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Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. Essential Cases provides you with succinct summaries of some of the most influential, landmark cases in public law. Each summary begins with a review of the main case facts and decision. The summary is then concluded with expert commentary on the case from the author, Thomas Webb, including the wider questions raised by the decision for you to consider.

Book

Cover Essential Cases: Public Law
Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. Essential Cases provides you with succinct summaries of some of the landmark and most influential cases in public law. Each summary begins with a review of the main case facts and decision. The summary is then concluded with expert commentary on the case from the author, Thomas Webb, including his assessment of the wider questions raised by the decision for you to consider.

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Cover Essential Cases: Public Law

R (on the application of Daly) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2001] UKHL 26, 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 (on the application of Daly) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2001] UKHL 26, House of Lords. This case considered whether a blanket policy excluding prisoners from cell searches was a proportionate response that was necessary to achieve the aim of that policy. There is also discussion of whether the common law could provide an alternative system of rights protection to that under the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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R (on the application of Detention Action) v First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) [2015] EWCA Civ 840, Court of Appeal (Civil Division)  

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 Detention Action) v First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) [2015] EWCA Civ 840, Court of Appeal (Civil Division). This case considers the legality of the ‘Fast Track Rules’ which operated in asylum application cases, and the extent to which the courts can intervene in, and suspend, processes in major areas of government policy. There is also discussion of the relative roles of the courts and government in contentious areas of public policy. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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Attorney General for New South Wales v Trethowan [1932] AC 526, Privy Council  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Attorney General for New South Wales v Trethowan [1932] AC 526, before the Privy Council. This case concerned whether provisions enacted by an earlier legislature could bind the legislative choices of future legislatures. It should be noted that this case relates to a dominion legislature. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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R (on the application of Evans) and another v Attorney General [2015] UKSC 21, 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 Evans and another) v Attorney General [2015] UKSC 21, Supreme Court. This case concerns whether Parliament can have intended for a statutory provision to allow a member of the executive to overturn the decision of a court without good, clearly articulated reasons (Lord Mance), or contrary to constitutional principle (Lord Neuberger). The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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R (on the application of FDA) v Prime Minister [2021] EWHC 3279 (Admin), 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 (on the application of FDA) v Prime Minister [2021] EWHC 3279 (Admin), Queen’s Bench Divisional Court. This case concerned the justiciability of provisions in the Ministerial Code relating to bullying, harassment, and discrimination, and the decision of the Prime Minister in relation to an alleged breach of that Code by the Home Secretary. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from the author, Thomas Webb.

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R (on the application of H) v London North and East Region Mental Health Review Tribunal [2001] EWCA Civ 415, 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 R (on the application of H) v London North and East Region Mental Health Review Tribunal [2001] EWCA Civ 415, Court of Appeal. This case concerned whether the language of ss 72–73 of the Mental Health Act 1983 could be read in such a way as to be compatible with the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), under s. 4 of that Act, or whether such an interpretation was not possible. In the latter case, the court should consider making a declaration of incompatibility. This note explores s. 4 HRA declarations of incompatibility. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb

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R (on the application of HS2 Action Alliance Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport [2014] UKSC 3, Supreme Court (also known as R (on the application of Buckinghamshire CC))  

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 HS2 Action Alliance Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport [2014] UKSC 3, Supreme Court (also known as R (on the application of Buckinghamshire CC)). This case note is concerned primarily with the distinction between ordinary and constitutional statutes, and what happens where two constitutional statutes are in conflict. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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R (on the application of Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5, 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) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5, Supreme Court. This case concerned whether the government could rely on the prerogative power to issue a notification of the United Kingdom’s intention to secede from the European Union under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, or whether parliamentary authorization was required. There is also a brief discussion of the Sewel Convention. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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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.

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R (on the application of Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38, 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 Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38, Supreme Court. The case concerned assisted dying, specifically whether s. 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 was incompatible with the Human Rights Act 1998 (Nicklinson and Lambs’ cases), and whether the prosecution guidance on assisting someone to commit suicide issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions was sufficiently clear (Martin’s case). However, the primary focus of this case note is on the justices’ discussion of the respective competences of Parliament and the courts to resolve the legal issues in this area. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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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.

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R (on the application of Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] UKSC 39, 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 Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice [2016] UKSC 39, Supreme Court. The Court was asked to consider whether the Henry VIII powers granted under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 permitted the Secretary of State for Justice to introduce a residency test into the provisions regulating legal aid. The case raises wider questions about the oversight and review of Henry VIII powers. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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R (on the application of Ullah) v Special Adjudicator [2004] UKHL 26, 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 (on the application of Ullah) v Special Adjudicator [2004] UKHL 26, House of Lords. The substantive issue in this case concerned an unsuccessful claim for asylum on the basis of a fear of religious persecution. However, the focus of this case note is on Lord Bingham’s views on the extent to which the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights should influence the deliberations of the domestic courts in their application of the Human Rights Act 1998 via the ‘mirror principle’. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, High Court (Queen’s Bench Division)  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Attorney General v Jonathan Cape Ltd [1976] QB 752, before the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division). This case concerns the constitutional convention of collective Cabinet responsibility which requires, inter alia, that Cabinet discussions remain secret, whether the publication of a diary detailing Cabinet discussions breached the convention, and what the constitutional consequences of any breach were. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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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.

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Re Dr Bonham’s Case (1608) 8 Coke Reports 107a, 77 ER 638, Court of King’s Bench; Dr Bonham’s Case (1609) 8 Coke Reports 113b, 77 ER 646, Court of King’s Bench  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Re Dr Bonham’s Case (1608) 8 Coke Reports 107a, 77 ER 638, Court of King’s Bench; Dr Bonham’s Case (1609) 8 Coke Reports 113b, 77 ER 646, Court of King’s Bench. This case concerns questions of bias and, more importantly, the attempt by Sir Edward Coke CJ to establish a common law power to overturn Acts of Parliament. The case predates the constitutional settlement which followed the Glorious Revolution of 1688, but echoes of the principles discussed in this case can also be found in modern case law. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.

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Reference by the Attorney General and the Advocate General for Scotland—United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill and European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill [2021] UKSC 42, Supreme Court (also referred to as the Incorporation References Case)  

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Reference by the Attorney General and the Advocate General for Scotland—United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill and European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill [2021] UKSC 42, Supreme Court. On its face, this case (also known as the Incorporate References case) concerns the two Bills of the Scottish Parliament which sought to incorporate two international treaties into Scots law. More significantly, this case—alongside the Continuity Bill Reference case—speaks to the nature of the devolution settlement, its democratic credentials, and the relationship between the UK Supreme Court, the devolved institutions, and the Westminster Parliament. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from the author, Thomas Webb.

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Re Finucane’s Application for Judicial Review [2019] UKSC 7, 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 Re Finucane’s Application for Judicial Review [2019] UKSC 7, UK Supreme Court. This case concerns first, the law relating to legitimate expectations, and second the requirements to establish an Article 2-compliant investigation into a death. The facts of the case are connected to the murder of Patrick Finucane by loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. The document also includes supporting commentary and questions from author Thomas Webb.