Oakley v South Cambridgeshire District Council: The maturing of the common law duty to give reasons

In Oakley v South Cambridgeshire District Council [2017] EWCA Civ 71, a Court of Appeal with strong public law credentials — consisting of Elias, Patten and Sales LJJ — addressed the scope of the common law duty to give reasons. In this area, the orthodox position has long been understood to consist in the principle — laid down by Lord Mustill in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Doody [1994] AC 531 — that there is no ‘general duty’ to give reasons, coupled with the guidance given by Sedley J in R v Higher Education … Continue reading Oakley v South Cambridgeshire District Council: The maturing of the common law duty to give reasons

Distinguishing Anisminic? Ouster clauses, parliamentary sovereignty and the Privacy International case

Senior judges occasionally find it hard to resist the temptation to speculate about whether parliamentary sovereignty is ‘absolute’ — which, of course, amounts to speculating about whether Parliament is really sovereign at all. One of the principal triggers for such speculation is the question whether Parliament is capable of ousting the courts’ judicial review jurisdiction. Perhaps most notable in this regard is Lady Hale’s speech in R (Jackson) v Attorney General [2005] UKHL 56, delivered not long after the Government, yielding to intense criticism, removed an ouster clause from what became the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act … Continue reading Distinguishing Anisminic? Ouster clauses, parliamentary sovereignty and the Privacy International case

Elliott & Varuhas, Administrative Law, 5th edition

The fifth edition of Administrative Law has been published by Oxford University Press. The new edition is co-written by Mark Elliott, Professor of Public Law at the University of Cambridge, and Jason NE Varuhas, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne. The following blogpost is based on the authors’ preface to the fifth edition. In the three decades since its first edition was published, this book — like English administrative law itself — has undergone many changes. The first two editions, published in 1983 and 1989 and written by Sir Jack Beatson and Martin Matthews, took the form of … Continue reading Elliott & Varuhas, Administrative Law, 5th edition

Call for Papers: W G Hart Legal Workshop 2017

The next W G Hart Workshop is being convened by two of my Cambridge colleagues, Professor Peter Cane and Dr Hayley Hooper, and Professor Jeff King of UCL. The title of the 2017 Workshop is “Law, Society and Administration in a Changing World”. The call for papers issued by Professor Cane, Dr Hooper and Professor King is reproduced below. We invite applications to participate in the 2017 WG Hart Legal Workshop at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, on 10-11 July, 2017. The main aim of the Workshop is to explore political, institutional, economic and cultural factors that influence (or … Continue reading Call for Papers: W G Hart Legal Workshop 2017

Cambridge Public Law Conference 2016 — Draft Programme and Registration Deadline

The second in the biennial series of Public Law Conferences will be held in Cambridge from 12 to 14 September 2016 in the Faculty of Law in Cambridge. Convened by John Bell, Mark Elliott, Jason Varuhas and Shona Wilson Stark, the conference will bring together speakers and delegates from across the common law world. The opening sessions of the conference will feature addresses by Dame Sian Elias (Chief Justice of New Zealand), The Hon Robert French (Chief Justice, High Court of Australia) and Lord Reed (Justice of the UK Supreme Court). A full draft of the conference programme is now … Continue reading Cambridge Public Law Conference 2016 — Draft Programme and Registration Deadline

Judicial Power’s 50 “problematic” cases and the limits of the judicial role

The Judicial Power Project has published a list of 50 “problematic” cases. It makes for interesting reading. The aim of the Judicial Power Project is to address the “problem” of “judicial overreach” which, it is said, “increasingly threatens the rule of law and effective, democratic government”. It is odd, therefore, to find on Judicial Power’s list of 50 “problematic” cases Liversidge v Anderson — which is criticised by the editors of the list as showing “excessive deference to the executive’s wide discretionary powers in wartime” and for “giving no effect to a statutory provision requiring the Home Secretary to have … Continue reading Judicial Power’s 50 “problematic” cases and the limits of the judicial role

The duty to give reasons and the new statutory “makes no difference” principle

I wrote in December about what might loosely be termed the “makes no difference” principle introduced by section 84 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, which  inserts new provisions into section 31 of the Senior Courts Act 1981. The effect is that in judicial review proceedings the High Court must refuse relief if it appears “to be highly likely that the outcome for the applicant would not have been substantially different if the conduct complained of had not occurred”, unless the granting of relief is appropriate “for reasons of exceptional public interest”. (Equivalent provision is also made about the … Continue reading The duty to give reasons and the new statutory “makes no difference” principle