What is a judicial decision

To define the words “Judicial” and “quasi-judicial” in the case of Cooper vs. Wilson, (1935) 2 K.B. 309 at p. 340:(166 L.J. K.B. 728). The relevant quotation reads thus:

“A true judicial decision presupposes an existing dispute between two or more parties, and then lavolves four requisites:(1) The presentation (not necessarily orally) of their case by the parties to the dispute (2) if the dispute between them is a question of fact the ascertainment of the last by means of evidence adduced by the parties to the dispute and often with the assistance of argument by or on behalf of the parties on the evidence ; (3) if the dispute between them is a question of law, the submission of legal argument by the parties, and (4) a decision which disposes of the whole matter by a finding upon the facts in dispute and application of the law of the land to the fest so found, including where required a ruling upon any disputed question of law. A quasi-judicial decision equally presuppose an existing dispute between two or more parties and invloves (1) and (2), but does not necessarily involve (3) and never involves (4) The place of (4) is in fact taken by administrative sanction, the character of which is determined by the Minister’s free choice.”

Judicial  a quasi-judicial

The other fundamental test which distinguishes a judicial from a quasi-judicial or administrative body is that the former decides controversies according to law, while the latter is not bound strictly to follow the law for its decision. The investigation of facts on evidence adduced by the parties may be a common feature in both judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals, but the difference between the two lies in the fact that in a judicial proceeding the Judge has got to apply to the facts found, the law of the land which is fixed and uniform. The quasi judicial tribunal on the other hand gives its decision on the difference between the parties not in accordance with fixed rules of law but on principles of administrative policy or convenience or what appears to be just and proper in the circumstances of a particular case. In other words, the process employed by an administrative tribunal in coming to its decision is not what is known as ‘judicial process’. See Ribson’s Justice and Administrative Law, p. 74. Sir Maurice Gwyer in his deposition before the Committee on Minister’s Powers appointed by the English Parliament in 1929 stated that “a clear distinction is to be drown between judicial and quasi-judicial powers.” The ‘judicial power’ was defined by the witness as a power to decide a question of legal right in a dispute between parties involving either a finding of fact or the application of a fixed rule or principle of law or involving both. “The quasi-judicial power.” he defined as meaning “the power of giving decisions on questions of difference of an administrative and not justiciable character which cannot be determined by reference to any fixed law or principle of law but are matters of administrative discretion and judgment. “ Vide Committees of Minister’s Powers, Minutes of Evd., Vol. II pages 15-16 and also Robson’s Justice and Administrative Law, p. 319. In Cooper vs. Wilson, (1937) 2 K. B. 309:(106 L. J. K. B. 728), Scott L. J. quoted with approval and adopted as the basis of his judgment the following passage for the report of the above committee:

“A true judicial decision presupposes an existing dispute between two or more parties, and then involves four requisites:(1) The presentation (not necessarily orally) of their case by the parties to the dispute; (2) if the dispute between them is a question of fact, the ascertainment of the fact by means of evidence adduced by the parties to the dispute and often with the assistance of argument by or on behalf of the parties on the evidence; (3) if the dispute between them is a question of law, the submission of legal argument by the parties; and (4) a decision which disposes of the whole matter by a finding upon the facts in dispute and an application of the law of the land to the facts so found including where required a ruling upon any disputed question of law. A quasi-judicial decision equally presupposes an existing dispute between two or more parties and involves (1) and (2) but does not necessarily involve (3) and never involves. (4). The place of (4) is in fact taken by administrative action, the character of which is determined by the Minister’s free choice.”