounds for his belief that she was not under sixteen: 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.

A pawnbroker may detain any person offering in pawn any article which he reasonably suspects to have been stolen.

The second observation is that even in statutes changes of words often occur without a change of ilversidge. Therefore, in an action by a person detained liveridge the Secretary of State for damages for false imprisonment the court cannot compel the defendant to give particulars of the grounds on which he had reasonable cause to believe the plaintiff to be a person of hostile associations or that by reason of such hostile associations it was necessary to exercise control over the plaintiff.

It seems to me reasonably clear that, if the thing to be believed is something which is essentially one within the knowledge of A. But, if the sense of the country was outraged by the system or practice of making detention orders, or, indeed, by any particular order, it could make itself sufficiently felt in the Press and in Parliament to put an end to any abuse and Parliament can always amend the regulation.

In his statement of claim the appellant made inter alia the following allegations: All the circumstances of national safety to which this House adverted in Rex v. I do not agree that the critical phrase in the context in which I find it is susceptible only of one meaning, namely that for which the appellant contends. If in ordinary affairs I say that I reasonably believe in the truth of certain livsrsidge or in the propriety of certain conduct, I am prima facie adopting as my reason my own judgment.

Lees was a member of such an organization stating the effect of the affidavit shortly as is defined in reg.

Control of Building Operations. What is certain is that the legislators intentionally introduced the well known safeguard by the changed form of words. He says that where the Secretary of State, by declining to disclose his information, has failed, through no fault of his own, to justify the detention, he must be held confessed of having falsely imprisoned the detained person and must be mulcted in damages.

There are as many as twenty-three and I take them in numerical order, but it will be obvious to which class they belong. A constable would make no valid return by saying: Here is indeed an impasse. The question is whether there is ground for suspicion that a particular person may be disposed to help the enemy. Sir John Anderson exercised this power in respect of a man called Jack Perlzweig, who used the name Robert Liversidgecommitting him to prison but giving no reason.


He has in this case and in others sworn affidavits to the effect that the information he acted on was the result of reports and information from persons in responsible positions experienced in investigating matters of this kind and that he accepted their information.

In these cases it is conceded that there is no recourse to the court provided, of course, that the Secretary of State acts in good faith. These provisions seem to point to the fact that the Secretary of State will be answerable to Parliament in carrying out duties of a very important and confidential nature.

The words, moreover, do not relate merely to powers of arrest. 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 establishing that the order is invalid: Take, for instance, the case of a person against whom an order for detention has been made because the Secretary of State believes him to have been recently concerned in acts prejudicial to the public safety or the defence of the realm.

He employs the language of Atkin, that, in addition to an officer’s subjective belief that there are reasonable and probable grounds for arrest, the grounds must be justifiable from an objective point of view. The action is one of damages for false imprisonment, but the appellant nowhere states categorically that he has been wrongly imprisoned or in what respect the order in consequence and by reason of which he says he has been detained is illegal, irregular or defective.

I note a further safeguard in the requirement that the Secretary of State must at least every month report to Parliament as to the action taken by him under the 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 an advisory committee.

Liversage v Anderson [1942]

The wording is sometimes varied with the same result. However, in the liversiddge case of R v. For the person who is to have reasonable cause to believe is not some minor official holding a subordinate position.

So far as is material for the present purpose, it is in these terms: By a document dated May 26,and expressed to be a detention order under reg.

If its meaning is the subject of dispute as to legal rights, then ordinarily the reasonableness of the cause, and even the existence of any cause is in our law to be determined by the judge and not by the tribunal of fact if the functions deciding law and fact are divided.

They sprang to state it very broadly from the Stuart theory that the King was King by divine right and that his snderson were above the law. A judge of first instance might hold the Secretary of State to have been justified in his belief, the Court of Appeal might take another view and this House might have its own view.