The Separation of Powers and Judicial Review for Error of Law*

Ivan Hare

in The Golden Metwand and the Crooked Cord

Published in print February 1998 | ISBN: 9780198264699
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682766 | DOI:
The Separation of Powers and Judicial Review for Error of Law*

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When D. M. Gordon wrote in the first half of this century of the impenetrability of the doctrine on jurisdictional error, he suggested that the want of a textbook on jurisdiction ‘must have a bearing, either as cause or effect, on the fact that in no branch of English law is there more confusion and conflict’. Despite the pioneering work of Sir William Wade and Stanley de Smith, the complexity of the area has yet to be resolved. Indeed, judicial review for error of law is an area which most of those new to constitutional or administrative law choose to avoid. Nevertheless, the law surrounding error of law cannot be marginalized and has some claim to be the most important in any attempt to analyse judicial review from the point of view of public law principle. This chapter begins by explaining the difficulties presented by this area of jurisprudence. It then advances an alternative justification for review on the ground of error of law: a justification based on a conception of the separation of powers. But first, a crude sketch of the extant doctrine on error of law is provided.

Keywords: administrative law; error of law; judicial review; jurisdictional error; jurisdiction

Chapter.  15476 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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