R (Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks) v Rathmines U.D.C.

Judgment Date01 January 1928
Date01 January 1928
CourtHigh Court (Irish Free State)
H. C., S. C.,
R. (Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks)
Rathmines Urban District Council

Legislation pending to repeal Act which imposed the duty - Application by Trade Union for mandamus - Status - Specific legal interest - Early closing of shops - Mandamus to compel the institution of legal proceedings - Shops Act, 1912 (2 Geo. V., c. 3), s. 13 - Shop Hours (Drapery Trades, Dublin and Districts) Act, 1925 (No. 39 of 1925), ss. 3, 4 and 5.

Where a duty is imposed upon a local authority to carry out the provisions of an Act of Parliament, the fact that a Bill has been introduced into Parliament to repeal that Act does not justify the local authority in refusing to carry out the duty, and mandamus lies to compel performance. So held by the High Court and, on appeal, by the Supreme Court. The "Irish Union of Distributive Workers and Clerks" was a registered trade union of shop workers and clerks, having a registered head office in Dublin and branches in the important towns of Ireland. The Book of Rules of the Union contained its constitution and objects, and amongst its objects were: to secure fixed hours of labour and payment of overtime; to promote the early closing of all shops, and to secure for all shop workers and clerks a weekly half-holiday; to give legal aid to members in cases where their rights might be infringed, or on matters in general that came within the sphere of the Union, and to initiate and support legislation for the benefit of the class within the Union. On an application by the Union to make absolute a conditional order for a writ of mandamus directed to an urban district council to compel the council to enforce the provisions of the Shop Hours (Drapery Trades, Dublin and Districts) Act, 1925 —that Act having incorporated s. 13 of the Shops Act, 1912, under which a duty was imposed on the urban district council of enforcing within their district the provisions of the Act:—Held by the High Court, that the Union was entitled to apply for a writ of mandamus, but that, owing to the fact that the...

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