Ellen Street Estates Ltd v Minister of Health [1934] 1 K.B. 590

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Ellen Street Estates Ltd v Minister of Health [1934] 1 K.B. 590 is an Administrative Law case concerning the implied repeal. 


In 1922, Mr. Lithman acquired property on Ellen Street. He was not aware of the fact the the local council and the Minister of Health under the Housing Acts 1890 to 1921 were introducing a new improvement scheme for the area where his property was situated. However, the council later notified Mr. Lithman about the scheme.

During the first local inquiry, Mr. Lithman made no objection to the scheme because he thought he would in turn receive compensations. The arbitrator refused Mr. Lithman the compensation. In the meantime, the period of three years lapsed, the powers of local authority’s compulsory purchase have lapsed too. Therefore, the local council made a fresh order under the Housing Act 1930 and the Minister of Health confirmed it again. However, 1930 Act modified the provisions about the compulsory purchase under Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919.

During the second local inquiry, on behalf of Mr. Lithman, it was argued that the authorities had no jurisdiction to hold the inquiry and that under s. 11 of the Housing Act, 1930 as persons aggrieved Mr. Lithman applied to quash the order. 


In the first instance court, the judge held that the local authority was no precluded from making a new scheme under the Housing Act 1930.

1919 Act expressly stated that the provisions ‘inconsistent with this Act … shall cease to have or shall not have effect.”  

Did the express working of 1919 Act made the modifications of its provisions impossible?


In Ellen Street Estates Ltd v Minister of Health, the Court of Appeal found for the local authority and Minister of Health. It was held by Maugham LJ that you must give effect to the latest Act of Parliament. Parliament cannot bind itself and is always sovereign. If the provisions of s. 46 of the Housing Act 1930 were inconsistent with the 1919 Act, then 1930 Act impliedly repealed the previous provisions.

Keywords: time lapse, implied repeal

References: [1934] 1 K.B. 590 | [1934] 1 WLUK 63

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