• Review:Judicial Review

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INTRODUCTION

In Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service [1985] 1 All ER 935, Lord Diplock said:

"Judicial review … provides the means by which judicial control of administrative action is exercised. The subject matter of every judicial review is a decision made by some person (or body of persons) whom I will call the "decision-maker" or else a refusal by - him to make a decision."

  • When will the process of judicial review be used?
    • Judicial review is different from an appeal.
    • The distinction is that an appeal is concerned with the merits of the decision under appeal while judicial review is concerned only with the legality of the decision or act under review.
  • Why is it needed?
    • Because it is demanded by the constitution and founded on the rule of law.
    • That is to say that the courts can ensure that decisions made by public authorities conform to the law & that standards of fair procedure are observed.
  • The courts take 2 things into consideration:

1. The legislation that applies to the situation
2. The principles of administrative law developed from judicial decisions

  • Thus, the role of the judiciary --> determine what the rules are + decide on the facts whether they have been breached.
  • The courts have to apply different Acts varying widely in the powers conferred, the agencies they are invested in and yet the GENERAL PRINCIPLES constantly emerge from numerous decisions of the court.
  • Judicial review of administrative action involves judges in the task of developing legal principles against a complex & often changing legislation.

Therefore, precedent must be handled cautiously.

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