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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.