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Chapter

Cover Public Law

13. Judicial review: unreasonableness and proportionality  

This chapter explores irrationality, the second ground for judicial review identified by Lord Diplock in Council of Civil Service Unions and Others v Minister for the Civil Service. It examines the meaning of this principle, its foundation upon the test of unreasonableness, and the approach that the courts have adopted since that case. Irrationality, and the notion of unreasonableness upon which it is based, is a particularly vague and ambiguous term, with a range of possible interpretations and meanings. This has meant that the courts have often considered judicial review claims, brought on the basis of irrationality, with varying degrees of caution, often employing the necessary tests with notable stringency. In part as a result of this, and in part also due to the increasing influence of European legal practices on the UK system, the test of proportionality has developed as a substantive ground for judicial review, often overlapping and sometimes conflicting with application of the irrationality doctrine.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

16. Exceptions to the free movement rules  

Niamh Nic Shuibhne

This chapter examines when Member States can lawfully displace the obligations placed on them by free movement law. Free movement rights can be restricted under EU law in two ways. For discriminatory or distinctly applicable restrictive measures, a derogation ground expressly provided for in the TFEU must be engaged. For indirectly or non-discriminatory measures, that is, indistinctly applicable restrictive measures, if an overriding requirement relating to the public interest can be demonstrated the measure will be lawful. In both cases, the restriction also has to satisfy a proportionality test—that is, it is both appropriate and necessary for achieving the relevant public interest objective.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

16. Exceptions to the free movement rules  

Niamh Nic Shuibhne

This chapter examines when Member States can lawfully displace the obligations placed on them by free movement law. Free movement rights can be restricted under EU law in two ways. For discriminatory or distinctly applicable restrictive measures, a derogation ground expressly provided for in the TFEU must be engaged. For indirectly or non-discriminatory measures, that is, indistinctly applicable restrictive measures, if an overriding requirement relating to the public interest can be demonstrated the measure will be lawful. In both cases, the restriction also has to satisfy a proportionality test, that is, it is both appropriate and necessary for achieving the relevant public interest objective.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Smith and Grady v United Kingdom [1999] ECHR 72, European Court of Human Rights  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Smith and Grady v United Kingdom [1999] ECHR 72, European Court of Human Rights. This case examined the now-defunct provisions against gay people serving in the British military, and how using either unreasonableness or proportionality produced different outcomes. It also considers the contribution which a rights-based approach to legal questions, drawing on proportionality, can make to the development of law and policy. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: EU Law

Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger and others v Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and others (Joined cases C-293/12 and C-594/12), EU:C:2014:238, [2014] ECR I-238, 8 April 2014  

Essential Cases: EU Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger and others v Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and others (Joined cases C-293/12 and C-594/12), EU:C:2014:238, [2014] ECR I-238, 8 April 2014. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Noreen O'Meara.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 19, Supreme Court  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 19, Supreme Court. This case considers the introduction of proportionality as a ground of judicial review beyond human rights and European Union law in the United Kingdom. The relationship between proportionality and Wednesbury unreasonableness is also discussed. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223, Court of Appeal. This case note considers the concept of unreasonableness as articulated in Wednesbury and reflects on its relationship to that of proportionality. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Smith and Grady v United Kingdom [1999] ECHR 72, European Court of Human Rights  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Smith and Grady v United Kingdom [1999] ECHR 72, European Court of Human Rights. This case examined the now-defunct provisions against gay people serving in the British military, and how using either unreasonableness or proportionality produced different outcomes. It also considers the contribution which a rights-based approach to legal questions, drawing on proportionality, can make to the development of law and policy. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: EU Law

Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger and others v Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and others (Joined cases C-293/12 and C-594/12), EU:C:2014:238, [2014] ECR I-238, 8 April 2014  

Essential Cases: EU Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger and others v Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and others (Joined cases C-293/12 and C-594/12), EU:C:2014:238, [2014] ECR I-238, 8 April 2014. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Noreen O’Meara.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 19, Supreme Court  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 19, Supreme Court. This case considers the introduction of proportionality as a ground of judicial review beyond human rights and European Union law in the United Kingdom. The relationship between proportionality and Wednesbury unreasonableness is also discussed. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223, Court of Appeal. This case note considers the concept of unreasonableness as articulated in Wednesbury and reflects on its relationship to that of proportionality. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover EU Law

7. Decision-Making and New Forms of Governance  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter introduces the debate over new modes of decision-making and governance in the EU, and provides an account of the apparent shift towards greater use of these over time. The language of ‘new’ forms of governance in the EU refers to the move away from reliance on hierarchical modes towards more flexible modes as the preferred method of governing. A number of examples of new governance instruments and methods are provided, in particular the ‘new approach to harmonization’ and the ‘open method of coordination’. A number of other EU governance reform initiatives related to the new governance debate are also discussed, such as the subsidiarity and proportionality principles, the ‘better regulation’ initiative, and the Commission White Paper on Governance and its follow-up. The UK version contains a further section analysing issues of new governance in relation to the UK post-Brexit.

Chapter

Cover EU Law

7. Decision-Making and New Forms of Governance  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter introduces the debate over new modes of decision-making and governance in the EU, and provides an account of the apparent shift towards greater use of these over time. The language of ‘new’ forms of governance in the EU refers to the move away from reliance on hierarchical modes towards more flexible modes as the preferred method of governing. A number of examples of new governance instruments and methods are provided, in particular the ‘new approach to harmonization’ and the ‘open method of coordination’. A number of other EU governance reform initiatives related to the new governance debate are also discussed, such as the subsidiarity and proportionality principles, the ‘better regulation’ initiative, and the Commission White Paper on Governance and its follow-up. The UK version contains a further section analysing issues of new governance in relation to the UK post-Brexit.

Chapter

Cover Land Law

10. Proprietary Estoppel  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter is concerned with proprietary estoppel. Proprietary estoppel is a means by which a party (B) can gain some protection against an owner of land (A), even if B has no contract with A and even if A has not formally given B a property right in relation to A’s land. Proprietary estoppel is therefore a means by which B can obtain an equitable interest in A’s land. It is noted that proprietary estoppel is very different from other forms of estoppel; so different that the term ‘estoppel’ is positively misleading. The chapter considers the requirements of a proprietary estoppel claim, including the role of unconscionability, how the courts determine the extent of any right arising through proprietary estoppel, and the impact of such rights on third parties.

Chapter

Cover Foster on EU Law

3. The Transfer of Powers and Union Competences  

This chapter examines the multifaceted and increasingly complex relationship between the European Union and its member states. The chapter begins with the transfer of sovereign powers and the democratic legitimacy of the Union and the establishment of constitutionalism within the Union. Section 3.4 considers the transfer of powers from the member states and the division and control of competences between the Union and the member states. In this context, the principles of subsidiarity and of proportionality are discussed, which are the political solutions to the very emotive questions about how power is shared between the Union and the member states.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

13. Free movement of natural persons and citizenship of the Union  

Catherine Barnard

This chapter discusses EU law on the free movement of persons. It shows how the EU judiciary and legislature have responded to some of the challenges raised by EU migration. It highlights the following themes: the erosion of the requirement of an interstate element; how little it takes to establish an obstacle to free movement and thus a breach by the state of EU law; the need for the state to establish a justification in order to preserve state interests, but notes that what the state can do to protect that interest is curtailed by the principles of human rights and proportionality. It shows that the Court views cases on the free movement of natural persons through a citizenship lens and thus is more willing to embrace a human rights dimension than it would be in cases on free movement of legal persons.

Chapter

Cover European Union Law

13. Free movement of natural persons and citizenship of the Union  

Catherine Barnard

This chapter discusses EU law on the free movement of persons. It shows how the EU judiciary and legislature have responded to some of the challenges raised by EU migration. It highlights the following themes: the erosion of the requirement of an interstate element; how little it takes to establish an obstacle to free movement and thus a breach by the state of EU law; the need for the state to establish a justification in order to preserve state interests, but notes that what the state can do to protect that interest is severely curtailed by the principles of human rights and proportionality. It shows that the Court views cases on the free movement of natural persons through a citizenship lens and thus is more willing to embrace a human rights dimension than it would be in cases on free movement of legal persons.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

13. Substantive Grounds of Judicial Review  

This chapter discusses the substantive grounds of judicial review: illegality, irrationality, and proportionality. Illegality covers the following: excess of power; the relevant/irrelevant considerations doctrine; unlawful delegation of power; unlawful fettering of power; and the estoppel doctrine. Irrationality is also concerned with the substantive content of a government decision, but focuses on the political or moral rather than (in the strict sense) legal character of the decision. Proportionality review can be defined as a constitutional device that requires the courts to accept that the boundaries of moral consensus within which government bodies are confined are discernibly less broad in substantive terms than those that apply in respect of irrationality-based review.

Chapter

Cover Cases and Materials on Constitutional and Administrative Law

10. Judicial Review: The Grounds  

This chapter introduces the nature and constitutional role of judicial review. It then examines the various grounds of review, which have been placed in three classes: illegality, procedural impropriety, and irrationality. The chapter also discusses the substantive aspect of legitimate expectations and the relationship between irrationality and proportionality in pure domestic law.

Chapter

Cover International Law

13. Enforcement short of force  

This chapter focuses on enforcement short of force in international law, particularly studying countermeasures, the primary measures available to States in order to induce compliance of wrongdoers with their international obligations. In the last decades, there has been the codification and attempted development by the ILC, in the Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA), of an international regime regulating countermeasures. To characterize an act as a ‘countermeasure’ is to concede its illegality in normal circumstances: by definition, countermeasures are acts which are ‘intrinsically unlawful, but are justified by the alleged initial failing to which they were a response’. Countermeasures may not in any case involve the use of armed force. The chapter also discusses the category of reprisals, the so-called ‘acts of retorsion’, and sanctions.