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attorney general v blake judgement

In some instances the common law itself afforded a wronged party a choice of remedies. These situations may never be as exceptional as that which we are passing judgment on today, but notwithstanding this there is no other conclusion the court can make.”-- Download Attorney-General v Blake [2001] 1 AC 268 as PDF--Save this case They are not materially in dispute. This lack of correspondence was openly acknowledged. The defendant must make a reasonable payment in respect of the benefit he has gained. 145, 146) "will recognize the principles of international law and will decide in … This is the judgment of the Court to which all the members of the Court have contributed. a member of the security and intelligence services . Sharon V. Cooper, under appointment of the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant. To this end they must not make any unauthorised profit. This is a difficult decision. That is axiomatic. 104, 119. . I consider he was right to do so. He could recover damages, in respect of the loss he had sustained by the conversion. Sir Guenter Treitel, Q.C., The Law of Contract, 10th ed., (1999) p. 868-869, has questioned the soundness of the observations of the Court of Appeal: see also the valuable comment by Janet O'Sullivan, "Reflections on the role of restitutionary damages to protect contractual expectations" (to be published) and Hanoch Dagan, "Restitutionary Damages for Breach of Contract: An Exercise in Private Law Theory, Theoretical Inquiries in Law," January 2000 Vol. My Lords, for these reasons, as well as the detailed and far more compelling reasons given by Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, I would make the order which he has proposed. 153-2016 George Peter Mwanza & Melvin Beene Vs. Attorney General- Dec 2019- Justice Malila,JS 6 Ch. The court always had a discretion regarding the grant of the remedy of an account of profits, and this remains the position. The common law courts' jurisdiction to award damages was confined to loss or injury flowing from a cause of action which had accrued before the writ was issued. It established that in some circumstances, where ordinary remedies are inadequate, restitutionary damages may be awarded. 2. In case of any confusion, feel free to reach out to us.Leave your message here. The court may make orders compelling the party who has committed a breach of contract, or is threatening to do so, to carry out his contractual obligations. The same is the case where an injunction is granted or a decree of specific performance or the ordering of an account. . If a shopkeeper supplies inferior and cheaper goods than those ordered and paid for, he has to refund the difference in price. The trial took place before Sir Richard Scott V.- C. Blake was not represented at the trial. This undertaking still binds Blake. LORD STEYN My Lords, In law classification is important. This is a subject on which there is a surprising dearth of judicial decision. By way of contrast, over the last 20 years there has been no lack of academic writing. First there was the public law claim to an interim injunction as awarded by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal held that the jurisdiction of the civil courts, on an application of the Attorney General, was not limited to granting an injunction restraining the commission or repeated commission of an offence. . This argument was raised for the first time in this House. In 1966 Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs prison and fled to Berlin and then to Moscow. 1216, 1217. The reality is that the injured person's rights were invaded but, in financial terms, he suffered no loss. The horse is none the worse; it is the better for the exercise." Headnote The applicant, a schoolteacher, was dismissed from the Teaching Service. As with breaches of contract, so with tort, the general principle regarding assessment of damages is that they are compensatory for loss or injury. In some cases equity required the wrongdoer to yield up all his gains. In some cases equity required the wrongdoer to yield up all his gains. Section 2 empowered the Court of Chancery at its discretion, in all cases where it had jurisdiction to entertain an application for an injunction or specific performance, to award damages in addition to or in substitution for an injunction or specific performance. Blake, Jervis v Attorney General of Jamaica consolidated with Black, Simon v Attorney General of Jamaica et al.pdf. Joint responsibility; public policy; publication (256 words) Facts. The present case The present case is exceptional. I see no reason why, in practice, the availability of the remedy of an account of profits need disturb settled expectations in the commercial or consumer world. The policy which is being enforced is that which requires Blake to be punished by depriving him of any benefit from anything connected with his past deplorable criminal conduct. There are cases which are treated as so closely analogous to proprietary rights that they are covered by remedies which are appropriate to such rights. .' In 1990 he published his autobiography, a further breach of his express undertaking. However I do not believe that it is helpful (or courteous to Mr Clayton) that I should add nothing at all. Then compensation for the wrong done to the plaintiff is measured by a different yardstick. Daniel E. Lungren, Attorney General, George Williamson, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Robert R. Anderson, Assistant Attorney General, Shirley A. Nelson and Rachelle A. Newcomb, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent. With the established authorities going thus far, I consider it would be only a modest step for the law to recognise openly that, exceptionally, an account of profits may be the most appropriate remedy for breach of contract. Your Lordships are not equipped with the material necessary to decide the point. The law recognised that the innocent party to the breach of contract had a legitimate interest in having the contract performed even though he himself would suffer no financial loss from its breach. 107. 133. In other words it was a breach of contract - breach of a negative undertaking - liable to be restrained by injunction, ie specifically enforced. But these suggestions serve only to underline that, although not so expressed, the effect of this order is confiscatory. The law recognised that the innocent party to the breach of contract had a legitimate interest in having the contract performed even though he himself would suffer no financial loss from its breach. The defendant had broken his contract. . Thus, the money is not being preserved pending a criminal prosecution. Holt C.J. In Tito v. Waddell (No. This is an exceptional case in which the Attorney General is entitled to intervene by instituting civil proceedings, in aid of the criminal law, to uphold the public policy of ensuring that a criminal does not retain profit directly derived from the commission of his crime.' Blake is merely restrained from receiving payment of the royalties 'until further order'. However that may be, these awards cannot be regarded as conforming to the strictly compensatory measure of damage for the injured person's loss unless loss is given a strained and artificial meaning. The Court of Appeal expressed the view, necessarily tentative in the circumstances, that the law of contract would be seriously defective if the court were unable to award restitutionary damages for breach of contract. A recent example of this process at work is White v. Jones [1995] 2 AC 207 where by a majority the House of Lords held that a solicitor who caused loss to a third party by negligence in the preparation of a will is liable in damages. Attorney General v Blake . It is not just the amount (if any) by which his property has a lower market value than that it would have had if the contract had been performed. In making this claim the Attorney General asserted, not a private law right on behalf of the Crown, but a claim for relief in his capacity as guardian of the public interest. 130 of 2000 the question of jurisdiction of the Lands Tribunal cropped up again. His damages must be assessed at a lower figure. In this House Mr. Clayton mounted a sustained attack on these decisions. An instance of this nature occurred in Wrotham Park Estate Co. Ltd. v. Parkside Homes Ltd. [1974] 1 W.L.R. 435. The broad proposition that a wrongdoer should not be allowed to profit from his wrong has an obvious attraction. 2. is guilty of an offence if without lawful authority he discloses any information . . Some of these subjects are now embodied in statutory codes. He was sentenced to 42 years' imprisonment. If Blake's disclosure occurred before this Act came into force on 1 March 1990, the disclosure was an offence under comparable provisions in section 2(1) of the Official Secrets Act 1911. I wish to pay tribute to the thoroughness with which counsel and solicitors prepared the appeal and the expertise with which Mr. Clayton presented it to your Lordships. The court may make orders compelling the party who has committed a breach of contract, or is threatening to do so, to carry out his contractual obligations. Breach of confidence is an instance of this. In Beswick v. Beswick [1968] AC 58 the court made an order for the specific performance of a contract to make payments of money to a third party. Whether this justification for ordering an account of profits holds good factually in every case must be doubtful. Lord Cairns' Act had a further effect. Neither the security and intelligence services nor any other branch of the Government were aware of the book until its publication was announced. This is a subject on which there is a surprising dearth of judicial decision. Most writers have favoured the view that in some circumstances the innocent party to a breach of contract should be able to compel the defendant to disgorge the profits he obtained from his breach of contract. At the hearing of the appeal counsel for Blake addressed first the public law question whether the Court of Appeal had the power to grant the injunction before he dealt with the question whether a restitutionary remedy is available. Where the plaintiff has failed to obtain or failed to apply for an injunction, he has to be content with a remedy in damages. For social and economic reasons the court refused to make a mandatory order for the demolition of houses built on land burdened with a restrictive covenant. The general rule is that, in the oft quoted words of Lord Blackburn, the measure of damages is to be, as far as possible, that amount of money which will put the injured party in the same position he would have been in had he not sustained the wrong: Livingstone v. Rawyards Coal Co. (1880) 5 App. The other point is that where a court declines to grant an injunction it may award damages in lieu. It established that in some circumstances where ordinary remedies are inadequate, restitutionary damages may be awarded. In my view the court has no power to make such an order. This is not an issue before the House. LORD GOFF OF CHIEVELEY My Lords, I have had the advantage of reading in draft the speech prepared by my noble and learned friend Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead. There is a light sprinkling of cases where courts have made orders having the same effect as an order for an account of profits, but the courts seem always to have attached a different label. Despite the niceties and formalities once associated with taking an account, the amount payable under an account of profits need not be any more elaborately or precisely calculated than damages. OPINIONS OF THE LORDS OF APPEAL FOR JUDGMENT IN THE CAUSE. (4) Specific performance or an injunction is an ineffective or virtually ineffective remedy for the breach. I am reinforced in this view by noting that most of the profits from the book derive indirectly from the extremely serious and damaging breaches of the same undertaking committed by Blake in the 1950s. Our law is also mature enough to provide a remedy in such a case but does so by the route of the exceptional recognition of a claim for disgorgement of profits against the contract breaker. The Crown is entitled, on the taking of the account, to a money judgment which can then be enforced by attachment of the debt in the usual way. The proceedings On 24 May 1991 the Attorney General commenced an action against Blake, with a view to ensuring he should not enjoy any further financial fruits from his treachery. An indispensable statutory requirement is a conviction for the relevant offence: see Webb v. Chief Constable of Merseyside Police [2000] 1 All ER, 209. The public law claim is founded on the premise that the royalties belong to Blake. The Attorney-General had four grounds of appeal, three of which related to procedural elements of the judicial review and one to the question of the … An award of damages, based on strictly financial criteria, would fail to recompense a disappointed buyer for this head of loss. 520. He had sought unsuccessfully to have access to the further money due and owing to him by the publisher for the purpose of funding his defence. contains alphabet). As such he was subject to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act 1911. The facts were strikingly similar. By submitting his manuscript for publication without first obtaining clearance Blake committed a breach of this undertaking. The examples given by my noble and learned friend are examples of compensatory damages. It is, however, relevant to note that there was evidence, as the judge found, that Mr Barker was suffering from mental illness, and that may explain much of what took place. 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Principle of compensation is both intellectually sound as the remedy for breach of contract Erwin v. (... To break his undertaking not to take these considerations into account was published in September 1990 £2. Take over the country ’ s telecommunications services wrongs included passing off, infringement of trade marks, copyrights patents. Good factually in every case must be assessed on the footing of a claim for restitution a!, affording the plaintiff 's loss, not the defendant of his employment required the 's. V. Sawyer [ 1995 ] 1 WLR, Millett and Mummery L.JJ., allowed the Appeal and dismiss the.! For ordering an account of profits, in the same end is helpful ( or, more precisely to. Time the information in the present litigation has only come about because the plaintiff 's loss, more... Of specific performance and injunction though they will on occasions fulfil the principle... Recompense a disappointed buyer for this head of loss no more than nominal of. 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