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Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

1. Administration and the principles of the constitution  

Administrative law includes a complex variety of processes and doctrines that confer and control public power. This chapter outlines the underlying principles of administrative law. Topics discussed include the core principle of administrative law: opposition to arbitrary use of power. That principle is introduced through the story of habeas corpus from the middle ages to the twenty-first century. The constitutional principles of administrative law also include parliamentary sovereignty, the separation of powers, the rule of law, comity among constitutional authorities, accountability, and a newly emerging principle of open government. The chapter shows how the common law and legislation can achieve adherence to these principles of administrative law.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Justice

2. The police  

Michael Rowe

This chapter, which examines the organisation and delivery of policing, begins considering the ‘crisis’ of policing and suggests that some current concerns have a lengthy pedigree of their own. It then explores the breadth of the police mandate and distinguishes the activities of ‘the police’ from broader aspects of social regulation that might be thought of more widely as ‘policing’. The chapter discusses: the history and development of the police in England and Wales; an organisational map of policing; police accountability and governance; diverse policing and the policing of diversity; and policing strategies.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

10. Good Governance—An Introduction  

This chapter explains the meaning of good governance and why it is important to uphold the standards of good governance, first discussing the standards of good governance, which include governing in the public interest; governing transparently; respecting the dignity, rights, and interests of individuals; and governing competently. It then turns to the concept and types of accountability, covering political accountability, legal accountability, and administrative accountability and audit.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

18. Inquiries  

This chapter, which examines the nature, function, and legal framework of inquiries, also discusses the inquiry process and the effectiveness of inquiries. Inquiries have been widely criticised due to their chequered history—one that has been characterised by lengthy proceedings, high costs, and reports which have sometimes met with public dissension over the correctness of the conclusions reached or indifference from the government. They are also accused of being susceptible to manipulation by the government for its own political ends. Nevertheless, inquiries are an important mechanism for undertaking a detailed investigation into an issue of public concern and for holding government accountable.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

11. Parliamentary Scrutiny of Central Government  

This chapter examines the accountability of the central government to Parliament. It addresses questions such as: what is Parliament’s proper role in scrutinising government? What does the constitutional convention of ministerial responsibility mean? And how does it operate in practice? The chapter also considers topics of particular importance to government accountability: freedom of information, accountability of the security and intelligence services, and financial accountability.

Chapter

Cover Pearce & Stevens' Trusts and Equitable Obligations

33. Need for control  

This chapter studies mechanisms for controlling trustees or the donees of powers and holding them accountable for their actions. It shows that the prime responsibility for supervising the activities of the trustees falls to the beneficiaries, who are able to complain to the court if they believe the trustees have committed, or are about to commit, a breach of trust. If the beneficiaries are able to apply to the court before the alleged breach has taken place, they may obtain an injunction against the trustees to restrain them from committing the contemplated breach. Trustees are also subject to a number of duties which enable the beneficiaries to keep a better check on their activities by entitling them to obtain information which will inform them of the trustees’ actions and may enable the beneficiaries to detect breaches of trust. This chapter considers those duties.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

9. Government and Accountability  

This chapter examines the people and processes that comprise government in the UK. It considers the constitutional and legal status and role of the monarchy, ministers, civil servants, as well as holders of appointed public offices. It then turns to one of the central features of a good constitution, namely that it provides opportunities for those who exercise public power to be ‘held to account’ or ‘accountable’ for their decisions and conduct.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of Miller and Cherry) v Prime Minister and Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, Supreme Court  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case note summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of Miller and Cherry) v Prime Minister and Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, Supreme Court. This case concerned the constitutional-legal limits on a Prime Minister’s capacity to advise the monarch to exercise their power to prorogue Parliament. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Re Resolution to Amend the Constitution of Canada [1981] 1 SCR 753, also known as the Patriation Reference, Supreme Court of Canada  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Re Resolution to Amend the Constitution of Canada [1981] 1 SCR 753, also known as the Patriation Reference, Supreme Court of Canada. This case considers the identification of constitutional conventions using the Jennings test, and the legal enforceability of conventions. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of Miller and Cherry) v Prime Minister and Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, Supreme Court  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case note summarizes the facts and decision in R (on the application of Miller and Cherry) v Prime Minister and Advocate General for Scotland [2019] UKSC 41, Supreme Court. This case concerned the constitutional-legal limits on a Prime Minister’s capacity to advise the monarch to exercise their power to prorogue Parliament. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Re Resolution to Amend the Constitution of Canada [1981] 1 SCR 753 Supreme Court of Canada (also known as the Patriation Reference)  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Re Resolution to Amend the Constitution of Canada [1981] 1 SCR 753, Supreme Court of Canada (also known as the Patriation Reference). This case considers the identification of constitutional conventions using the Jennings test, and the legal enforceability of conventions. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover The Criminal Process

6. Gatekeeping and diversion from prosecution  

This chapter focuses on the decisions taken by the gatekeepers of the criminal process. It first outlines the role of the police, followed by a comparison with the approach of regulatory bodies as agencies that select for official action certain types of person or situation—a selection that may lead either to prosecution and trial or to a form of diversion. The chapter then considers the range of formal responses to those who are believed to be offenders, including police cautions and other out-of-court disposals. It examines the problematic dimensions of diversion, before examining accountability and the values behind some of the differing policies.

Chapter

Cover The Criminal Process

3. Ethics, conflicts, and conduct  

Chapter 2 sketched a normative model of the criminal process in which the pursuit of a particular end—retributive justice—was constituted and constrained by respect for rights and other values. This chapter examines one way in which the demands of this rather abstract model can be put into practice: through the consideration of ethics. It begins with a brief discussion of the idea of ethical conduct. It then outlines some unethical practices, and is followed by attempts to examine and reconstruct some possible justifications for such practices. Next, it looks at the problems of displacing the occupational cultures and other influences which may lead to resistance against change. It goes on to discuss formal accountability systems and concludes with a consideration of the prospects for bringing about changes in the conduct of practitioners within the system.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

12. Judicial Review—An Introduction  

This chapter provides an introduction to the concept of judicial review. It discusses what judicial review is and is not about; the nature of administrative law; the relation of judicial review to three key themes crucial to understanding the modern British constitution—accountability, political and legal constitutionalism, and demarcation disputes in the multilayered constitution; and the constitutional basis of judicial review.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

16. Ombudsmen and Complaints  

This chapter examines systems for handling complaints against public bodies. It focuses particularly upon public sector ombudsmen while locating ombudsmen within the wider complaint-handling landscape. Public sector ombudsmen constitute an important mechanism by which the executive (and other public bodies) can be held to account. The relationship between ombudsmen and other accountability mechanisms, together with questions concerning the legal enforceability of ombudsmen’s findings, raise important issues about legal and political forms of constitutionalism. The multilayered nature of the UK’s constitution post-devolution has resulted in a diversity of ombudsman schemes and poses particular challenges in relation to the rationalisation of ombudsmen in England.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

22. Policing—Powers, Accountability, and Governance  

This chapter is concerned with three key constitutional issues relating to policing. First, it considers the extent and limits of the powers of the police—and, correlatively, the relevant rights of individuals. Second, it examines the arrangements for overseeing the police and holding it to account. Third, it addresses police governance, including the recent introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners and the balance between political direction and police independence.

Chapter

Cover Complete Public Law

11. Executive Power and Accountability  

Titles in the Complete series combine extracts from a wide range of primary materials with clear explanatory text to provide readers with a complete introductory resource. This chapter examines the nature and extent of the power that the executive uses to run the country and begins by defining executive power, and by explaining where it is derived and who may exercise it. It then discusses the mechanisms by which an executive can be called to account for its exercise of power; the extent to which Parliament may hold the government accountable; and the extent that courts may hold the government accountable.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

9. Accountability  

This chapter turns to one of the central features of a good constitution, namely that it provides opportunities for those who exercise public power to be ‘held to account’ or ‘accountable’ for their decisions and conduct. In relation to ministers, this includes the convention of individual ministerial responsibility (ministers are answerable to Parliament) and the convention of collective responsibility (ministers cannot publicly disagree with government policy). Parliament has developed a variety of practical mechanisms for holding ministers to account, including: debates in the chamber; select committees inquiries; and parliamentary questions posed to ministers.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

8. General principles of EU law and EU administrative law  

Herwig CH Hofmann

General principles of EU law are principles which govern all legal acts of the EU and those of Member States when acting in the scope of EU law. They have become particularly important in terms of administrative implementation of EU law by Union institutions and bodies as well as by Member States. This chapter addresses some of the most important of these principles concerning procedure and substance of implementation of EU law within a multi-level system. The principles discussed in this chapter include proportionality, the rule of law, good administration, information rights and the conditions necessary to ensure the right to an effective remedy. Each comes with examples.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

8. General principles of EU law and EU administrative law  

Herwig C.H. Hofmann

This chapter examines the steps which take place after legislation has been passed. It also looks at the principles and rules that exist to ensure the legality and legitimacy of administrative action implementing EU law. It begins with an overview of the key institutions and agencies of the EU and what they do. It then discusses the applicable law which is key to developing notions of accountability and the protection of rights in this field.