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Administrative LawText and Materials

Administrative Law: Text and Materials (5th edn)

Mark Elliott and Jason N. E. Varuhas
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date: 26 March 2023

p. 365 10. Procedural Fairnesslocked

p. 365 10. Procedural Fairnesslocked

  • Mark ElliottMark ElliottProfessor of Public Law, University of Cambridge
  •  and Jason VaruhasJason VaruhasAssociate Professor, University of Melbourne


This chapter examines the notion of procedural fairness as a technical area of administrative law. It begins with an overview of D. J. Galligan's attempt to provide what he calls ‘a general theory of fair treatment’ by addressing what it is that legal rules requiring procedural fairness might seek to achieve. It then considers the view that procedural fairness is valuable in both instrumental and non-instrumental terms before discussing two interlocking questions that must be confronted if the notion of procedural fairness is to be understood: when decision-makers are required to act fairly and what ‘acting fairly’ actually means. In particular, it explains the content of the duty to act fairly. Finally, it describes consultation as an element of procedural fairness. A number of relevant cases are cited throughout the chapter, including Cooper v. The Board of Works for Wandsworth District (1863).

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