The Court of Appeal held that Lloyd's of London is not a body exercising public functions within the meaning of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and therefore is not amenable to judicial review. The implementation of the 1998 Act has not altered the status of Lloyd's.
In October 2003 the Court of Appeal gave Dr Julian West permission to apply for judicial review of four decisions made by the Business Conduct Committee of Lloyd's to approve four minority buy-outs of his memberships - or potential memberships - in four syndicates at Lloyd's. However, the Court directed that the question of whether Lloyd's was amenable to judicial review should be tried by the Court of Appeal before the judicial review application was considered.
Noting that the objectives of Lloyd's were entirely commercial and that the organisation was not governmental in any sense, the Court concurred with the view expressed by Lord Woolf CJ in Poplar Housing Association v Donoghue  EWCA Civ 595. In that case, Lord Woolf CJ indicated that the fact that acts are supervised by a public regulatory body does not necessarily indicate that they are of a public nature.
In the present case, the Court of Appeal concluded that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) would be answerable to the European Court of Human Rights in the event of any question arising about the State's responsibility to protect investors. Thus it was the FSA that performed governmental functions. The fact that Lloyd's regulated its members' activities, partly because it wished to avoid being subjected to a more intrusive governmental regulatory regime, did not convert it into a body exercising public functions within the meaning of s.6 of the 1998 Act.
The judgment given by Lords Justice Brooke, Mummery and Dyson in this case provided a helpful summary of the three key decisions made concerning the definition of a public authority since the 1998 Act came into force.
The decision reached in this case concerned the functions performed by the Council of Lloyd's and its committees when they are exercising regulatory powers in relation to the affairs of the members of Lloyd's and of other people. The case did not concern the exercise of disciplinary functions and of regulatory functions for the protection of policy-holders.
R (on the application of Dr Julian West) v Lloyd's of London