Chapter 11 Outline answers to essay questions

Essay Question

When answering this question you should focus on defining technical legal terminology and basic distinctions. This question also looks at the way legal doctrines evolve and change with time. You should begin by defining:

  • Ultra vires;
  • Jurisdiction; and
  • The key principle in White and Collins v Minister of Health (1939)

You should then introduce the distinction between jurisdictional and non jurisdictional error. A jurisdictional error is a mistake of law which takes a public body outside the powers it has been given to inquire into matters and make decisions. The meaning of jurisdictional error has been widened. Any misinterpretation or abuse of power made by a public body is capable of being a jurisdictional error. Practical examples of this include acting in bad faith; failing to comply with the rules of natural justice; taking into account irrelevant considerations or failing to take into account any relevant matters.

This was determined by the House of Lords in Anisminic v Foreign Compensation Commission (1969). You then need to look at:

  • R v Lord President of the Privy Council, ex p Page (1993)
  • R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal (2011)