The Separation of Powers and Judicial Review

T. R. S. Allan

in Law, Liberty, and Justice

Published in print December 1994 | ISBN: 9780198259916
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682025 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Separation of Powers and Judicial Review

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Although individual rights in public law must be sharply distinguished from private law rights, their content is closely related to the nature and scope of the powers and duties entrusted to public officials and agencies. Judicial review of administrative action exists to safeguard legality. The rule of law requires that public authorities act only within the limits of their powers, properly understood. But a court may not interfere with action lawfully taken within the jurisdiction of a public authority. It is usually said that the court is concerned with the lawfulness of administrative decisions, but not with their merits. The virtue of judicial restraint must depend on the nature of the illegality alleged. Likewise, the distinction between appeal and review must be an elastic one, permitting more intensive scrutiny of executive action which threatens basic liberties than might be appropriate in other cases.

Keywords: separation of powers; judicial review; constitutional rights; legitimate expectations; administrative justice

Chapter.  13024 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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