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Chapter

Cover The Concept of Law

VII. Formalism and Rule-Scepticism  

H. L. A. Hart

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. This chapter first explains the open texture of law, which shows that there are, indeed, areas of conduct where much must be left to be developed by courts or officials, striking a balance between competing interests that vary in weight from case to case. It then discusses the varieties of rule-scepticism, finality and infallibility in judicial decision, and uncertainty in the rule of recognition.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

13. The Grounds of Judicial Review  

This chapter discusses the grounds upon which it is possible to challenge administrative decisions by way of judicial review, and shows that there are many and varied grounds on which courts may review decisions taken by public bodies. A notable theme in this area concerns the deepening, in recent years, of judicial scrutiny of the executive. New grounds of review—such as legitimate expectation and proportionality—have emerged, often involving a greater degree of judicial oversight of executive decisions than has traditionally existed.

Chapter

Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

2. The sources of international law  

This chapter discusses the sources of international law, as reflected in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, and covers international custom, treaties, general principles of law, and judicial decisions. It also describes other material sources: the conclusions of international conferences, resolutions of the UN General Assembly, the writings of publicists, and codification and the work of the International Law Commission, concluding with other considerations applicable in judicial reasoning.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Directions

14. Challenging government action  

This chapter focuses on the administrative justice system. Administrative justice refers to the systems that enable individuals to resolve complaints, grievances, and disputes about administrative or executive decisions of public bodies, and to obtain redress. Grievance mechanisms exist to achieve redress and to ensure accountability and improved public administration. They include formal court action through judicial review, but range well beyond the courts to informal, non-legal mechanisms. Whereas a public inquiry may concern a grievance of a larger section of the public and can raise political issues, an inquiry by an Ombudsman concerns a grievance of an individual or small group, with a different fact-finding process. Meanwhile, tribunals determine rights and entitlements in disputes between citizens and state in specific areas of law, such as social security, immigration and asylum, and tax.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

12. Legal reasoning and ethics  

This chapter introduces legal reasoning. It first outlines the skills to analyse how judges decide cases. There are various points of view that judges can (and do) take in deciding the outcomes of cases, so the chapter introduces some of the theory behind judicial reasoning before moving on to show how judges reason in practice, how one case can give rise to multiple judgments, and the importance of legal ethics.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

5. Impartiality and independence  

This chapter examines the role of impartiality and independence in public administration. The topics that are discussed include judicial bias, administrative bias, waiver, determining civil rights, compound decision making, and the value of independence, with an explanation of the requirement of an independent tribunal in Art 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The chapter also explains the difference between bias (which is unlawful) and a lack of impartiality (which may be lawful), and explains when bias will be presumed. Bias is presented as both a lack of due process and as a flaw in the substance of a decision maker’s reasoning.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

14. The grounds for judicial review  

This chapter considers the grounds on which public decisions may be challenged before the courts. It begins with an overview of two cases—Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corpn (1948) and Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service (1985). The importance of these two cases is their distillation of the general principles. The discussion then covers the different grounds for judicial review: illegality, relevant/irrelevant considerations, fiduciary duty, fettering of a discretion, improper purpose, bad faith, irrationality, proportionality, procedural impropriety, natural justice, legitimate expectations, the right to a fair hearing, reasons, and the rule against bias. It is noted that principles often overlap, so that a challenge to a public law decision may be based on different principles.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

12. Legal reasoning and ethics  

This chapter provides an introduction to legal reasoning. It first outlines the skills to analyse how judges decide cases. There are various points of view that judges can (and do) take in deciding the outcomes of cases, so the chapter introduces some of the theory behind judicial reasoning before moving on to show how judges reason in practice, how one case can give rise to multiple judgments, and the importance of legal ethics.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R v Secretary for the Home Department, ex parte Pierson [1998] AC 539, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Secretary for the Home Department, ex parte Pierson [1998] AC 539, House of Lords. This case explored whether a decision-maker acting in a quasi-judicial capacity was bound by the same decision-making standards as the courts including, for example, whether retrospective decision-making was permitted. As well as these rule of law considerations, it also raises questions as regards the division or separation of functions within the constitution. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R v Secretary for the Home Department, ex parte Pierson [1998] AC 539, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Secretary for the Home Department, ex parte Pierson [1998] AC 539, House of Lords. This case explored whether a decision-maker acting in a quasi-judicial capacity was bound by the same decision-making standards as the courts including, for example, whether retrospective decision-making was permitted. As well as these rule of law considerations, it also raises questions as regards the division or separation of functions within the constitution. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

16. Locus Standi  

This chapter focuses on the concept of locus standi, perhaps the most important way in which administrative law deals with the question of how to balance the protection of individual citizens’ rights and interests with the desire to ensure that government decision-making remains within legal limits and that government bodies (including the courts) are protected from vexatious litigants. It is organised as follows. The first section addresses the law that existed prior to the introduction of the Order 53 reforms in 1977 whilst the second covers the short period between the introduction of those reforms and the House of Lords’ decision in IRC v National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses. The third section runs from the mid-1980s to the present day. The pervasive analytical concerns are to explore the way the law of locus standi interacts with the question of the choice of procedure issues which were addressed in chapter fifteen, and—more broadly—to assess how those two matters both singly and in combination structure in a practical sense the way our constitution gives effect to the various values inherent in theories relating to the rule of law and sovereignty of Parliament.

Chapter

Cover Complete Public Law

16. Illegality  

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 ‘illegality’ as a ground for judicial review. Central to judicial review is the idea of ultra vires, which is the principle that public authorities have to act within their legal powers and that if they act or fail to act consistently with their legal powers, they will be acting unlawfully. Case law on the exercise of discretionary powers by public authorities is discussed in depth. In addition, the public-sector equality duty in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 is explained. The concept of jurisdiction and the distinction between error of law and error of fact are also included under this ground of review.

Chapter

Cover International Law

2. Sources of international law  

This chapter discusses the sources of international law. International law’s authority is generally regarded as deriving from the consent of States. As such, it is only pursuant to State consent that international legal rules can be developed. This is not to say that all international law is made by States; States frequently delegate lawmaking authority to specific bodies or organs, and they may acquiesce or consent to a legal rule which originated in a non-State institution. The chapter then considers Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. Technically, Article 38 of the ICJ Statute only lays out the categories of sources to be applied by the ICJ: its lex arbitri or applicable law. Yet, in practice, Article 38 has long been regarded as an authoritative, complete statement as to the sources of international law.

Book

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

Graeme Laurie, Shawn Harmon, and Edward Dove

This textbook has provided a framework for exploring medical law and ethics for more than 35 years. It provides extensive examination of the interrelationship between ethical medical practice and the law. The authors offer their own opinions on current debates and controversies, and encourage readers to formulate their own views and arguments. Medical law is significantly shaped by the courts, and this book provides extensive coverage of recent judicial decisions as well as statutory developments. This eleventh edition continues to take a comparative approach, as in the case of assisted suicide, and also on the growing influence of international instruments and collaborations, as demonstrated in the field of health research. Despite the prospect of Brexit, the book continues to offer a dedicated and in-depth chapter on the influence of EU law on the field. The book is essential reading for any serious medical law student or practitioner, as well as being of interest to all those involved in the delivery and regulation of modern health care. New or updated material includes: a new chapter bringing together the range of ethico-legal issues affecting children, including minors and consent, data protection and research with children; detailed discussion of the high-profile court decisions involving Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans regarding medically futile treatment of infants; consideration of the Supreme Court ruling in Darnley v Croydon Health Services and the implications for A&E departments and their duty of care to patients; discussion of updated GMC guidance on Confidentiality (2017); fully updated discussion of the case law and changes in regulation of international surrogacy; and consideration throughout of the of the General Data Protection Regulation, which came in May 2018.

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

4. Sources  

Christine Chinkin

This chapter discusses the sources of international human rights law set out in Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice: treaties, custom, general principles of law, and, as subsidiary means for determining the law, judicial decisions and the teachings of publicists. It then considers the role of ‘soft law’ instruments, such as resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the work of human rights expert bodies.

Chapter

Cover Cases & Materials on International Law

2. Sources of International Law  

This chapter begins with a discussion of the importance of the sources of international law. It then discusses the Statute of the International Court of Justice 1945; treaties; customary international law; general principles of law; judicial decisions and the writings of publicists; resolutions of international organisations; soft law.Finally, it looks at whether there exists a hierarchy of international law sources.

Chapter

Cover Public Law Directions

16. Judicial review: grounds and remedies  

This chapter assesses judicial review and the rule of law, the three traditional grounds of judicial review, proportionality, the modern approach to judicial review, and remedies. Judicial review is the rule of law in action. Through judicial review, the courts place constraints on executive power by upholding and projecting rule of law principles on to executive actions. Indeed, it ensures that administrative decisions are taken rationally, in accordance with a fair procedure, and within the powers conferred by Parliament. As such, the traditional judicial review grounds of illegality, irrationality, and procedural impropriety are applied flexibly to protect individuals against the unreasonable, arbitrary, procedurally unfair, or unlawful use of power. Judicial review has unique remedies known as prerogative orders which comprise mandatory orders, prohibiting orders, and quashing orders.

Chapter

Cover International Law Concentrate

2. Sources of international law  

This chapter examines the sources of international law, ie the norms of international law that give validity to all the other international legal norms. These are enumerated in Art 38 ICJ Statute. Although quite dated, this Article is still considered as enunciating an authoritative list of the sources of international law. These are treaties; custom; general principles of law recognized by States; judicial decisions; and international theory as subsidiary sources. Particular emphasis is placed on custom, consisting of an objective element, the general practice of States, and a subjective element, the opinio juris, ie consisting of a legal conviction. There is no hierarchy between the sources of international law and both treaties and custom may exist alongside each other.

Chapter

Cover International Law

4. The Theory and Reality of the Sources of International Law  

Anthea Roberts and Sandesh Sivakumaran

The classic starting point for identifying the sources of international law is Article 38 of the ICJ Statute, which refers to three sources: treaties, customary international law, and general principles of law; as well as two subsidiary means for determining rules of law, namely judicial decisions and the teachings of publicists. However, Article 38 does not adequately reflect how the doctrine of sources operates in practice because it omits important sources of international law while misrepresenting the nature and weight of others. To appreciate how sources operate in practice, international lawyers need to understand how international law is created through a dialogue among States, State-empowered entities, and non-State actors. States are important actors in this process, but they are not the only actors. It is only by understanding this process of dialogue that one can develop a full understanding of the theory —and reality—of the sources of international law.

Chapter

Cover International Law

2. Sources of international law  

This chapter provides an overview of the legal sources in international law. Sources of law determine the rules of legal society and, like national legal societies, the international legal society has its own set of rules. The discussion begins in Section 2.2 with article 38 of the International Court of Justice Statute. Section 2.3 discusses treaties, Section 2.4 covers customary international law, and Section 2.5 turns to general principles of international law. Attention then turns to the two additional sources listed in article 38. Section 2.6 discusses judicial decisions and Section 2.7 examines academic contributions. Section 2.8 discusses the role played by unilateral statements. The chapter then turns to the issue of a hierarchy of sources in Section 2.9 and concludes in Section 2.10 with a discussion of non-binding instruments and so-called ‘soft law’.