Grounds of Judicial Review

7813 Words Apr 20th, 2013 32 Pages
“Public law is not at base about rights, even though abuses of power may and often do invade private rights; it is about wrongs – that is to say misuses of public power.” * Sedley.J1
The ultimate (though not necessarily the most appropriate) means by which public law disputes are resolved is by bringing the matter before the Administrative Court using a claim for judicial review. Broadly, in order to succeed, the claimant (the person or body bringing the case) will need to show that either:

* The person or body is under a legal duty to act or make a decision in a certain way and is unlawfully refusing or failing to do so; or

* A decision or action that has been taken is
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Here, illegality can occur where the action, failure to act or decision in question violates the public law principles set down by the courts for processes of this kind. These principles require public bodies to:

* Take into account relevant information (and to assign the appropriate amount of weight to such information), and to ignore irrelevant information; * Ask the right questions and to undertake sufficient enquiry, for example by addressing the right issue, and taking reasonable steps to obtain the information on which a proper decision can be based; * Not to delegate a decision for which they are exclusively responsible, and that therefore only they can make - allowing another person to take a decision for them, means that they are giving their power away and fail to be properly accountable. * Ensure that they have not fettered their discretion by for example applying a very rigid policy as if it were legislation. * Comply with the Human Rights Act by acting compatibly with the Convention, so far as it is possible for them to do so.

Bromley Council v Greater London Council3.
[Judges must not appear to be biased or impartial]
The Labour-controlled Greater London Council implemented a "Fares Fair" policy in which public transport fares were subsidised from the rates. A

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