This assignment will consider the concept of

This assignment will see the construct of proportionality in the sphere of judicial reappraisal. It will see whether or non proportionality will necessitate the reexamining tribunal to measure the balance which the determination shaper has struck, non simply whether it was within a scope of rational or sensible determinations. It will be concluded that proportionality will necessary necessitate the tribunal to measure the balance which the determination shaper has struck, although it will be argued that this construct has non needfully been grasped or so applied by the English Judiciary.

It is utile foremost to measure the application of proportionality within European jurisprudence in order to supply some general definition and show the manner in which the European Courts construe the rule. As pointed out by Loveland [ 1 ] “There is no wholly straightforward manner to specify the principle” . An indicant of its range can be obtained from consideration of the instances in which it has been applied by the ECJ. A clear presentation of its application can be found in Bela-Muhle Josef Bergmann KG v Grows-Farm GmbH & A ; Co KG. [ 2 ] This instance concerned a ordinance passed by the Council for the intent of cut downing the huge over-supply of skimmed milk pulverization in the Community. The ordinance attempted to oblige husbandmans to utilize carnal provender derived from skimmed milk pulverization instead than Soya. Soya-based provenders were nevertheless merely 1/3 of the monetary value of the milk merchandises. The legality of the ordinance was successfully challenged, on the footing that that it imposed far excessively burdensome a load on husbandmans, and was therefore a disproportional step.

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The rule is as readily application to the actions of member provinces as to Community establishments. Re Watson and Belmann [ 3 ] concerned an effort by the Belgian Government to set up that Treaty Article 48 ( 3 ) entitled it to behave workers from other member provinces if they had failed to follow with administrative demands to register their presence with the local constabulary. The ECJ accepted that member provinces had a legitimate involvement in maintaining accurate records of non-national workers. It besides accepted that a enrollment demand was a lawful means to prosecute this terminal, and that enforcing penalties on workers who failed to register was an appropriate manner to implement this demand. However it besides concluded that exile was excessively serious a penalty to use to a worker who failed to register. A all right would be the proportionate response in the fortunes.

As Steiner notes in reexamining this strand of the EC’s instance jurisprudence, “proportionately puts the load on an administrative authorization to warrant its actions and requires some considerations of options. In this regard, it is a more strict trial than one based on rationality. [ 4 ] ” In other words, the trial requires that the tribunal expression more closely at the political virtues of a determination than it does under the unreason philosophy.

In general footings, the proportionality trial asks ; foremost whether the authorities organic structure is moving in chase of a legitimate aim ; if so, it asks secondly whether achieving that nonsubjective needfully demands that the organic structure interfere with a presumably lawful entitlement possessed by an person or company ; if so, it asks thirdly if the authorities organic structure had chosen the agencies to its legitimate terminal which interferes every bit small as possible with the presumptive entitlements [ 5 ] .

Following treatment must be applied to the UK Courts reading and application of the rule. It is in carry oning the proportionality enquiry UK tribunals have slightly detracted from the clear alteration that S6 ( 1 ) appeared to convey about. Some early opinions seemed on purpose on irrigating down s6 ( 1 ) into simply a modified Wednesbury [ 6 ] trial, so that that the tribunal would simply reexamine the minister’s ain determination as to whether violation of a Convention right was justifiable, interfering merely if he had struck down a obviously unjust balance between the primary right and the viing societal involvement. The tribunals in such instance emphasised that the Human Rights Act did non intend that they now stood in the minister’s places make up one’s minding for themselves whether the actions taken breached the Convention. Laws LJ radius of a “principled distance” between the court’s reappraisal and the minister’s original determination. Standing in the minister’s places seemed, nevertheless to be exactly what s6 ( 1 ) , in doing the affair one of jurisprudence, required of the tribunals and it was non long before the House of Lords reminded the lower tribunals of this. [ 7 ] Lord Bingham clearly stated that “domestic tribunals must themselves organize a opinion whether a Convention right has been breached” while Lord Steyn stressed that under the Convention proportionality trial, the tribunals were required to measure the balance struck by the determination – shaper between the primary right and the viing involvements, looking at the antecedently out district of the weight assigned by the decision-maker to the assorted factors of balance. The instance of Daly hence seems to hold scotched any effort to compare the protection given under the ECHR with the heightened Wednesbury trial that was used in Smith. [ 8 ] Although the determination in Samaroo [ 9 ] placed accent on measuring whether the determination shaper had struck a “fair balance” between the right and social involvements was an effort to switch the balance back in this way [ 10 ] .

The tribunals expostulation to measuring the balance which the decision-maker has struck aims were forcefully stated by several members of the House of Lords in Brind, in which the complainant invoked proportionality as a 2nd land of challenge to the Home Secretary’s action. For the bulk of the Court, this was non an issue that ought even to hold been raised. Lord Roskill – holding referred to Lord Diplock’s suggestion in GCHQ [ 11 ] that proportionality might some twenty-four hours emerge as a land of reappraisal – continued:

“I am clearly of the position that the present is non a instance in which the first measure can be taken for the ground that to use that rule in the present instance would be for the tribunal to replace its ain opinion of what was needed to accomplish a peculiar aim for the opinion of the Secretary of State upon whom the responsibility has been laid by Parliament [ 12 ] ”

For the same ground, Lord Ackner concluded that: “there appears to me to be at present no footing upon which the proportionality doctrine… can be followed by the tribunals of this state [ 13 ] .” Lord Lowry was every bit forceful: “There can be really small room for Judgess to operation an independent judicial reappraisal proportionality philosophy in the infinite which is left between the conventional judicial reappraisal philosophy and the true out appellate attack [ 14 ] .”

Although it can be demonstrated that in application of the unreason doctrine the tribunal have frequently, albeit unwittingly, applied the philosophy of proportionality, and in such a manner that they have assessed the balance which the determination shaper has struck. For illustration in Hall V Shoreham UDC [ 15 ] the tribunal explicitly labelled the council’s policy as irrational because there were “better” ways for the council to accomplish its policies. Jowell and Lester’s influential analysis of the proportionality issue besides suggests that Lord Roskill’s opinion in Wheeler is another illustration of this phenomenon. [ 16 ] Jowell and Lester identify instances in which the tribunals seem rather openly to hold advocated usage of the proportionality trial. The most on a regular basis cited illustration of this point is the Case of R v Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, ex parte Hook. [ 17 ] Hook was a stall-holder in Barnsley market, whose license was terminated by the council after he became involved in an opprobrious affray with two council street cleaners who had admonished him for urinating in the street. In trying to approve Mr Hook for his behavior, the council were presumptively prosecuting a legitimate terminal, whether it be safeguarding it employees from endangering or opprobrious behavior or promoting stallholders to esteem fundamental criterions of hygiene. Lord Denning however intimated that the countenance was inordinate.

Such an appraisal required the Courts to measure the balance which the determination shaper has struck. It is hence concluded that the Courts, will in order to use the proportionality trial, reexamine the balance the determination shaper has struck, although it is concluded that the UK tribunals are loath to add this to evidences for judicial reappraisal.



Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd. V. Wednesbury Corporation [ 1948 ] 1 K.B. 223

Bela-Muhle Josef Bergmann KG v Grows-Farm GmbH & A ; Co KG

Hall & A ; Co Ltd V Shoreham By Sea UDC [ 1964 ] 1 WLR 240

R V Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, ex parte Hook [ 1976 ] 3 ALL ER 452

R V Daly V SSHD [ 2001 ] 2 WLR 1622 ( HL )

R v Ministry of Defence ex P Smith [ 1996 ] 1 All ER 257

R V SS for the Home Department ex p Samaroo [ 2001 ] EWCA 1139

R V Secretary of State Environment ex P Nottinghamshire CC [ 1986 ] AC


R V Secretary of State Home Department ex P Handscomb ( 1988 ) 86 Cr.

Appeal Reports 59

Re Watson and Belmann Case 118 /75 [ 1976 ] ECR 1185, ECJ

Journal Articles

Elliott M, ( 2001 ) ” The Human Rights Act 1998 and the criterion of substantial review? 60 ( 2 ) CLJ p. 301

Leigh J, ( 2002 ) “Taking Rights Proportionately: Judicial Review & A ; the Human Rights Act and Strasbourg” PL 265


Fenwick H & A ; Phillipson G, ( 2003 ) “Text Cases and Materials on Public Law” , Cavendish Publishing

Jowell J and Oliver D ( explosive detection systems ) ( 1988 ) “New Directions in Judicial Review” , London Sweet and Maxwell

Loveland I, ( 2003 ) “Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights: A Critical Approach” , Third Edition, London: Lexis Nexis Butterworths

Steiner J, ( 1992 ) “EC Law” , Third Edition London: Blackstone


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