• In the case of Re HK [1967] 2 QB 617, it was found that natural justice is applicable whether or not the decision maker acts in a judicial/quasi-judicial capacity.

Facts of the Case

  • A resident in the UK invited his child from Pakistan, but the chief immigration officer was not content that the child satisfied section 2(2) of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 which would permit the child entry if they were under the age of 16.
  • The resident claimed for a habeas corpus writ to allow their child’s release as well as an order of certiorari to quash the decision made by the chief immigration officer.


  • Had the chief immigration acted fairly when refusing to allow the child entry in the UK?

Held by the Queen’s Bench Division

  • The appeal of the resident was dismissed and it was held that the chief immigration officer acted in fairness when coming to their decision,

Lord Parker C.J.

  • It was found that the chief immigration officer’s decision was concluded fairly on the officer’s behalf given that the parent and the child were given enough time to satisfy the requirements of the child being below the age of 16.
  • “Good administration and an honest or bona fide decision must, as it seems to me, require not merely impartiality, nor merely bringing one’s mind to bear on the problem, but of acting fairly, and to the limited extent that the circumstances of any particular case allow, and within the legislative framework under which the administrator is working, only to that limited extent do the so-called rules of natural justice apply, which in a case such as this is merely a duty to act fairly.” 

Salmon L.J

  • His Lordship discusses the principles of natural justice and recognises its applicability to this case.
  • I have no doubt at all that in exercising his powers under that section, the immigration officer is obliged to act in accordance with the principles of natural justice. That does not of course mean that he has to adopt judicial procedures or hold a formal inquiry, still less that he has to hold anything in the nature of a trial, but he must act, as LORD PARKER, C.J., has said, fairly in accordance with the ordinary principles of natural justice. 

Editor’s Notes:

  • In this case, new evidence arose in the form of the child’s school leaver’s certificate, but it was found that this wouldn’t be relevant for habeas corpus nor certiorari given that the chief immigration officer’s decision was reached beforehand.