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Administrative Law

Administrative Law (5th edn)

Timothy Endicott
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date: 14 July 2024

p. 2056. Reasons: process and substancelocked

p. 2056. Reasons: process and substancelocked

  • Timothy EndicottTimothy EndicottFellow in Law, Balliol College, Professor of Legal Philosophy, University of Oxford


This chapter illustrates the principle of relativity by explaining why public authorities may or may not be required to give reasons for their decisions, depending on the type of decision and its context. The reasons why public authorities should sometimes explain their reasons for a decision reflect the process values explained in Chapter 4: requiring reasons may improve decisions, it may be unfair (to a person affected by the decision) for the decision to be unexplained, and reasons may support judicial review, and may improve transparency and accountability in government in other ways. The discussions cover the deprivation principle, the duty of respect, trigger factors for reasons, the Padfield practicality principle, the content of reasons, how to remedy inadequate reasons, process danger, and the difference between process and substance, and why the difference matters.

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