An Introduction to Administrative Law

By Peter Cane | Go to book overview

SECTION B
GROUNDS OF JUDICIAL REVIEW

6
Authority

INTRODUCTION

JUDICIAL review is mainly concerned with decisions.1 Decisions may concern the making of an order or a rule, the issue of a licence or a certificate, and so on; and they may concern the exercise of a discretion or the performance of a duty. Even where the applicant complains that he or she has been treated in a disadvantageous way, in legal terms the complaint will typically focus on a decision to treat him or her in that way. The making of any particular decision can usefully be conceived of as a process with a beginning, an end, and a route from one to the other. Correspondingly, it is possible to divide the grounds of judicial review into three groups concerned with the beginning of the process (did the decision-maker have authority to embark on the process?), the end (or 'output') of the process (is the decision itself objectionable on grounds which justify judicial intervention?) and the route from the beginning to the end (what 'inputs' went into the making of the decision? and was the procedure followed fair?) In this chapter we are concerned with the first of these issues. No governmental institution in Britain has power to make any and every decision it chooses, although Parliament has very wide decision-making freedom. Administrative bodies, with which we are primarily concerned, all have only limited authority.

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1
It is often said (e.g. J. Bell in K. Hawkins (ed), The Uses of Discretion ( Oxford, 1992), 107) that in focussing on individual decisions as if they were discrete events, the law tends to ignore the wider context in which decisions are made as part of a process. Treating decisions as isolated events may lead courts to enunciate rules governing the making of decisions which are difficult to implement in practice or which have unexpected and undesirable side-effects.

-109-

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An Introduction to Administrative Law
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Clarendon Law Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Contents xxxv
  • Part I - Rules and Principles of Judicial Review 1
  • 1 - The Nature of Judicial Review 3
  • 2 - The Scope of Judicial Review Public Law and Private Law 12
  • 3 - Applicants 42
  • 4 - Remedies Uses and Availability 62
  • 5 - Procedures 89
  • 6 - Authority 109
  • 7 - The Decision-Making Process (i) 133
  • 8 - The Decision-Making Process (ii) 160
  • 9 - The Output 208
  • 10 - Estoppel 218
  • Part II - Rules and Principles of Liability II 231
  • II- Introduction 233
  • 12 - Liability in Tort 241
  • 13 - Government Contracts 257
  • 14 - Restitution 276
  • Part III- Information 279
  • 15 - Information and Litigation 281
  • 16 - Government Secrecy and Freedom of Information 292
  • Part IV - Non-Judicial Control 301
  • 17 - Parliament the Constitutional Functions of Parliament 303
  • 18 - Investigating Complaints 314
  • 19 - Tribunals 331
  • Part V - Wider Perspectives on Judicial Control 345
  • 20 - Constitutional and Political Background 347
  • 21 - Judicial Review and the Administrative Process 378
  • Index 393
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