R v Takeovers Panel, ex parte Datafin [1987]

Applicants
argued Panel had incorrectly applied their takeover rules, thereby allowing
advantage to applicant’s rivals who were bidding for same company.
Panel
was self-regulating body with no statutory / prerogative / common law powers.
But
certain statutory powers presupposed its existence and its decisions could
result in penalties.
Datafin
applied for JR.
Court
of Appeal held JR possible.
Source of body’s powers was not only criterion for judging whether body was
amenable to public law.
Although
no statutory / prerogative basis for powers, JR possible if nature of power rendered body suitable
for JR.
This
alternative criterion satisfied, because inter alia:
1.
Panel did operate voluntarily but imposed collective code.
2.
Panel was performing public duty, manifested by government’s willingness to
limit legislation in this area.
3.
Applicants appeared to have no cause of action in contract or tort.