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Liversidge v Anderson

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Uye Itsueli

on 14 October 2014

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Transcript of Liversidge v Anderson

What is the case about?
The appellant, Liversidge, was detained on the 26th May 1940 and imprisoned in HM Brixton by the Home Secretary Sir John Anderson under Regulation 18B of the Defence (General) Regulations 1939.
This statute permitted Anderson to detain him on the grounds of 'reasonable cause' to believe that Liversidge was of 'hostile associations'. Due to this belief, there was a need to exercise control over the appellant.
Liversidge believed he had been falsely/ unlawfully imprisoned
Anderson, working in good faith had the duty to withhold information due to confidentiality and public interest and safety.
The case reached the House of Lords
The Point Of Law
Modern day application
Context of the case- took place in 1940, WW2- this could have influenced the stricter regulation and precaution taken by the Home Secretary.
Increased awareness of human rights and civil liberties e.g. Amnesty International
Abu Qatada- he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights about the right to use evidence obtained though torture and has now been cleared
shows more awareness and the takes into account the individual's rights to freedom.

Lord Atkin's dissenting judgment
I know of only one authority which might justify the suggested method of construction: “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’” (“Through the Looking Glass,” c. vi.) After all this long discussion the question is whether the words “If a man has” can mean “If a man thinks he has.” I am of opinion that they cannot, and that the case should be decided accordingly.
Liversidge v Anderson

What is the case about? (details/structure)
What is the point of law that comes from the case?
If the same facts are being considered by the courts today, would you expect a similar or different decision? Why?
Should the judiciary be able to interfere with executive power?
The infringement of civil liberties and human rights
The Terrorism Act 2006- 28 days
Should the Home secretary have the subjective power to detain people without revealing the "reasonable grounds" his decision is based on?
Is public interest more important than the liberties of the individual detained?
Should the appellant himself be made aware of the reasons why he has been detained or could this be a threat to the public?
Is the 'belief' of the Home secretary sufficient to rely upon or could this be biased?
Is the lack of an objective judge and jury to challenge evidence against the rule of law?
Related Cases
Rex V Halliday
: Home Secretary only has the authority to detain a suspect if they have been given recommendation from the advisory committee presided over by a judge.
Eshugbayi Eleko v Officer Administering the Governement of Nigeria
- the courts need all the facts in order to come to a decision about whether the appellant is guilty
Broughton v Jackson
:There needs to be evidence as well as the belief that the person is guilty in order to show there was need for arrest, the belief that a person is guilty is not enough.
Rex v Leman
- Aliens Order (1919) :The Home secretary can deport an ‘alien’ for the public good, and this ‘alien’ has no chance to be heard. (NOWADAYS: 1971 Immigration Act)
Rex v. Secretary of State for Home Affairs. Ex parte Lees
: This case brought into question the ability of the Court of Appeal (the House of Lords at the time) to question the actions of the Secretary of state
Greene vs. Secretary of State for Home Affairs
- Regulation 18B is a preventative provision created during wartime at the interest of the public. The question of the appellant's rights is not applicable in this case.
Lord MacMillan-
The onus on the respondent is sufficiently discharged as the order was made by a competent authority and created to meet the necessities of war.

Viscount Maugham
-The importance of the construction of the Regulation. The Home Secretary is not acting judicially, so his Order shouldn't be questioned in the Court of Law.

Full transcript