On appeal from: [2009] CSIH 92

The appellant electricity supply company appealed that a breach of the Electricity Supply Regulations 1988 reg.17,24 and 25 gave rise to a private cause of action. Appeal allowed. The Court of Session’s construction of s 29(3) was untenable. There was no basis whatever for thinking that the drafter of the provision intended to introduce a civil right of action but somehow botched that comparatively straightforward task and came up with the words in the subsection which were so ill-suited to the supposed purpose. On the contrary, the main thrust of the subsection was to provide that, where the Regulations stipulated, a person who contravened a provision was to be guilty of a criminal offence carrying a maximum penalty of a fine. The subsection then provided that the criminal liability was not to affect “any liability” of that person to pay compensation in respect of any damage or injury caused by the contravention.

For judgment, please download: [2010] UKSC 37
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