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Destruction of horse by local authority exceeded its statutory powers

By: Evan Kearney BL

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High Court grants damages for ultra vires destruction of the applicant's horse, where the principal issue had been previously decided, as no public policy grounds precluded the award of damages where the respondent local authority did not act in accordance with its statutory powers.

Claim for damages arising from destruction of a horse by the Respondent – held unlawful in the principal judgement – Respondent was ultra vires, but this does not give rise to damages unless also a tort – public policy – do not apply here – Respondent did not comply with statutory requirements so Court not ‘second guessing’ public policy decision – would not cause authorities to hesitate in using their powers – direct causal link – most accurate tort is trespass to goods – not necessary to reformulate – High Court may award damages through judicial review proceedings – inability of Respondent to make counterclaim irrelevant – low amount of damages irrelevant as only High Court can make judicial review findings – no requirement of aggravated damages.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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