Home Information Cases City Of London Corporation v Secretary Of State For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs & Ors (2004)

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City Of London Corporation v Secretary Of State For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs & Ors (2004)

Summary

The Covent Garden Market Act 1961 s.18(1)(f) did not confer on the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs a power to grant consent to the Covent Garden Market Authority to grant leases to sell meat or fish, or meat or fish products, at the horticultural market at New Covent Garden Market in London.

Facts

The appellant Corporation sought judicial review of a decision of the first respondent secretary of state to grant consent to the second respondent market authority to grant leases for the purpose of selling meat or fish, or meat or fish products, at New Covent Garden Market in London, a market set up as a horticultural market. The secretary of state had granted the consent in question to the market authority. The Corporation owned a meat market and a fish market in London. (1) The market authority contended that judicial review was not appropriate because the Corporation, as an owner of potentially rival markets, had an alternative private law remedy in the tort of disturbance. (2) The secretary of state submitted that the power contained in s.18(1)(f) to grant consent was sufficiently broad to permit the uses in question.

Held

(1) The existence of a private cause of action did not make judicial review inappropriate: the question of whether the secretary of state had exceeded his powers in granting consent was a public law issue. (2) Section 18(1)(f) did not confer on the secretary of state a power to grant consent to the market authority to grant leases to sell meat or fish, or meat or fish products. The consent granted by the secretary of state would be quashed. The context of the Act was the regulation of one of several markets in London each dealing in a different category of produce. That did not give rise to an intention to create a power to allow competition with the other markets in their respective categories of produce.

Appeal allowed.

Court of Appeal
Pill LJ, Laws LJ, Sir Martin Nourse
Judgment date
21 December 2004
References

LTL 21/12/2004 : (2005) 1 WLR 1286 : (2005) NPC 1