the principles in the case of Ridge Vs Baldwin
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Administrative law coursework The case of Ridge versus Baldwin1 expresses the principles of natural justice. Natural justice has meant many things to many writers, lawyers and systems of law, including an approximate synonym of divine law, and also a form of the ius gentium or the common law of nations2. The common lawyers, however, have used the expression "natural justice" with surprising precision of meaning, as referring to two important but narrow principles only, namely audi alteram partem (hear both sides), and nemo judex in causa sua potest (no one can be judge in his own cause). "The phrase 'natural justice' is of course used only in a popular sense and must not be taken to mean there is any justice natural among men. Among most savages there is no such thing as justice in the modern sense."3 The common law, moreover, originally applied these principles only in the comparatively narrow context of the decision-making progress of a court of law.4 Lord Haldane, L.C., said in the famous case of Local Government Board V. Arlidge5, "When the duty of deciding an appeal is imposed, those whose duty it is to decide it must act judicially.
The justification for the application of the natural law principles to administrative bodies is based on the ultra vires doctrine; the court will not readily believe that parliament intends an administrative agency to come to a decision in such a manner as would flout natural justice; therefore if a particular body does not so act, it must be exceeding the powers conferred on it by parliament. The only circumstances submitted, in which the courts have recognized that the rules of natural justice need not be observed, are themselves situations where there can be no question of any excess of statutory powers. It has been suggested8, that the idea of natural justice, as understood in this sense, "contains the very kernel of the problem of administrative justice" ; it is this practice of insisting on observance of the principles of natural justice that has been used by the courts to exercise such inherent control as there may be over administrative agencies. We shall now consider the meaning of each of these two principles, as understood and applied by the common law, and discuss the kind of administrative agencies that must apply the principles, the circumstances in which they must be observed, and the situations to which they do not apply.
Hence this suit. The defendant denied the plaintiff's claim and contended inter alia that the plaintiff was lawfully summarily dismissed for gross misconduct in relation to the leaking of examinations and that all payments which were made to the plaintiff were made ex-gratia on humanitarian grounds. During scheduling conference the fact that the plaintiff was employed by the defendant and was in service of the defendant until he was terminated on 6th October 1999 was not contested. It was also agreed that the plaintiff received some amount of money from the defendant as terminal benefits. One of the issues was whether the plaintiff was unlawfully terminated or unlawfully dismissed 1 (1964) AC 40 2 Dowrick, Justice according to the English Common Lawyer (1961), chapter 4. 3 Per Maugham, J., in MacLean V. The Workers' Union (1929) 1 Ch. 602, at p. 624 4 Natural Justice, by H. H. Marshall (1959) 5 (1915) A.C. 120, at p.132 6 (1943) 2 All E.R. 337 7 Judicial Review of Administrative Action, at p. 99 8 Prof. H.W.R.Wade, Administrative Law, at p.127 9 (1964) A.C. 40 ?? ?? ?? ??
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