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British Food Journal Volume 81 Issue 1 1979

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 January 1979



In years past, when life seemed simpler and the Law much less complicated, jurists were fond of quoting the age‐old saying: “All men are equal before the Law.” It was never completely true; there were important exemptions when strict legal enforcement would have been against the public interests. A classic example was Crown immunity, evolved from the historical principle that “The King can do no wrong”. With the growth of government, the multiplicity of government agencies and the enormous amount of secondary legislation, the statutes being merely enabling Acts, this immunity revealed itself as being used largely against public interests. Statutory instruments were being drafted within Ministerial departments largely by as many as 300 officers of those departments authorized to sign such measures, affecting the rights of the people without any real Parliamentary control. Those who suffered and lost in their enforcement had no remedy; Crown immunity protected all those acting as servants of the Crown and the principle came to be an officials' charter with no connection whatever with the Crown. Parliament, custodian of the national conscience, removed much of this socially unacceptable privilege in the Crown Proceedings Act, 1947, which enabled injured parties within limit to sue central departments and their officers. The more recent system of Commissioners—Parliamentary, Local Authority, Health Service—with power to enquire into allegations of injustice, maladministration, malpractice to individuals extra‐legally, has extended the rights of the suffering citizen.


(1979), "British Food Journal Volume 81 Issue 1 1979", British Food Journal, Vol. 81 No. 1, pp. 1-40.




Copyright © 1979, MCB UP Limited