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Chapter

Cover Public Law

2. The Constitutional Rulebook  

This chapter looks at the constitution of the United Kingdom to understand its function as a rulebook: for constitutional arrangements to work well, people need to know what the rules are and there also needs to be broad consensus that the rules are right. It explores the sources of the rules in the United Kingdom’s famously ‘unwritten’ constitution: these include Acts of Parliament, the common law, and constitutional conventions. It also considers the question: who makes the rulebook? To answer this, we must listen to a debate about the respective roles of politicians and judges (called ‘political constitutionalism’ and ‘common law’ or ‘legal’ constitutionalism).

Chapter

Cover Public Law

14. Delegated Legislation  

This chapter is about delegated legislation, also called ‘subordinate’ and ‘secondary’ legislation. It considers why the constitution allows ministers (part of the executive) to make such legislation and the process by which it is made. It examines a case study on a controversial attempt by the government to abolish numerous institutions through powers conferred by the Public Bodies Act 2011.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

11. Giving Reasons for Decisions  

Mark Elliott and Jason Varuhas

This chapter examines the content and scope of the duty to give reasons, suggesting that giving reasons for decisions should be treated as a central facet of procedural fairness in administrative law. It first differentiates the duty to give reasons from the duty to give notice, the possibility of inferring unreasonableness from an absence of reasons, the proportionality doctrine, and the duty of candour. It then considers why reasons are required and goes on to discuss the duty to give reasons at common law. It also describes statutory duties and other duties to give reasons, paying attention to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Finally, it analyzes the question of whether a duty to give reasons has been discharged, and provides an overview of the remedial consequences of a breach of the duty to give reasons.

Book

Cover Administrative Law

Timothy Endicott

Administrative Law explains the constitutional principles of the subject and their application across the range of twenty-first-century administrative law. The focus on constitutional principles is meant to bring some order to the very diverse topics with which you need to deal if you are to understand this very complex branch of public law. The common law courts, government agencies, and Parliament have developed a wide variety of techniques for controlling the enormously diverse activities of twenty-first-century government. Underlying all that variety is a set of constitutional principles. This book uses the law of judicial review to identify and to explain these principles, and then shows how they ought to be worked out in the private law of tort and contract, in the tribunals system, and in non-judicial techniques such as investigations by ombudsmen, auditors, and other government agencies. The aim is to equip the reader to take a principled approach to the controversial problems of administrative law.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights

20. Human Rights IV: The Impact of the Human Rights Act 1998  

This chapter analyses some of the leading cases in which the courts addressed different aspects of the Human Rights Act 1998, and draws out the constitutional implications of the courts’ initial conclusions. The discussions cover the interlinked issues of the extent to which the courts have recognised a distinction between Convention articles and Convention Rights, the approach taken to statutory interpretation mandated by s 3, and the use of Declarations of Incompatibility under s 4; the doctrine of judicial ‘deference’ to legislative policy decisions; the ‘horizontality’ of the Act and its impact on the development of the common law; and the status of proportionality as a ground of review of executive action. The chapter concludes with an assessment of whether the Act has triggered a shift in understandings on the proper scope of the doctrines of the sovereignty of Parliament and the rule of law within the modern constitutional order.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

10. How to sue the government: judicial processes and judicial remedies  

This chapter addresses the extraordinary process of judicial review and the remedies available to the court. The process and the remedies are compared to the process and remedies in ordinary claims (which can also be used to control administrative action). In their self-regulation in developing these complex processes, the challenge for judges is to keep things in proportion: the attempt to achieve due process in judicial control of administrative action is essential to the administration of justice. The chapter explains the irony of process, which was introduced in Chapter 4: the courts may need to provide forms of process that are excessive and wasteful in some cases, in order to protect the administration of justice.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

4. Due process  

This chapter explains the overlapping ideas of natural justice, procedural fairness, and due process, and discusses the importance of comity between judges and administrative agencies. The elements of process are outlined: notice and disclosure, oral hearings, waiver, reconsideration, and appeals. Proportionality is presented as a general principle of the procedural duties of public authorities, and the chapter explains the three process values: procedural requirements can improve decisions, treat people with respect, and subject the administration to the rule of law. The chapter explains the irony of process: the law must sometimes require procedures that impose disproportionate burdens on administrative authorities, in order to protect due process. The chapter concludes with an explanation of discretion in process and of the potential dangers involved in administrative processes.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

11. Judge-made law  

This chapter considers a further source of the UK constitution: the law that is made by the judicial branch of government as a result of the cases heard by the courts. Today it is widely accepted that judge-made law is a reality. It takes two main forms: the development of the common law and the interpretation of statutes. The two main approaches of the courts to the interpretation of Acts of Parliament—the literal approach and the purposive approach—are discussed. In addition, the interpretative obligation imposed on the courts by s 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 is also reviewed.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

18. Freedom of expression  

This chapter focuses on some of the laws relating to freedom of expression in the UK. Freedom of expression is widely considered to be a necessary feature in any democratic state. The chapter considers the extent to which restrictions are placed on the freedom of expression in the UK in two particular contexts. It considers laws for the control of obscenity and indecency, the publication of obscene matter, the test of obscenity, defences, powers of search and seizure, and the possession of pornographic images. The discussion also considers that part of the law of contempt of court which relates to restricting the ability of the media to report court proceedings. This chapter is confined to the law relating to obscenity and indecency and contempt of court on the basis that they share the important characteristic of being regulated by both statute and the common law.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R v Lord Chancellor, ex parte Witham [1998] QB 575, Queen’s Bench Divisional Court  

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 Lord Chancellor, ex parte Witham [1998] QB 575, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutionality of fees payable to access court processes where the applicant’s limited financial means render them unable to pay those fees. More generally it concerns the capacity of the common law to provide rights protections, notwithstanding the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R v Lord Chancellor, ex parte Witham [1998] QB 575, Queen’s Bench Divisional Court  

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 Lord Chancellor, ex parte Witham [1998] QB 575, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutionality of fees payable to access court processes where the applicant’s limited financial means render them unable to pay those fees. More generally it concerns the capacity of the common law to provide rights protections, notwithstanding the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Administrative Law

12. Natural Justice and Legal Justice  

Sir William Wade and Christopher Forsyth

This chapter first discusses how the courts have devised a code of fair administrative procedure based on doctrines which are an essential part of any system of administrative justice. It then explains the concept of administrative justice and natural justice; natural justice in the common law; the European Convention and natural justice in administrative proceedings; and the curative effect of access to a court of ‘full jurisdiction’.

Chapter

Cover Wade & Forsyth's Administrative Law

12. Natural Justice and Legal Justice  

Sir William Wade, Christopher Forsyth, and Julian Ghosh

This chapter first discusses how the courts have devised a code of fair administrative procedure based on doctrines which are an essential part of any system of administrative justice. It then explains the concept of administrative justice and natural justice; natural justice in the common law; the European Convention and natural justice in administrative proceedings; and the curative effect of access to a court of ‘full jurisdiction’.

Chapter

Cover Complete Public Law

6. The Crown and Royal Prerogative  

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. The royal prerogative is a special form of common law that may be exercised by the Crown, either through the Queen as monarch (her personal prerogative) or through the executive as Her Majesty’s government (the political prerogative). This chapter begins by tracing the history and development of the royal prerogative and the role of the Crown in the exercise of these powers, and then addresses the division between prerogative powers that are personally exercised by the Queen and those that are exercised on her behalf by the political executive. Next, it turns to the respective roles of Parliament and the courts in the operation and development of prerogative powers, considering the relevance of those powers today and proposals for reform, in part, in the context of the case study on the use of the royal prerogative to trigger article 50 to begin the process of withdrawal from the European Union (EU), as well as the government’s advice to the monarch to prorogue Parliament in the run up to the UK’s exit from the EU.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Osborn v Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61, 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 Osborn v Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61, Supreme Court. This case concerned three applicants who, it was contended, had been subject to procedurally unfair processes by the Parole Board. In arguing their cases they had primarily relied upon Article 5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The UKSC preferred the common law principle of procedural fairness. This case note examines that principle and the concept of common law rights more generally in relation to the ECHR and the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

Osborn v Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61, 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 Osborn v Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61, Supreme Court. This case concerned three applicants who, it was contended, had been subject to procedurally unfair processes by the Parole Board. In arguing their cases they had primarily relied upon Article 5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The UKSC preferred the common law principle of procedural fairness. This case note examines that principle and the concept of common law rights more generally in relation to the ECHR and the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22, 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 R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22, Supreme Court. This case revisited the legality of ouster clauses discussed in Anisminic ([1969] 2 AC 147) in the context of the reviewability of decisions made by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. The note also discusses the implications of the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) (2021) and the government’s response to the review, as regards ouster clauses. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22, 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 R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2019] UKSC 22, Supreme Court. This case revisited the legality of ouster clauses discussed in Anisminic ([1969] 2 AC 147) in the context of the reviewability of decisions made by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. The note also discusses the implications of the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) (2021) and the government’s response to the review, as regards ouster clauses. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51, 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 R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51, Supreme Court. This case considers whether the fees applicants were required to pay to access the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal interfered with their ability to access justice. The UKSC articulated the right of access to justice as deriving from the common law. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51, 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 R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51, Supreme Court. This case considers whether the fees applicants were required to pay to access the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal interfered with their ability to access justice. The UKSC articulated the right of access to justice as deriving from the common law. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.