Grounds for judicial review: procedural impropriety, natural justice, and legitimate expectation

  • Created by: phoebs.b
  • Created on: 16-04-18 13:15

Ridge v Baldwin (1964) - under s191 Municipal Corporations Act 1882 the watch committee had power to 'at any time suspend and dismiss any borough constable whom they think is negligent in the discharge of his duty or otherwise unfit for the same'. The appellant had was dismissed by the committee. No specific charge had been formulated against him. He sought a declaration for the court that his dismissal was illegal and ultra vires. It was held that the claimant had the right to a hearing before an unbiased tribunal, the right to know the accusations made against him and the opportunity to answer those allegations. Lord Reid held that the rules of natural justice are capable of applying in principle where an administrative body acts judicially. He went on to say that 'judicial' meant any decision affecting the rights of the individual. Lord Hodson said that there were three outstanding features of a fair hearing;

  • the right to be heard by an unbiased tribunal;
  • the right to have notice of charges of misconduct; and
  • the right to be heard in answer to those charges.

R v Commissioner for Racial Equality, ex parte Cottrell & Rothon (1980) - Lord Lane CJ said that there are degrees of a judicial hearing, ranging from the borders of pure administration to the borders of a full hearing in a criminal case in the Crown Court. They cannot be easily pigeon-holed into the judicial role. It is necessary to ask 'what is the basic nature of the proceeding which is going on here'.

Lloyd v McMahon (1987) - Lord Bridge said that the requirements of natural justice depend, among other things, on the circumstances of the case; the nature of the inquiry; the rules under which the tribunal is acting; and the subject matter.

R v Army Board of the Defence Council, ex parte Anderson (1991) - the claimant was a former soldier who alleged that he had been subjected to forms of racial abuse which caused him to go absent without leave. The papers relating to the complainant were seen separately by two members of the Army Board who reached individual conclusions that, although there was some truth in the applicant's claim, there was no basis for making an apology and awarding him compensation. His requests for disclosure of documents relating to investigations into his complaints were refused, as was his request for an oral hearing. He applied for judicial review of the Board's decision. The court took the view that the Army Board's functions were judicial because the Board was required to adjudicate an alleged breach of a soldier's statutory rights and award compensation. Its decisions were final apart from judicial review. 

Schmidt v Secretary of State for Home Affairs (1969) - the Court of Appeal told the claimant that he could not challenge the refusal of the extension of permission to remain in the United Kingdom on the basis that he had not been given the opportunity to give representations to the…


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