Morris -v- Beardmore, in the House of Lords 09 Jan, 1981

Parliament does not intend to authorise tortious conduct except by express provision.

It is not for the courts to alter the balance between individual rights and the powers of public officials. The right of privacy is fundamental.


Lord Scarman said:

When for the detection, prevention or prosecution of crime Parliament confers upon a constable a power or right which curtails the rights of others, it is to be expected that Parliament intended the curtailment to extend no further than its express authorisation. A constable, who in purported execution of his duty has infringed rights which Parliament has not expressly curtailed, will not, therefore, be able to show that he has acted in execution of his duty, unless (and this will be rare) it can be shown by necessary implication that Parliament must have intended to authorise such infringement.


It is not the task of judges, exercising their ingenuity in the field of implication, to go further in the invasion of fundamental private rights and liberties than Parliament has expressly authorised.