Category: administrative law

The 2016 Sir David Williams Lecture: The Lion Beneath the Throne

On 4 March 2016, Sir Stephen Sedley delivered the 2016 Sir David Williams Lecture at the Faculty of Law in Cambridge. Sedley took as his title ‘The Lion Beneath the Throne: Law as History’. The arguments he advanced were subtle and wide-ranging, and cannot be done justice in a short post. A key aspect of the position adopted in

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Ali v United Kingdom: Article 6(1) ECHR and administrative decision-making

To say that the extent to which Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights applies to administrative decision-making is a vexed issue would be something of an understatement. That it is such a problematic area is thanks in large part to the somewhat chaotic case law of the Strasbourg Court in this area.

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Bell, Elliott, Varuhas and Murray (eds): Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance

In September 2014,together with my colleagues John Bell, Jason Varuhas and Philip Murray, I co-convened a conference in Cambridge on the subject of Process and Substance in Public Law—the first in a series of major international conferences on public law. Hart Publishing has now published Public Law Adjudication in Common Law Systems: Process and Substance, a collection of

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From Heresy to Orthodoxy: Substantive Legitimate Expectations in English Public Law

I recently finished work on a paper examining the development of the doctrine of legitimate expectation. Entitled ‘From Heresy to Orthodoxy: Substantive Legitimate Expectations in English Public Law’, the piece begins by noting that while English administrative law is unusual in the common law world for its embrace of the doctrine of substantive legitimate expectation, it

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Youssef: Another Supreme Court decision, another set of obiter dicta on substantive judicial review

Supreme Court judgments addressing—but not resolving—the future direction of substantive judicial review have been coming thick and fast in the last year or two. Notable examples include Kennedy v The Charity Commission [2014] UKSC 20 (on which I posted here), Pham v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 19 (blog post) and

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Declarations, quashing orders and declaratory judgments: The Hawke case and section 84 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

Under Chris Grayling’s stewardship of the Ministry of Justice, the view took hold—ample evidence to the contrary notwithstanding—that too many claims for judicial review were being initiated, and that judicial review was being used abusively for ‘political’ purposes. One of the ill-conceived ideas that grew out of this unfounded notion was that courts should be required

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Q: How many Supreme Court Justices does it take to perform the Wednesbury doctrine’s burial rites? A: More than five

Twelve years ago, the Court of Appeal said—in R (Association of British Civilian Internees (Far East Region)) v Secretary of State for Defence [2003] EWCA Civ 473—that, given its perceived deficiencies when viewed alongside the proportionality doctrine, it was difficult to see ‘what justification there now is for retaining the Wednesbury test’. However, said the

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Mandalia v Home Secretary [2015] UKSC 59: Legitimate expectations and the consistent application of policy

The Supreme Court gave judgment today in Mandalia v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 59. The question for the Court was whether the UK Border Agency had acted lawfully by refusing the appellant’s visa-extension application without first allowing him to submit certain information concerning his application. According to the Agency’s own policy, the applicant

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The Unity of Public Law? — The 2016 Public Law Conference

Building on the success of the inaugural Public Law Conference that was held in 2014, the Centre for Public Law at the University of Cambridge will next year host the second in this series of biennial international conferences. I am convening the conference along with my colleagues Professor John Bell, Dr Jason Varuhas and Dr Shona

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Bourgass in the Supreme Court: Solitary Confinement, the Carltona Doctrine and Procedural Fairness

A post to draw attention to an interesting administrative-law case decided by the Supreme Court today. The central question in R (Bourgass) v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] UKSC 54 was straightforward: Had the prison authorities acted lawfully by subjecting the claimant prisoners to solitary confinement for unbroken periods of several months? Both prisoners

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