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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: 04 December 2023

p. 1876. Legitimate Expectationslocked

p. 1876. Legitimate Expectationslocked

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


This chapter examines the doctrine of legitimate expectation and its application to lawfully created expectations as well as the extent, if any, to which it may protect ‘unlawfully generated expectations’. It first explains why legitimate expectations must be protected and goes on to discuss the relationship between two variables that are in play in any situation which potentially engages the legitimate expectation principle: that of legitimacy and that of the mode of protection which may be extended to expectations which satisfy the first criterion. The chapter then tackles the problematic question of unlawfully created expectations, focusing on the importance of securing fairness for the individual. It also considers the issues of constitutionality and public interest, along with representations issued by unauthorized officials and representations concerning action which is ultra vires the agency.

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