Administrative Law - Essay Example

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There are two approaches on the central principle of judicial review, one in support of the doctrine of ultra vires, while the other in favour of common law theory. Write an essay to discuss which approach is in your view more convincing.
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Administrative Law
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Download file to see previous pages mining the grounds for judicial review and, through case law, determining when the doctrine of ultra vires has been used as well as the common law theory. It should then be possible to reach a conclusion as to which approach is more convincing.
Judicial review is the method used for challenging an alleged misuse of power by a public body1. An application for judicial review can be brought by anyone who has been affected by the alleged misuse of power. In order for someone to seek a review they must be of the opinion that the public has acted ultra vires or in breach of the law of natural justice. This can be established by proving that the public body had done something for which it had no legal authority in statute or common law2. Problems occurred in the case of R (on the application of Heather) v Leonard Cheshire3 were the Court of Appeal held that the authority was not performing a public function when they made their decision, and therefore could not be subject to judicial review.
Applicants for a judicial review must make an application to the High Courts for leave to be granted a judicial review. Applications must be made within 3 months from when the grievance occurred, and the applicant must have sufficient interest in a matter to which the legislation relates and it must be a public law issue. The courts have occasionally granted leave to appeal even if one of the conditions for review has not been satisfied4. Where the courts consider that the interest of the applicant is insufficient they can refuse to grant a remedy5.
Before leave to appeal will be granted the courts have to be satisfied that the decision complained of was taken by a public body. In some instances the legislator can prevent the review of their decision through the utilisation of an ouster clause. Ouster clauses are rarely used and have only been allowed in cases were the legislation has been clearly worded6. There are 3 grounds under which judicial review can be sought. These are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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