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United Kingdom House of Lords Decisions

You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> United Kingdom House of Lords Decisions >> R v Chief Constable of North Wales, ex p. Evans [1982] UKHL 10 (22 July 1982)
Cite as: [1982] UKHL 10, [1982] 1 WLR 1155, [1982] WLR 1155

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    Parliamentary Archives,

    In re Evans (Assisted Person)


    Die Jovis 22° Julii 1982

    Upon Report from the Appellate Committee to whom was
    referred the Cause In re Evans (Assisted Person), That the
    Committee had heard Counsel as well on Monday the 21st as
    on Tuesday the 22nd days of June last upon the Petition
    and Appeal of Philip Alan Myers formerly Chief Constable
    North Wales Police of Glan-y-Don Colwyn Bay in the County
    of Clwyd praying that the matter of the Order set forth in
    the Schedule thereto, namely an Order of Her Majesty's
    Court of Appeal of the 21st day of December 1981 so far as
    therein stated to be appealed against might be reviewed
    before Her Majesty the Queen in Her Court of Parliament
    and that the said Order so far as aforesaid might be
    reversed, varied or altered or that the Petitioner might
    have such other relief in the premises as to Her Majesty
    the Queen in Her Court of Parliament might seem meet; as
    also upon the Case of Michael John Evans lodged in answer
    to the said Appeal; and due consideration had this day of
    what was offered on either side in this Cause:

    It is Ordered and Adjudged, by the Lords Spiritual
    and Temporal in the Court of Parliament of Her Majesty the
    Queen assembled, That the said Order of Her Majesty's
    Court of Appeal (Civil Division) of the 21st day of
    December 1981 in part complained of in the said Appeal be,
    and the same is hereby, Affirmed with the Variation that
    in lieu of the Declaration therein it be Declared that the
    Appellant acted unlawfully and in breach of his duty under
    Regulation 16 of the Police Regulations 1971 in
    threatening to dispense with the Respondent's services
    unless he resigned from the North Wales Police and in thus
    causing him to resign and that it be further Declared
    that, by reason of his unlawfully induced resignation, the
    Respondent has thereby become entitled to the same rights
    and remedies, not including re-instatement, as he would
    have had if the Appellant had unlawfully dispensed with
    his services under Regulation 16(1) of the Police
    Regulations 1971; And it is further Ordered, That the
    said Petition and Appeal be, and the same is hereby,
    dismissed this House: And it is further Ordered, That the
    Appellant do pay or cause to be paid to the said
    Respondent the Costs incurred by him in respect of the
    said Appeal, the amount thereof to be certified by the
    Clerk of the Parliaments if not agreed between the
    parties: And it is also further Ordered, That the
    Respondent's Costs in this House be taxed in accordance
    with the provisions of schedule 2 to the Legal Aid
    Act 1974.

    Cler: Parliamentor


    IN RE EVANS (A.P.)

    Lord Chancellor
    Lord Fraser of Tullybelton
    Lord Roskill
    Lord Bridge of Harwich
    Lord Brightman

    Lord Hailsham of St. Marylebone

    My Lords,

    The analysis of the facts and argument contained in the speech of my noble
    and learned friend, Lord Brightman, which I have read in draft, relieve me of
    much of the labour in this case, and enable me to reduce the few observations
    I wish to make to reasonably concise proportions. I desire, however, to say
    at the outset that I agree with every word which is about to fall from my
    noble and learned friend as to the treatment to which this young respondent
    has been subjected by the appellant. Like my noble and learned friend, I do
    not doubt the appellant's good faith, but in the result, partly as the result of
    muddle, partly as the result of a false view of the law, and partly as the result
    of a disregard of the elementary principles of natural justice, I regard the
    treatment meted out to this young man as little short of outrageous.

    Briefly, the proceedings originated in an application by the respondent for
    judicial review under R.S.C. Or. 53 of a decision by the appellant (then Chief
    Constable of the Police Force of North Wales) whereby in November 1978
    he had given the respondent, at that time a probationary constable, the option
    of resignation from office or dismissal on a month's notice under Regulation 16
    of the relevant Regulations. In the event, the respondent had chosen resig-
    nation, but had sought relief under R.S.C. Or. 53 on the basis that he had been
    treated unfairly and in a manner contrary to natural justice.

    The first observation I wish to make is by way of criticism of some remarks
    of the learned Master of the Rolls which seem to me capable of an erroneous
    construction of the purpose of the remedy by way of judicial review under
    R.S.C. Or. 53. This remedy, vastly increased in extent, and rendered, over a
    long period in recent years, of infinitely more convenient access than that
    provided by the old prerogative writs and actions for a declaration, is intended
    to protect the individual against the abuse of power by a wide range of authori-
    ties, judicial, quasi judicial, and, as would originally have been thought when
    I first practised at the Bar, administrative. It is not intended to take away
    from those authorities the powers and discretions properly vested in them by
    law and to substitute the courts as the bodies making the decisions. It is
    intended to see that the relevant authorities use their powers in a proper

    Since the range of authorities, and the circumstances of the use of their
    power, are almost infinitely various, it is of course unwise to lay down rules
    for the application of the remedy which appear to be of universal validity in
    every type of case. But it is important to remember in every case that the
    purpose of the remedies is to ensure that the individual is given fair treatment
    by the authority to which he has been subjected and that it is no part of that
    purpose to substitute the opinion of the judiciary or of individual judges for
    that of the authority constituted by law to decide the matters in question.
    The function of the court is to see that lawful authority is not abused by unfair
    treatment and not to attempt itself the task entrusted to that authority by the
    law. There are passages in the judgment of the learned Master of the Rolls
    (and perhaps in the other judgments of the Court of Appeal) in the instant
    case and quoted by my noble and learned friend which might be read as giving
    the courts carte blanche to review the decision of the authority on the basis
    of what the courts themselves consider fair and reasonable on the merits.
    I am not sure whether the Master of the Rolls really intended his remarks to be
    construed in such a way as to permit the court to examine, as for instance in


    the present case, the reasoning of the subordinate authority with a view to
    substituting its own opinion. If so, I do not think this is a correct statement
    of principle. The purpose of judicial review is to ensure that the individual
    receives fair treatment, and not to ensure that the authority, after according
    fair treatment, reaches on a matter which it is authorised or enjoined by law to
    decide for itself a conclusion which is correct in the eyes of the court.

    In the instant case I have no doubt that the respondent was not treated
    fairly by the appellant. In the first place by his own affidavit the appellant
    establishes that he asked himself the wrong question, and, once this has been
    established, for the purposes of judicial review, that by itself is surely enough
    to vitiate an impugned decision which is not otherwise self-evidently justified.
    The relevant Regulation enjoined the appellant to consider whether the
    respondent was " fitted physically or mentally to perform the duties of his
    " office " or was likely to " become an efficient or well-conducted constable "
    before dispensing with his services. In his affidavit the appellant claimed
    that this Regulation " gives me an absolute discretion to dispense with a
    " probationer's services ". In my opinion the discretion, although wide,
    is not absolute. The Chief Constable should have directed his mind to the
    criteria laid down in the Regulation in accordance with the appropriate
    principles of natural justice. He did not do so, and I think it only too likely
    that it was precisely the belief that his discretion was absolute which led to
    the cavalier treatment to which, in the event, the respondent was subjected.

    To this treatment I now come. Once it is established as was conceded
    here, that the office held by the appellant was of the third class enumerated by
    Lord Reid in Ridge v. Baldwin [1964] AC 40 at p.66, it becomes clear, quoting
    Lord Reid (ibid), that there is " an unbroken line of authority to the effect
    " that an officer cannot lawfully be dismissed without first telling him what is
    " alleged against him and hearing his defence or explanation ". I regard this
    rule as fundamental in cases of this kind when deprivation of office is in ques-
    tion. I agree with the appellant's affidavit that " a formal hearing " may well
    be unnecessary if by that is meant an oral hearing in every case held before the
    Chief Constable himself. But this does not dispense a Chief Constable from
    observing the rule laid down by Lord Reid. It may well be also that part or
    all of the enquiry on the facts may be delegated to a subordinate official, as
    was done here by the appellant to the Deputy Chief Constable, though, where
    this is done, the ultimate decision must not be delegated, and in my view,
    common prudence should dictate that the report by the delegated officer, in
    this case the Deputy Chief Constable, or at least its substance, should be shown
    to the officer the subject of review and an opportunity afforded him to comment
    on it before the final decision is taken by the Chief Constable himself. This
    was not done here. Moreover, where there has been delegation, the delegated
    enquiry itself must be conducted in accordance with Lord Reid's rule, and,
    where it is not, the ultimate decision, even if not delegated, will almost
    certainly be vitiated.

    Apart from his self misdirection on the scope of his discretion, in the present
    case the appellant clearly admitted in his affidavit that he had taken into account
    matters concerning the domestic life of the respondent, some of which, if
    properly put to the respondent, might perhaps, after his explanation had been
    given and heard, have influenced the decision as to whether the respondent
    was likely to become an efficient or well-conducted constable. But some of
    the allegations were plainly erroneous and none, whether erroneous or other-
    wise, was ever put to the respondent at all in connexion with the relevant
    enquiry, whether at the delegated hearing or otherwise. Moreover, it was
    conceded by the appellant's counsel that, at the time of the extremely brief
    interview at which the decision was made by the appellant, the appellant had
    already made up his mind to dispense with the respondent's services on the
    basis of the report made to him by the Deputy Chief Constable, and the
    respondent was given no chance to say anything by way of denial of the facts
    alleged in the report or in mitigation of them.

    As an example of the extreme danger of proceeding in this way, it must be
    observed, that, as one of the two clinching matters which seem to have in-
    fluenced him, the appellant says in his affidavit: " Further, it became known


    " (sic) to Senior Officers that the applicant and his wife had lived a ' hippy '
    " type lifestyle at Tyddyn Mynyddig Farm, Bangor ". This had never been
    put to the respondent at all, and had the appellant or his deputy to whom he
    delegated the enquiry taken the trouble to ask the respondent about it, he
    would have discovered at once that this allegedly clinching allegation was
    palpably untrue, and simply the result of a mistaken address. It was, in
    short, an utterly incorrect statement relied upon precisely owing to the failure
    of natural justice of which complaint is made.

    There is room for greater controversy regarding the other matter supposedly
    clinching. There was a finding by the deputy who conducted the enquiry
    that the respondent had " deliberately flouted " the conditions of tenancy at
    his council house by keeping dogs in excess of the number permitted by the
    council and that this exhibited an attitude to authority improper in a member
    of the police force. This matter had indeed been put to the respondent in
    some form, but there is a conflict of evidence relating to the interview, of which
    only the respondent's version is on oath. Without seeking to resolve this
    conflict, I am of the opinion that natural justice required that it should have
    been put precisely to the respondent that exact compliance with the conditions
    of tenancy within the extended time permitted by the council, which at the time
    of the interview had not yet expired, would probably be a condition of his
    continuance in office as a probationary constable. It is clear that this was not
    done and it is fair to the respondent to say that he deposed on oath that, had
    it been put in this way, " I would have disposed of the dogs ". Without
    going into this conclusively, I must express doubt whether, on a fair view of
    the evidence, the appellant, had he applied his mind at all to the correct criteria,
    or to the evidence available to him in his file, or had he given the respondent
    a chance to speak, could possibly have come to the conclusion that the facts
    relating to this aspect of the matter betrayed an attitude to authority incon-
    sistent with the view that he could at the conclusion of his probationary period
    become an efficient or well-conducted constable, or that the respondent was in
    any sense deliberately flouting authority. However this may be, the decision of
    the appellant was, it seems to me, vitiated beyond repair partly by the fact
    that the appellant does not appear to have directed his mind to the correct
    criteria laid down in the Regulations, and partly by the fact that he certainly
    took into account matters which were never put to the respondent in connexion
    with the relevant enquiry, one of which, and not the least important, had it
    been put, would have been immediately exposed as nonsense.

    Like my noble and learned friend, I find much more difficulty in deciding
    the order which it is appropriate for the House to make in a case such as the
    present. In Ridge v. Baldwin (supra), a majority of the House, in not dis-
    similar circumstances, granted a declaration that the decision of the Chief
    Constable was " void ". This was the language adopted by the Court of
    Appeal in the instant case. Personally, I find difficulty in applying the language
    of " void " and " voidable " (appropriate enough in situations of contract or
    of alleged nullity of marriage) to administrative decisions which give rise to
    practical and legal consequences which cannot be reversed. Under pressure,
    which I have considered to be inappropriate and unfair, the respondent,
    nearly four years ago, was compelled to resign as an alternative to dismissal
    from office. That was in November 1978. He was then a probationary
    constable with ten months of service to run. I am inclined to think that
    his decision, though made under duress, to pursue the option of resignation
    did put an end to the tenure of his office as constable. If so, a declaration
    simply to declare void the decision of the appellant to offer the respondent
    a Hobson's choice between resignation and dismissal is a mere brutum fulmen
    without practical consequences. This may be illustrated by asking a number
    of quasi rhetorical questions. If the decision was " void ", has the respondent
    been a constable in the police force in North Wales in the intervening four
    years and what has happened to the ten months of uncompleted probationary
    service? Since the only decision removing him from office was the decision
    now impugned has he now become an established constable? Has he acquired
    pension rights? Is he entitled to back pay? The respondent has moved
    house. We are told that he has found other, though less rewarding, employ-
    ment in the Civil Service. Can we simply put the clock back as if nothing


    has taken place? Presumably the respondent has lost much of his training
    and experience. If he returned, and if he is still a probationary constable,
    he would still be subject to Regulation 16 and the possibility, after a fair
    enquiry, of dismissal on a month's notice. It might well be thought that
    after what has happened it might be considered by the new Chief Constable
    that the respondent could not become an efficient constable or at least not
    without further training. His counsel said that, if reinstated, he would apply
    for a transfer to another force. But what possible guarantee have we that
    another force would now have him, or that the transfer would be in the public
    interest if it did ? These would be matters for the relevant authority. The
    respondent has not sought damages, which, in my view, might well have
    proved substantial, and, though the appellant stated to us that he would be
    prepared to pay compensation if the appeal went against him on the merits,
    even in the face of this, through his counsel, the respondent firmly stated that
    he was not interested in money and simply wanted " reinstatement " whatever
    that might mean. This problem did not arise in Ridge v. Baldwin where the
    Chief Constable did not seek reinstatement, and was content with a declaration
    and his pension rights.

    Are we then to leave the respondent wholly without remedy without spelling
    out the consequences ? In that case, the order of the Court of Appeal stands
    and the decision of the Chief Constable is declared " void " without spelling
    out what this means. It would be possible, of course, simply to quash the
    decision of the appellant as in the old writ of certiorari. But this, too, would
    leave the parties without a clue as to their present position or any direction
    as to their future conduct. But what the respondent wishes is reinstatement.
    There is no cross appeal, but it must be within the power of your Lordships'
    House to vary the order of the Court of Appeal. My own belief is that this
    would have been pre-eminently a case which would have been dealt with most
    effectively either by re-engagement perhaps on a fresh term, which the appellant
    does not offer, or by substantial monetary compensation for which the respon-
    dent does not ask. Your Lordships' House is therefore put in a position in
    which it is compelled to make an order within the limits of the powers given
    the court by R.S.C. Or. 53 which must in any circumstances be less than
    satisfactory. I must confess to surprise, and, even to some degree of indig-
    nation, that, despite the offer of compensation should the tide of argument go
    against him, the appellant gave no instructions to counsel to tender to the
    respondent the smallest expression of regret at the really extraordinary treat-
    ment meted out to him or even the most qualified offer of re-engagement in
    the face of the respondent's persistent desire to rejoin the force (described in
    much greater detail and with great restraint by my noble and learned friend).
    As it is, the order of the Court of Appeal cannot stand unaltered, and the best
    that your Lordships' House can properly do for the respondent is the course
    proposed by my noble and learned friend with which I now concur. Happily,
    the Appeal Committee, as a condition of giving leave to appeal, directed that
    the appellant bear the respondent's costs of the appeal in any event.

    Lord Fraser of Tullybelton

    My Lords,

    I have had the advantage of reading in draft the speech of my noble and
    learned friend, Lord Brightman, and I agree with it.

    I wish to emphasize that the only matter which I am deciding is that the
    process by which the Chief Constable reached his decision in this case was
    unfair in respect that the respondent was never told the reasons why his dis-
    missal was being considered, and that he was given no opportunity of making
    an explanation about the matters of complaint against him. I am far from
    saying that, if the procedure had been fair, the Chief Constable would not
    have been entitled to reach the decision that he did. Whether the decision
    itself was fair and reasonable is not a matter that can be raised in the present
    proceedings, but, having regard to the criticisms of the Chief Constable's
    decision made by the Court of Appeal, I think it is only right to say that if


    he had decided, after hearing the respondent's explanations, that the respon-
    dent's conduct in marrying a woman who had been living in the same house
    as him on the footing that she was his aunt showed that he was not likely
    to become a well conducted constable, I very much doubt whether the decision
    could have been said to be unreasonable.

    I agree that the two declarations proposed by Lord Brightman should be

    Lord Roskill

    My Lords,

    I have had the advantage of reading in draft the speech prepared by my
    noble and learned friend, Lord Brightman, with which I agree and I too
    would dismiss the appeal.

    Lord Bridge of Harwich

    My Lords,,

    The facts of this most unhappy case are fully set out in the speech of my
    noble and learned friend, Lord Brightman. There are only certain aspects
    of the case on which I wish to comment.

    The Chief Constable's decision to force the resignation of the respondent
    was vitiated both by his erroneous assumption that he had an absolute dis-
    cretion and by his total failure to observe the rules of natural justice. The
    matters considered fell into two categories, first the respondent's private life
    and domestic circumstances, secondly his keeping four dogs in the council
    house rented for his occupation by the police authority. In the first category
    because the Chief Constable gave the respondent no opportunity to refute the
    allegations against him, he acted on false information. If the truth had been
    established, the only matters for consideration under this head would have
    been that the respondent was married to a lady some fourteen years older than
    himself whom he had previously treated as an aunt, because she had for some
    years lived as man and wife, although not married, with the respondent's
    uncle by whom she had four children. For my part, I should regard these
    matters as irrelevant to the question whether the respondent was likely to
    become an efficient or well-conducted constable.

    With regard to the dogs, I do not dissent from the view that a chief officer
    of police who is contemplating dispensing with the services of a probationer
    constable under Regulation 16 of the Police Regulations 1971 may delegate to
    a suitable subordinate the investigation of a specific complaint with a view to
    giving the constable a fair opportunity to meet the allegations made against
    him. But in the case of such delegation certain conditions should be observed.
    First the delegate should make clear to the constable the precise nature of the
    complaint and that he, the delegate, is acting on behalf of the chief officer of
    police to hear whatever the constable wishes to say about it. Secondly, the
    delegate should make a full report to the chief officer of what the constable
    has said. Thirdly, the chief officer should himself show the report to the
    constable and invite any comment on it before reaching any decision under
    Regulation 16.

    The evidence as to what happened with regard to the respondent's dogs is
    the least satisfactory part of this case. The memorandum of 6th November
    1978 of the Deputy Chief Constable exhibited to the affidavit of the Chief
    Constable contains matter which has never been verified by an affidavit of the
    Deputy Chief Constable, although much of it is flatly contradicted by the
    affidavit of the respondent. Of the three conditions I have referred to above
    as necessary to the investigation of a complaint by a delegate of the chief


    officer of police, it is doubtful if the first two were observed. It is certain
    that the third was not. On the probabilities, it is hard to believe that the
    respondent, whose dedicated enthusiasm for a police career has never been
    doubted, if faced with the stark alternatives of removing three of his dogs
    from his council house or being dismissed from the force, would have chosen
    the latter.

    My Lords, I agree with my noble and learned friends, the Lord Chancellor
    and Lord Brightman, that the most difficult problem posed by this appeal is
    to decide what remedy is appropriate and further that the form of declaration
    made by the Court of Appeal is unsatisfactory in that its practical consequences
    are uncertain. So far as it lies within our power, we should, above all, make
    clear to the parties what their respective rights and obligations are in conse-
    quence of any order to be pronounced. There is no doubt in my mind that
    the respondent has suffered a grievous wrong. It should not be beyond the
    power of the courts to provide a suitable remedy. The respondent has
    throughout disclaimed any interest in monetary compensation. What he seeks
    is reinstatement. This could only be secured by an order of mandamus
    requiring the present Chief Constable of the North Wales Police to reinstate
    him as a probationer constable who has already completed fourteen months
    of his probationer service. I have no doubt your Lordships have power to
    make such an order and was at one time strongly inclined to think that it
    should be made. I know now that none of your Lordships favour such an
    order and it would therefore be an empty gesture for me to express a formal
    dissent on the point. But, that apart, I appreciate the weight of the objections
    to it. Great practical problems would arise in relation to his training and per-
    haps other matters from the fact that his service has been interrupted for nearly
    four years. Moreover, human nature being what it is, if the North Wales
    Police Force had the respondent forced upon them by order of your Lordships'
    House as the culmination of this lengthy litigation, there would be an obvious
    danger that an undercurrent of ill-feeling would affect his future relations with
    his superiors in the force.

    I am reluctantly driven to the conclusion that the best service we can render
    to the respondent—and indeed this is the least we should do—is to make clear
    to the North Wales Police Force or indeed to any other police force he may
    now seek to join that he emerges from this litigation with his reputation wholly
    untarnished, that nothing has ever been proved against him to show that he is
    unlikely to become an efficient and well-conducted constable, but that, on the
    contrary, all the formal reports on his work and training during the period of
    his service in 1977 and 1978 were highly favourable to him.

    As regards the formal disposal of the appeal I concur in the order proposed
    by my noble and learned friend, Lord Brightman.

    Lord Brightman

    My Lords,

    The issue in this case is whether the Chief Constable of North Wales Police
    acted lawfully when he forced a probationer constable to resign his office;
    and, if not, what remedies can properly be granted to the aggrieved constable.

    The matter first came before a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench
    Division. It was heard by Mr. Justice Woolf. He came to the conclusion
    that the decision reached by the Chief Constable did not accord with the
    standards of fairness that should have been observed, but that no relief should
    be granted except in regard to costs. The constable appealed in order to
    obtain substantive relief. The Chief Constable cross-appealed. The Court
    of Appeal confirmed the conclusion of the Divisional Court but added a
    declaration that the Chief Constable's decision to require the constable to
    resign or be dismissed was void. The Chief Constable now appeals to your
    Lordships' House.


    My Lords, I will narrate the story as briefly as I can, but some detail is
    inevitable. In the summer of 1977 the respondent, Mr. Michael John Evans,
    applied to join the North Wales Police. He had an unfortunate upbringing,
    His father, who had been in the Royal Navy, died when he was five years old.
    His mother suffered from ill health and was unable to look after him. In
    consequence, he was brought up in an orphanage until he was sixteen. In
    May 1971, when he was about nineteen, he had a serious motor cycle accident.
    He received a considerable sum of money as compensation. He was in
    hospital for almost a year. While there, he was visited and befriended by Miss
    Margaret Farey. She was a lady who had been living with his uncle for a
    number of years. There were four children of the liaison. The respondent
    believed that his uncle and Miss Farey were married. She called herself Mrs.
    Evans and he referred to her as his aunt. At about this time, Miss Farey and
    the respondent's uncle parted company. After the respondent left hospital
    he stayed for a while with his grandmother, and later with Miss Farey. He
    came to know that she was unmarried but he continued to refer to her as his

    The respondent went out to work. He was first employed as a chauffeur.
    He then spent a year as an operating theatre technician in a hospital. This
    was followed by a spell of unemployment. In the autumn of 1976 he accepted
    an offer of a place at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, beginning
    in the autumn of 1976. He first lived in lodgings, but later secured the tenancy
    of a house on a farm hear Bangor, where Miss Farey and her two younger
    children joined him.

    The respondent's first year at the university was not a success. He did not
    achieve the requisite academic standard and he left. He applied to join the
    North Wales Police. He was interviewed in July 1977 by Police Sergeant
    Morris. The Police Sergeant recorded the following in his suitability report:

    " The address where the applicant resides is a house on Tyddyn
    " Mynyddig Farm some two miles from Bangor, which his aunt rents
    " from the owner of the farm. It is a comfortable home, clean and well
    " cared for ... For the past twelve months he has resided with his aunt,
    " Mrs. Margaret Evans, at the farm, and it appears that she has been the
    " one person in his life who has cared for him, and encouraged him in
    " his studies".

    A fortnight later he was interviewed by Superintendent Ellis. Finally he had a
    brief interview with the Chief Constable, the appellant, and was accepted into
    the force. He was duly sworn into the office of constable on 31st August and
    became a probationary member of the police force for a period of two years
    pursuant to Regulation 15(2) of the Police Regulations 1971. He was then
    just under 25 years of age.

    On 5th September he began his initial course of training at the Police Training
    Centre at Cwmbran. It lasted for two months. He obtained a good report.
    The Commandant of the centre described him as " a very good prospect with
    " all the attributes to develop into a reliable and competent police officer".
    He then spent a month on the beat at Holyhead attached to a tutor constable.
    He was given a satisfactory report. During this period he gave formal
    notice to his Divisional Chief Superintendent of his intention to be married to
    " Miss Margaret Farey of Tyddyn Mynddig Farm " and requested police
    accommodation. Within a week the Deputy Chief Constable allocated
    accommodation to him at Llangefni, and changed his station from Holyhead
    to Llangefni. The accommodation provided was a house belonging to the
    local council. On 26th January the respondent gave the Divisional Chief
    Superintendent formal notification of his marriage. This showed that his
    wife was 14 years older than he.

    On 31st January 1978 Police Sergeant Roberts, of the Llangefni Police
    Station made a report to the Divisional Chief Superintendent. He said that
    as a result of various observations and various rumours spread about the
    police station, he had decided to make some discreet inquiries about the


    respondent and his wife. It is a long report. It is sufficient to pick out
    these items:

    1. A year previously a police officer visiting the Evans' household about
      the absence from school of one of the children, had been introduced to the
      respondent as the stepson of Mrs. Evans.

    2. Police Sergeant Morris, who had made the suitability report, had been
      led to believe that Mrs. Evans was the respondent's aunt.

    3. The respondent's council house was untidy, poorly carpeted and

    4. Despite the poor state of the house, the respondent had just bought
      a large car and he also owned an almost new Honda motor cycle; and
      there were four or five dogs in the house.

    5. It was also within the police sergeant's knowledge that the respondent's
      referees (in the plural) described him as plausible and possibly dishonest.

    Inspector Yates added a footnote to the report:

    (6) Prior to their marriage, the respondent and Mrs. Evans resided at a
    hippy commune at Tyddyn Mynyddig; it was believed that Mrs. Evans
    was the sister of the respondent's mother (and therefore within the prohibited
    degree of relationship); and there was no proof that Mrs. Evans was divorced
    from her previous husband (thus also indicating bigamy).

    On 3rd February this report was forwarded by the Divisional Chief Superin-
    tendent to the Deputy Chief Constable. On 8th February the Divisional
    Chief Superintendent added fuel to the fire. Current information, he said,
    suggested that in the past the respondent had had several (query severe)
    financial difficulties; he was said to be plausible; and he had a medical history
    of chronic leg injuries.

    On 9th February the Deputy Chief Constable asked the Divisional Chief
    Superintendent to interview the respondent with a view to resolving the various
    issues which had recently come to notice. The respondent was summoned to
    an interview. Superintendent Ellis attended with the Divisional Chief Superin-
    tendent. The Divisional Chief Superintendent gave the respondent to believe
    that the interview was concerned only with a discrepancy in the number of
    children in the family, in order to ensure that the family would obtain the full
    benefit of the pension arrangements.

    According to the evidence, none of the various items—I am tempted to call
    them smears—appeared to have been brought out into the open so as to
    enable the respondent to put the record straight. The rumour that Mrs. Evans
    was still the wife of the respondent's uncle, and the alternative rumour that
    Mrs. Evans was the sister of the respondent's mother, were ultimately laid to
    rest by an investigation conducted by New Scotland Yard at the request of the
    Divisional Chief Superintendent. A report of his investigation was made on
    19th July. As to the rest of the items:—

    1. As regards the untidy and poorly equipped house the respondent and
      his wife had only just moved in and there is uncontradicted evidence that
      they had not had time to get their furniture out of store and carpets fitted.

    2. There is uncontradicted evidence that the respondent had suffered
      from no financial difficulties.

    3. It was somewhat misleading to record that the respondent's referees
      (in the plural) had described him as plausible and possibly dishonest. The
      truth was that one referee, the Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University
      had concluded his letter as follows—

    " I believe Evans to be reasonably intelligent and, on first acquaintance,
    " he has an outgoing and fairly attractive personality. However, I should
    " say that I doubt somewhat his plausibility. In some ways it is perhaps
    " a minor matter but he tendered a number of excuses about his academic


    " performance which I saw no reason to disbelieve. Quite by accident,
    " as a result of an inquiry from his Local Education Authority, I came to
    " discover that much of what he had said was in fact untrue. When
    " subsequently tackled about this matter he still wished me to believe
    " most of what he had previously told me. He therefore is either dis-
    " honest with himself and/or is willing himself to believe a situation exists
    " when it clearly does not. I am sorry to have to report on Evans in this
    " way because I firmly believe he has had a difficult home environment
    " in his earlier days and I think he is deserving of some help."

    1. The reference to the hippy commune was a most damaging error.
      Inspector Yates had confused the farm where the respondent lived with
      another locality where he had never been.

    2. The respondent's leg injury had been fully disclosed in his medical
      report and he had completely recovered from it.

    In the meantime the respondent undertook phase 1. of the Headquarters
    Training Course, a Traffic Course, an Administration Course and a C.I.D.
    Course. All reports from those instructing him were good.

    To go back in time for a moment: in January 1978 when the respondent's
    house had been allocated to him, the respondent had called at the Council's
    Housing Department to discover the Council's attitude towards the keeping
    of domestic pets. He had four dogs. He was told that as a rule pets were not
    allowed, but that the Council took no notice unless there were complaints.
    At a routine meeting with the Divisional Chief Superintendent a little later,
    the respondent told him about the dogs. The Divisional Chief Superintendent
    informed him that there was no problem as long as the dogs were kept under
    control. In the autumn of 1978, acting on information that the respondent
    had four dogs, a Health Inspector called at the house. He said that as a rule
    only one dog was allowed, but it appeared that no actual complaint had been
    made by anyone. The Health Inspector agreed that the dogs were well cared
    for and said that the Health Department could have no complaint. However,
    two days later a Council official called and told the respondent that he would
    have to get rid of the dogs.

    On 19th October Superintendent Jones of Caernarvon interviewed the
    respondent as a result of what he had heard about the dogs. On the next
    day the respondent made a written report to the Divisional Chief Superin-
    tendent explaining his predicament. He referred to the interview with
    Superintendent Jones and added that at this interview he had indicated that
    he would try to find alternative accommodation, but the possibility of success
    seemed remote. The respondent handed his memorandum to Superintendent
    Jones who forwarded it to the Divisional Chief Superintendent with his own
    covering letter. In his covering letter Superintendent Jones wrongly informed
    the Divisional Chief Superintendent that prior to being moved to Llangefni
    the respondent and his family were living in a hippy commune at Bangor, and
    added that his wife continued to dress in the hippy fashion; and that all the
    dogs were strays. The respondent denies that his wife dressed in hippy clothes,
    and there is undisputed evidence that none of the dogs was a stray. Superin-
    tendent Jones added that he had told the respondent that he had the alternative
    of getting rid of three of the dogs or finding alternative accommodation.

    On 20th October a routine assessment report was made on the respondent.
    This followed the pattern of earlier reports; his appearance and bearing were
    of high standard; in the performance of his duties he got through a great deal
    of work; he accepted responsibility; was considerate and firm in his attitude
    to the public; showed a great deal of interest; and was well liked and respected
    by his colleagues. Sergeant Evans, who signed the assessment, considered
    that he would do well in his career. Inspector Yates, who endorsed the
    assessment, said the respondent showed a great deal of interest and enthusiasm,
    and intended to establish a career for himself within the police force. It was
    Inspector Yates who started the damaging canard about the hippy commune.
    He did not repeat it. But unfortunately it had already been repeated by
    Superintendent Jones.


    On 23rd October the respondent visited the Senior Management Officer of
    the Local Council to discuss the question of the dogs. In a letter of the same
    day the Senior Management Officer wrote to the respondent requesting him to
    find other accommodation for the animals within the next four weeks, i.e. by
    the third week in November.

    On 25th October the respondent reported to his Divisional Chief Superin-
    tendent. He said that he had been given four weeks to leave the Council house.
    That was not an accurate account of the Council's letter, although it would
    come to the same thing if he adhered to his expressed intention of not parting
    with the dogs. The respondent said that he could see no prospect of finding
    suitable alternative accommodation.

    On 30th October the Divisional Chief Superintendent forwarded the memo-
    randa of 19th, 20th and 25th October to the Deputy Chief Constable.

    On 6th November the Deputy Chief Constable interviewed the respondent.
    He was told that there were only two alternatives, that he " should comply
    " with the conditions of tenancy or that we should take other action by e.g.
    " terminating his employment ". The Deputy Chief Constable added in his
    memorandum of the interview, which he forwarded to the Chief Constable,
    " it was very doubtful in my view whether people who deliberately flouted
    " conditions of tenancy were suitable to be in the police service." Your
    Lordships may feel that an accusation of deliberately flouting the terms of the
    tenancy is an extravagant description of the respondent's conduct in the light
    of the clear evidence that he began with a revocable permission to keep the
    dogs and, though the permission was now revoked, he still had another fort-
    night within which to comply with the Council's requirements.

    On 8th November the respondent was summoned to an interview with the
    Chief Constable. He was told by the Chief Constable that " I had made a
    mistake in accepting him and gave him the opportunity to resign as an alter-
    " native to formally dispensing with his services". He was given no indication
    of the reasons for his enforced resignation. The respondent in his affidavit
    says this about the interview, and his account is not disputed:— " I asked if
    " I could have a reason for this action but he refused outright. I was not
    " informed of what was alleged against me nor afforded any opportunity
    " to be heard by way of defence or explanation. I asked for time to consider
    " and he said that I must let him know by 10 a.m. the following morning.
    " I was not given any document recording this decision." As a result of the
    Chief Constable's threat, the respondent signed on 9th November a formal
    letter of resignation.

    At the time of his enforced resignation it should be observed that the re-
    spondent still had a fortnight within which to comply with the Council's
    requirements: that all the routine reports on his suitability as a police constable
    had been highly satisfactory, and likely, viewed in isolation, to lead to his
    being confirmed in office; and that he was due in only three weeks' time to attend
    a routine interview with his Divisional Chief Superintendent pursuant to the
    ordinary probationary procedure.

    Within a week of his enforced resignation, the respondent applied to join
    the Metropolitan Police. The Metropolitan Police, naturally enough, com-
    municated with the North Wales Police. The Deputy Chief Constable replied
    by letter in fairly innocuous terms. The Chief Constable of the North Wales
    Police also spoke personally to the Assistant Commissioner of the Metro-
    politan Police. Not surprisingly his application was rejected. It has no
    particular importance except to demonstrate the respondent's dedication to
    police work, and the then practical impossibility of his regaining acceptance
    into a police force.

    My Lords, before I conclude this unhappy story, I must turn to the statutory
    provision. Regulation 16 of the Police Regulations 1971, which I need not
    quote verbatim, provides that during his period of probation in the force, the


    services of a constable may be dispensed with at any time if the Chief Officer
    of Police considers:

    1. that he is not fitted, physically or mentally, to perform the duties of
      his office, or

    2. that he is not likely to become an efficient constable, or

    3. that he is not likely to become a well conducted constable.

    It is plain from the wording of the regulation that the power of a Chief
    Officer of Police to dispense with the services of a person accepted as a proba-
    tioner constable is to be exercised, and exercised only, after due consideration
    and determination of the specified questions. It is not a discretion that may
    be exercised arbitrally and without accountability.

    A year went by. The respondent tried unsuccessfully to pursue a remedy
    before an Industrial Tribunal. He consulted solicitors and applied for legal
    aid which took some time to arrange. On 23rd October 1979 his solicitors
    wrote to the Chief Constable. They indicated that he would be seeking
    judicial review of the decision to dispense with his services. They asked the
    Chief Constable to reconsider his decision. They also requested disclosure
    of various reports about him which the respondent knew, or suspected, were in
    existence. This request was peremptorily refused in a letter despatched by the
    Chief Constable two days later.

    In early January 1980 the respondent filed the requisite statement and swore
    the requisite affidavit in support of his application for leave to apply for
    judicial review. At this time he was still unaware of the facts or supposed
    facts which had led the Chief Constable to force his resignation. So far as
    he was aware, there was only one matter over which any problem arose,
    namely, his ownership of the dogs, of which the North Wales Police were
    aware shortly after he took up accommodation at Llangefni. Leave was
    given by a Divisional Court on 29th January. On the following day the
    respondent issued a Notice of Motion seeking (1) an Order of Certiorari to
    quash the Chief Constable's decision of 8th November 1978, (2) an Order of
    Mandamus directed to the Chief Constable requiring his reinstatement, and
    (3) a declaration that the decision of the Chief Constable was illegal, ultra
    and void. On 8th May 1980 the respondent obtained a consent order
    for the discovery of the documents which he had requested six months earlier.

    On 12th June 1980 the Chief Constable swore an affidavit in answer to the
    respondent's filed statement and affidavit. There are two important matters
    revealed in the affidavit. First, the Chief Constable asserted that Regulation
    16(1) gave him an absolute discretion to dispense with a probationer's services.
    Secondly, in deciding as he did, the Chief Constable was principally concerned
    with three adverse factors—

    1. The respondent had married a woman much older than himself; she
      was the former mistress of his uncle; such a marriage might give rise to
      some scandal, which would not be in the interests of the force.

    2. The respondent and his wife were keeping four or five dogs in a police/
      council house, when there was a permitted limit of one dog.

    3. The respondent and his wife had lived a " hippy " life style at the
      Bangor farm.

    The second of these adverse factors was inaccurate, because the dogs were
    initially kept in the house with the Council permission; and that permission
    was still extant at the date of the Chief Constable's decision. The third
    adverse factor was the result of a complete misunderstanding and was devoid
    of all substance.

    The respondent swore an affidavit in reply on 15th January 1981. He
    furnished his answers to all the criticisms of which he had by now become
    aware and he convincingly disposed of the damaging statement about the
    previous life style of himself and his wife. Furthermore, he deposed that if
    he had realised that he had to choose between keeping his career and keeping
    the dogs, the dogs would have gone. It is difficult to suppose otherwise.


    The Chief Constable has never challenged the truth of the respondent's
    second affidavit.

    The motion came before Mr. Justice Woolf on 23rd March 1981. The
    learned judge found in favour of the respondent to the extent that he held
    that the proper approach to this type of case was that the Chief Constable was
    bound to act fairly in the course of exercising his statutory discretion under
    Regulation 16; and that the decision which was reached did not accord with
    the standards of fairness because the respondent was not given an opportunity
    to answer the accusations which led the Chief Constable to the conclusion
    which he reached. However, the learned judge declined to grant any relief
    except in costs. His reasoning was this. The court could give no remedy
    now which would enable the respondent to serve the period which would have
    remained if his engagement had not been terminated, because the two year
    probationary period was long since expired. Even if that period had not
    ended, the court would not in the normal way make an Order of Mandamus
    requiring a Chief Constable to re-engage a constable. The only order which
    could be made would be one which would have required the Chief Constable
    to reconsider his decision of 8th November. There was no purpose to be
    served by such an order now that the probationary period had expired. To
    put the matter shortly, an Order of Mandamus would be contrary to all
    precedent and an Order of Certiorari would be academic. He could not make
    a Declaratory Order that the respondent was still a probationary constable,
    nor could he make a declaration that the Chief Constable's decision was
    wrong. All that could be declared would be that the decision had been
    reached irregularly, and such a declaration would serve no purpose.

    Mr Lords, I must address myself later to the question of remedy. All that
    I would say at this moment is that it would, to my mind, be regrettable if a
    litigant who establishes that he has been legally wronged and particularly in
    so important a matter as the pursuit of his chosen profession, has to be sent
    away from a court of justice empty handed save for an order for the recoupment
    of the expense to which he has been put in establishing a barren victory.

    The respondent appealed. By his notice of appeal, he sought an Order of
    Certiorari, an Order of Mandamus and a declaration in the terms set out in
    his application for leave to apply for judicial review. The Chief Constable
    cross-appealed. He attacked the findings of the learned judge. He claimed
    not only that the decision was fairly reached, but also that the respondent's
    office was held during pleasure so that, on established principles, he had no
    right to be heard before dismissal.

    Before I turn to the judgments in the Court of Appeal, I would make certain
    observations on the law as I understand it. I turn first to the decision of this
    House in Ridge v. Baldwin (1964) AC 40 where I find useful guidance on the
    proper approach to this type of case. As was pointed out by Lord Reid
    (page 64 et seq.) The application of principles of natural justice to a variety
    of different situations is likely to lead to varying definitions of those principles.
    For example, " what a minister ought to do in considering objections to a
    " scheme may be very different from what a watch committee ought to do in
    " considering whether to dismiss a Chief Constable." So cases of dismissal
    need to be considered on their own. Lord Reid divided these into three
    categories. First, dismissal of a servant by his master. Here no relevant
    question arises as to whether the master has heard the servant in his defence
    unless, presumably, the principle of audi alteram partem has been made a
    term of the contract. The question is whether the facts emerging at the trial
    prove a breach of contract. If so, damages are payable for the breach.
    Secondly, dismissal from an office held during pleasure. " It has always
    " been held, I think rightly, that such an officer has no right to be heard before
    " he is dismissed, and the reason is clear. As the person having the power
    " of dismissal need not have anything against the officer, he need not give
    " any reason." (Per Lord Reid, at page 65). Thirdly, dismissal from an
    office where there must be something against the office holder to warrant his
    dismissal. " There I find an unbroken line of authority to the effect that an
    " officer cannot lawfully be dismissed without first telling him what is alleged


    " against him and hearing his defence or explanation." (Per Lord Reid,
    at page 66.)

    I turn secondly to the proper purpose of the remedy of judicial review,
    what it is and what it is not. In my opinion the law was correctly stated in
    the speech of Lord Evershed (at page 96). His was a dissenting judgment
    but the dissent was not concerned with this point. Lord Evershed referred to
    " a danger of usurpation of power on the part of the courts . . . under the
    " pretext of having regard to the principles of natural justice." He added
    " I do observe again that it is not the decision as such which is liable to review;
    " it is only the circumstances in which the decision was reached, and particularly
    " in such a case as the present the need for giving to the party dismissed an
    " opportunity for putting his case." Judicial review is concerned, not with
    the decision, but with the decision-making process. Unless that restriction
    on the power of the court is observed, the court will in my view, under the
    guise of preventing the abuse of power, be itself guilty of usurping power.

    I leave these preliminary observations in order to consider the judgments
    in the Court of Appeal. It was accepted by each member of the court that
    the case fell within the third of Lord Reid's categories; that the respondent
    was entitled to a fair hearing; and that he had not had one. However the
    learned Master of the Rolls added this:

    " I go further. Not only must he be given a fair hearing, but the
    " decision itself must be fair and reasonable. That is the protection
    " afforded to every servant who is employed under a contract of service.
    " He is protected against unfair dismissal. No less protection should
    " be afforded to a probationer constable."

    The learned Master of the Rolls then concluded by saying that,

    " It is my opinion that the Chief Constable was not justified in dispensing
    " with the services of Constable Evans or in requiring him to resign."

    Lord Justice Shaw and Lord Justice Ackner concurred.

    In his submissions to this House, counsel for the appellant submitted that
    the Chief Constable took into account all the matters which appeared on the
    respondent's file; that he was entitled to rely on the accuracy of the reports
    of his officers; and that he was not bound to put every adverse point to the

    My Lords, for my part I emphatically reject the approach of the Chief
    Constable to his duties under Regulation 16. He made the fundamental
    mistake, as appears from his affidavit, of assuming that he had an absolute
    discretion to discharge the respondent under Regulation 16, a right to dismiss
    him at pleasure. That was not his right. His mistake coloured and indeed
    tainted the decision-making process. His discretion to discharge was a
    qualified one, exercisable only if he considered that the respondent was not
    fitted to perform the duties of the office or was not likely to become an efficient
    constable or a well conducted constable. It is implicit in Regulation 16 that
    there must be a fair consideration of the constable's fitness to perform his
    duties and a fair consideration of the likelihood of his becoming an efficient
    and well conducted constable. The legality of the choice given to the re-
    spondent to resign or be discharged must be judged by the same criteria as
    applied to the legality of discharge without the alternative of resignation;
    for clearly the Chief Constable could not use an invalid threat of discharge
    to compel resignation, as that would be an abuse of power.

    As I have indicated, the Chief Constable forced the respondent's discharge
    on account of three adverse factors which he believed to exist: the allegedly
    undesirable marital circumstances, the alleged hippy life style and the alleged
    flouting of authority. It was the duty of the Chief Constable to deal fairly
    with the respondent in relation to the adverse factors upon which he was
    proposing to act. The Chief Constable failed in his performance of that duty
    because these supposedly adverse factors were never put to the respondent.
    He was given no opportunity to offer one word of explanation. Your


    Lordships will not doubt the honesty of the Chief Constable and that he
    reached a decision which he truly believed was in the interests of the North
    Wales Police on the information that had been laid before him. But the
    inescapable fact is that he misunderstood the extent of his discretion and the
    nature of his duty under Regulation 16. The decision-making process was
    therefore defective.

    There is however a wider point than the injustice of the decision-making
    process of the Chief Constable. With profound respect to the Court of Appeal,
    I dissent from the view that " Not only must [the probationer constable] be
    " given a fair hearing, but the decision itself must be fair and reasonable ".
    If that statement of the law passed into authority without comment, it would
    in my opinion transform, and wrongly transform, the remedy of judicial
    review. Judicial review, as the words imply, is not an appeal from a decision,
    but a review of the manner in which the decision was made. The statement
    of law which I have quoted implies that the court sits in judgment not only
    on the correctness of the decision-making process but also on the correctness
    of the decision itself. In his printed case counsel for the appellant made this
    submission: " Where Parliament has entrusted to an administrative authority
    " the duty of making a decision which affects the rights of an individual,
    " the court's supervisory function on a judicial review of that decision is
    " limited. The court cannot be expected to possess knowledge of the reasons
    " of policy which lie behind the administrative decision nor is it desirable that
    " evidence should be called before the court of the implications of such policy.
    " It follows that the court ought not to attempt to weigh the merits of the
    " particular decision but should confine its function to a consideration of
    " the manner in which the decision was reached." When the sole issue raised
    on an application for judicial review is whether the rules of natural justice
    have been observed, these propositions are unexceptionable. Other con-
    siderations arise when an administrative decision is attacked on the ground
    that it is vitiated by self-misdirection, by taking account of irrelevant or
    neglecting to take account of relevant factors, or is so manifestly unreasonable
    that no reasonable authority, entrusted with the power in question, could
    reasonably have made such a decision. See the well known judgment of
    Lord Greene M.R. in Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd. v. Wednesbury
    [1948] 1 KB 223.

    I agree entirely with the Court of Appeal, and indeed with the Divisional
    Court, that the respondent did not have the fair hearing to which he was
    entitled. I differ only from the Court of Appeal on the extent of the Court's
    supervisory jurisdiction.

    I turn now to the question of remedies. The Court of Appeal granted the
    respondent a declaration that the decision requiring the respondent to resign
    or be dismissed was void. I feel some misgivings about a declaration in that
    form, because it is not clear to me what consequences flow from it. Whatever
    remedy may be granted by the Court in this case, I think it is highly desirable
    that the North Wales Police and the respondent should be in no doubt how,
    under the Order, they will stand in relation to each other.

    The conclusion reached by the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal and
    by this House, if your Lordships are in agreement with me, is that the Chief
    Constable acted unlawfully and in breach of his duty under Regulation 16 in
    threatening to dispense with the respondent's services unless he resigned from
    the North Wales Police and in thus causing him to resign. That having been
    established, the respondent is, in my view, entitled at least to a declaration to
    that effect. But the matter cannot be satisfactorily left there. One must
    know what are the consequences that flow from the breach of duty.

    One possibility would be to add to that declaration an Order of Mandamus.
    The respondent has one desire and one desire only, namely, to be reinstated in
    the police force. This would be secured if an Order of Mandamus were to
    issue, directed to the Chief Constable now in office, requiring him, for example,
    to restore the respondent to the office of probationer constable as held by him
    on 8th November 1978.


    An alternative to an Order of Mandamus would be a declaration affirming
    that, by reason of such unlawfully induced resignation, the respondent thereby
    became entitled to the same rights and remedies, not including re-instatement,
    as he would have had if the appellant had unlawfully dispensed with his services
    under Regulation 16(1). Such a declaration would clarify the status of the
    respondent vis-a-vis the North Wales Police, and would leave him free to
    pursue such remedies, short of re-instatement, as may be open to him. I have
    in mind that under Order 53 Rule 7 an applicant for judicial review may claim
    damages if they are sought in the filed statement and if damages could have
    been awarded in an action brought for the purpose. I have not, however,
    addressed my mind to the question whether it is still open to the respondent
    to apply to amend his filed statement by adding a claim to damages.

    It is possible that the respondent would not wish, nor indeed would have
    any incentive, to pursue a claim for damages. Counsel for the appellant,
    acting on instructions, told your Lordships that if the decision of your Lordships'
    House went in favour of the respondent it would be the intention of the North
    Wales Police to offer him monetary compensation. I trust that the compen-
    sation which the Chief Constable has in mind to offer would be on a generous
    scale, and amply reflect the fact that the respondent has been unlawfully deprived
    of his profession as a consequence of the wrongful procedures of the Chief
    Constable's predecessor in office.

    I feel that the choice of remedy is a difficult one. It is a matter of discretion.
    From the point of view of the respondent who has been wronged in a matter
    so vital to his life, an Order of Mandamus is the only satisfactory remedy.
    I have been much tempted to suggest to your Lordships that it would in the
    circumstances be a remedy proper to be granted. But it is unusual, in a case
    such as the present, for the court to make an Order of Mandamus, and I think
    that in practice it might border on usurpation of the powers of the Chief
    Constable, which is to be avoided. With some reluctance and hesitation, I
    feel that the respondent will have to content himself with the less satisfactory
    declaration that I have outlined.

    So far as I am aware, it would be open to the respondent to apply in the
    ordinary way to re-join the North Wales Police as a new entrant. If the
    respondent does make such an application, I for my part express the hope that
    the North Wales Police will give very serious consideration to it. If an
    objective assessment of his accomplishments and character were made, the
    North Wales Police might come to the conclusion that a person so dedicated to
    the profession is police material which ought not lightly to be discarded.
    They might feel that his re-acceptance would go some way towards remedying
    the wrong which he has suffered as well as benefiting the force itself. This
    would be a happy solution, if it could properly be brought about; it would give
    the respondent the chance which he merits; and the way that I have expressed
    myself avoids any usurpation of the power of the Chief Constable, because a
    decision to accept or reject must lie with him.

    My Lords, I would dismiss the appeal but vary the Order of the Court of
    Appeal by substituting the declarations which I have outlined for that which
    is contained in the Order of the Court of Appeal.

    3141794—4 Dd 8209971 C3 7/82

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