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Administrative Law

Administrative Law (11th edn)

William Wade and Christopher Forsyth
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date: 22 July 2024

11. Abuse of Discretionlocked

11. Abuse of Discretionlocked

  • Sir William WadeSir William Wadeformerly Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of English Law, University of Cambridge
  •  and Christopher ForsythChristopher ForsythFellow in Law, Balliol College, University of Oxford


This chapter examines the sovereign principle that powers must be exercised reasonably and in good faith and on proper grounds — in other words, that they must not be abused. This is one of the twin pillars that uphold the structure of administrative law. Topics discussed include the justification for review on substantive grounds; the rule of reason; the principle of proportionality; categories of unreasonableness; mixed motives and good faith; and statutory reasonableness.

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