Chapter

The Discretionary Heart of Administrative Law

Lord Cooke of Thorndon

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/9780198264699.003.0010
The Discretionary Heart of Administrative Law

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This chapter argues that administrative law is so much occupied with defining the boundaries of discretion when the substance of decisions is under review that it would not be inappropriate to give it an alternative name of the law of public discretions. Likewise, the requirements of natural justice and legitimate expectations may be seen as boundaries of different kinds, superimposed by the courts to supplement or qualify the bare bones of generally-worded discretions. And just as the subject-matter of judicial decisions in the whole field is essentially the scope of discretions, so the remedies which the courts may grant are very largely discretionary.

Keywords: administrative law; judicial discretion; Sir William Wade; judicial decisions

Chapter.  8912 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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