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Administrative Law

Administrative Law (11th edn)

William Wade and Christopher Forsyth
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date: 14 July 2024

8. Jurisdiction Over Fact and Lawlocked

8. Jurisdiction Over Fact and Lawlocked

  • 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 discusses the objective boundaries of discretionary powers and the way in which the courts police them. Inherent in all discretionary power is the power to decide freely, whether rightly or wrongly, without liability to correction, within the area of discretion allowed by the law. Until fairly recently this liberty to make mistakes within jurisdiction extended to significant mistakes both of law and of fact. The extent to which both these classes of error have been brought within the scope of judicial review is explained.

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