• In the case of Hoffmann La Roche v Trade and Industry Secretary [1975] ac 295, it was found that there is a possibility for the courts to dispute the validity of subordinate legislation regardless of whether it has been approved by Parliament.
  • The individual subject to an interim injunction to enforce the legislation is burdened with demonstrating why justice requires that there should be no injunction against them or that is should be on specific terms.

Facts of the Case

  • The Monopolies Commission led an inquiry on the profit making of C regarding patented drugs.
  • D, the Trade and Industry Secretary, set to Parliament the first out of three consecutive statutory order directing the Cs to make amendments to the prices of their patented drugs, which was approved.
  • C informed the Trade and Industry Secretary of their intentions of not obeying  the orders and subsequently claimed that the procedures chosen fell afoul of natural justice and that the order breached the law.
  • The Trade and Industry Secretary applied to the court for an injunction against C from profiting over that which was stated in the order.


  • Can subordinate legislation, which has not received approval by the Houses of Parliament, be disputed as to its validity?

Held by the House of Lords

  • The House of Lords dismissed the C’s appeal and asserted that the Trade and Industry Secretary was fully entitled to the injunction against C.

Lord Reid

Elaborate on the judgment

  • The courts asserted that the burden to illustrate that an injunction ought not to be granted is on the individual whom the injunction is sought against. This means that C was required to demonstrate why an injunction should not be brought against them.
  • “There may well be cases when a court ought to refuse an interim injunction or only to grant it on terms. But I think that it is for the person against whom the interim injunction is sought to show special reason why justice requires that the injunction should not be granted or should only be granted on terms.” [341]

Lord Diplock

  • There must be evidence of the secretary acting outside of their powers before an order can be deemed as invalid.
  • “The courts have jurisdiction to declare it (an order) to be invalid if they are satisfied that in making it the Minister who did so acted outwith the legislative powers conferred upon him by the previous Act of Parliament under which the order purported to be made, and this is so whether the order is ultra vires by reason of its contents (patent defects) or by reason of defects in the procedure followed prior to its being made(latent defects).” [365]