Ridge v. Baldwin [1964]

Marked ‘rediscovery’ of
natural justice.
Chief Constable dismissed by
Watch Committee
CC not asked to attend to
meeting at which decision made.
House of Lords held dismissal
invalid due to breach of statutory regulations governing police discipline.
This aside, did dismissal
contravene rules of natural justice?
Lord Reid opined dismissal
fell into class of cases where there must be something against a man to warrant
his dismissal from office.
Line of authority that he
cannot lawfully be dismissed without first telling him what is alleged against
him and hearing his defence or explanation.
Gave three reasons why law
confused since the broad application of natural justice principles in 19th
1. Natural justice can only
have limited application in context of wider duties of Ministers. But courts
had applied these limits to other areas unnecessarily.
2. Principle had received
only limited application during war.
3. Through misunderstanding
of earlier case law, courts thought that a body must have superadded duty to
act judicially before natural justice tests could apply.