Calvin v Carr [1980]

Concerned question of how far defect of natural
justice can be cured within the administrative hierarchy.
At steward’s enquiry, jockey found guilty of breaking
rules of racing.
Plaintiff found party to breach.
Plaintiff unsuccessfully appealed against decision to
committee of Australian Jockey Club.
Case reached Privy Council.
Plaintiff argued that any defects of natural justice
in proceedings before stewards were not capable of being cured by appeal
proceedings before committee, even though these were fairly conducted.
Lord Wilberforce stated that there could be no
absolute rule on question of whether defects in natural justice at an original
hearing could be cured through appeal proceedings – situations too diverse.
However, were number of typical situations where a
general principle could be stated:
1. Where re-hearing by same body, or more complete
form of it, general rule was that defects at original hearing could be cured.
2. Might be that looking at whole context, complainant
has right to nothing less than fair hearing at both original stage and on appeal.
3. Intermediate category – might be that looking at
the whole context, those who have joined an organisation or entered into a
contract should be taken to have agreed to accept what, in the end, is a fair
decision, notwithstanding some initial defect.
For court to decide whether there has been a fair
Present case fell into category 3.