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Supreme Court Civil Procedure Act 1932 (No. 58 of 1932)
Requested:  31 Aug 2014
Consolidated as at:  21 Feb 2012

55. Actions by the Crown in respect of rights which do not directly concern the Crown

      (1) Except in cases where it is otherwise provided (either expressly or by implication) by this Act or some other statute (whether passed before or after the commencement of this Act), or where some special provision is made by some other statute (whether passed before or after the commencement of this Act), all actions –

(a) for the protection of any public right, including any action to restrain any person, public authority, or public officer from contravening or exceeding any power or authority conferred upon such person, public authority, or public officer by any statute or charter, and the contravention or exceeding of which tends to the public injury, or from contravening or unlawfully evading any provision for the protection of the public contained in any statute or charter;

(b) on behalf of the Government of this State in respect of any other right or interest which does not directly concern His Majesty in right of this State, but which is enforceable by action on his behalf –

shall be instituted by and in the name of the Attorney-General, or by some person, public authority, or public officer as relator in the name of the Attorney-General, and not otherwise.

      (2) Subject to the Rules of Court, every such action shall be instituted and prosecuted in the same form and manner as an action between subject and subject, and not otherwise.

      (3) But nothing in this section contained shall preclude any person from instituting and prosecuting an action in his or its own name (and it is hereby declared that a person is so entitled to sue) in any of the following cases:

(a) Where the contravention or exceeding of any such power or authority as is mentioned in subsection (1)(a), or the contravention or unlawful evasion of any provision for the protection of the public contained in any statute or charter, or any other interference with a public right, involves or will involve an interference with or the violation of some private right of such person;

(b) Where, although no private right of such person is interfered with or violated, he or it has suffered, or will suffer, in respect of a public right, and from the interference therewith, particular damage, which is direct and substantial, and peculiar to himself or itself, or beyond that which has been or will be suffered by the public generally;

(c) Where a statute confers on such person some special protection or benefit, and the action is instituted in respect of or to prevent a breach of any provision in such statute conferring such protection or benefit.

      (4) And nothing in this section contained shall preclude any public authority or public officer from instituting and prosecuting an action in its or his own name (and it is hereby declared that any public authority or public officer is so entitled to sue) in any of the following cases:

(a) Where the action is brought to prevent injury to, or to recover damages in respect of any injury to, any property belonging to, or vested in, or under the control or management of, such public authority or public officer, or to recover damages in respect of, or to restrain, any nuisance which injuriously affects such public authority or public officer as owner or occupier of such property, or in respect of its or his control or management thereof;

(b) Where such public authority or public officer is by any statute invested or charged with the control or management of any property or any undertaking, operation, function, or matter of public concern, and the action is instituted in respect of or to prevent an interference with that control or management;

(c) Where a statute confers on such public authority or public officer some special protection or benefit, and the action is instituted in respect of or to prevent a breach of any provision in such statute conferring such protection or benefit.

      (5) But subsection (4)(b) shall not be so construed as to authorize a public authority or public officer to institute an action in its or his own name for the purpose of enforcing any by-law or regulation made by such public authority or public officer, or otherwise putting in suit any public wrong, except in cases where the right to institute an action in its or his own name for any such purpose is conferred on it or him (either expressly or by implication) by some statute (whether passed before or after the commencement of this Act).

      (6) In any action instituted by and in the name of the Attorney-General, or by any person, public authority, or public officer, as relator in the name of the Attorney-General, for the protection of any public right, including any action to restrain any person, public officer, or public authority from contravening or exceeding any power conferred upon him or it by any statute or charter, and the contravention or exceeding of which tends to the public injury, or from contravening or unlawfully evading any provision for the protection of the public contained in any statute or charter, it shall not be necessary to allege or prove any actual injury to the public.


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