Introduction to administrative law: the foundations and extent of judicial review

  • Created by: phoebs.b
  • Created on: 11-04-18 23:19

Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service (1985) - Lord Diplock provided that the narrow technical grounds for judicial review are illegality, irrationality, and procedural impropriety. 

Parochial Church Council of the Parish of Aston Cantlow and Wilmcote with Billesley, Warwickshire v Wallbank and another (2003) - the owners of glebe land were called upon as lay rectors to contribute to the cost of repairs to the local church. They argued that the claim was unlawful by section 6 of the 1998 Act as an act by a public authority incompatible with a Convention right. It was held that the parish council's appeal was allowed. Parochial church councils, established by the 1956 Measure, are hybrid public authority but are not 'core' authorities. When exercising their powers under the 1932 Act they are not acting as public bodies, and the 1998 Act does not bite. Chancel repair liability was a liability of the land like any other. It was part of the land itself, and was not something imposed by the Parish Council. Lord Nicholls described the purpose of the Human Rights Act 1998:

"The purpose is that those bodies for whose acts the state is answerable before the European Court of Human Rights shall in future be subject to a domestic law obligation not to act incompatibly with Convention rights. If they act in breach of this legal obligation victims may henceforth obtain redress from the courts of this country. In future victims should not need to travel to Strasbourg."

Lord Nicholls also spoke about the idea of 'core' public authorities and 'hybrid' public authorities. Core public authorities are a narrow category, limited to such bodies as government departments, local authorities, the police, and the armed forces, which are public bodies that have to act in accordance with Convention rights. Although there is no definitive test, factors to be taken into account in determining whether something constitutes a core public authority include 'the possession of special powers, democratic accountability, public funding in whole or in part, an obligation to act only in the public interest, and a statutory constitution'. Hybrid public authorities involve bodies who have functions of a public nature, but also of a private nature; therefore, they only have to respect Convention rights when performing public functions. 

R v Panel of Take-overs and Mergers, ex p Datafin (1987) - the Court of Appeal considered, among other things, whether the High Court had jurisdiction to subject the decisions of the Code of Practice Committee of the city panel on takeovers and mergers to judicial review. On this issue the key principle is that where there is a dispute concerning whether a defendant is a public body, the court must consider at least the source of power; the nature of the body's duties; and, the consequences of the body's decisions. A body can be subject to judicial review if its source of power is not solely the consent of those over whom it exercises its powers provided it performs public law duties…


No comments have yet been made