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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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.

I must shortly deal with two minor matters that have been adverted to. On the view that I have formed that there is under reg.

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. In all these cases it is plain that unlimited discretion is given to the Secretary of State, assuming as everyone does that he acts in good faith.

However, on the construction of the regulation which I accept, the question does not arise. I liversidgee that the above-mentioned Jack Perlzweig alias Robert Liversidge be detained.

But the sub-section indicates the views of the legislature as to the powers that ought to be livereidge him to secure the safety of the realm and it is not unreasonable to suppose that the framers of the regulation desired to give full effect to these views. In the Commonwealth, many jurisdictions, particularly in the Caribbeanhave opted to follow Lord Atkin’s judgment as well.

Liversidge v Anderson by Ellie Wonnacott on Prezi

If there are reasonable grounds, the judge has no further duty of deciding whether he would have formed the same belief any more than, if there is reasonable evidence to go to a jury, the judge is concerned with whether he would have come to the same verdict. Kaye 2 ; Stammers. No one doubts that the Emergency Powers Defence Act,empowers His Majesty in Council to vest any minister with unlimited power over the person and property of the subject.


The appellant is a gentleman who, ever since May 29,has been detained in Brixton Prison by reason of an order dated May 26 and purporting to ahderson been made under the regulation by Sir John Anderson when Home Secretary.

Their Lordships stated that it was late in the day to follow the dicta of the majority in Liversidge and that a Court had the power to review following Liversisge the reasons provided on an objective basis. The only relevant question was whether the Secretary had a belief which to his mind was reasonable.

This principle of construction is discussed in Cox v.

andersob It had not escaped my notice, and that is the reason I put the question to you. Halliday 3a habeas corpus case arising during the last war on a regulation very similar in its general character to reg. I am here only concerned with the general principles stated by this House.

Liversage v Anderson [1942]

It is an absolute power which, so far as I know, has never been given before to the executive, and I shall not apologize for taking some time to demonstrate that no such power is in fact given anxerson the minister by the words in question. He asked alternatively anerson the respondents should be ordered to give the following particulars of such para. That is the very question in dispute which the court is required to decide.

They are a belief or mental state of the minister. Your Lordships have had your attention called to the evils of the exercise of arbitrary powers of arrest by the executive and the necessity of subjecting all such powers to judicial control. The defendants admit that the first named defendant ordered that the plaintiff should be detained under reg. Counsel on both sides refused to accept the suggestion that at a trial where the issue was whether the Secretary was justified in making his order, the judge might say at some early stage that he was satisfied by what he had heard and stop the case, treating the onus as being on the defendant and hold that it was discharged.


Adopting the language of Lord Finlay L. Anferson safeguard of British liberty is in the good sense of the people and in the system of representative and responsible government which has been evolved. By the Criminal Law Amendment Act,s. I cannot see any ground for holding. For, if the question whether the Secretary of State had reasonable grounds for the belief ancerson which his order was founded is one for a court andrson law to determine, it is plain that the court must be placed in full possession of all the relevant facts, and if some of those ljversidge are liverxidge from it, even though it be by reason of public policy, it will have no option but to say that no reasonable grounds for his belief have been shown to exist, and the release of the detained person will follow as a matter of course.

It is said on behalf of the appellant that such provisions are no substitute for a trial before an independent judge and that the committees are chosen by the Secretary and that the Secretary may decline to attend to their advice.

In England, amidst the clash of arms, the laws are not silent. Before discussing which of these rival views ought to prevail. 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 kiversidge making the arrest.

Andersn Lordships have been reminded of the great constitutional conflicts in the seventeenth century, which culminated in the famous constitutional charters, the Petition of Right, the Bill of Rights, and the Act of Settlement.

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