Chapter

Wednesbury

Sir John Laws

in The Golden Metwand and the Crooked Cord

Published in print February 1998 | ISBN: 9780198264699
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682766 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264699.003.0009
Wednesbury

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The Wednesbury case reflects two quite different and contrasting ideas. First, it exemplifies the rule of reason as a fundamental principle of the law. But secondly, as a touchstone for substantive as opposed to procedural review, it demonstrates the judges' historical reluctance to interfere, save at the margins, with the merits of decisions made by public bodies, especially those (notably central and local government) whose power is owed to the democratic voice. This chapter examines certain features which are considered inherent in these two apparent characteristics of the Wednesbury rule. They are features which have much to tell us about the nature of the rule of law.

Keywords: administrative law; rule of law; reason; judges; democracy; English law

Chapter.  8707 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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