P’s request to the British Boxing Board for a manager’s licence had been turned down, and had not been given reasons nor an oral hearing. Previous to this, the board revoked his licences to be a promoter, MC and trainer. He argued that BBB was in breach of natural justice (only in respect of the refusal for a manager’s licence). Megarry VC held that the BBB was under a duty, as a monopoly controller of the industry, to consider applications honestly, without bias or capriciousness, the duty of procedural fairness only arose where a current right was being sacrificed, and NOT where the right was merely beign refused in the first place.
Megarry VC: The Neale decision shows that the court is entitled to intervene in such cases. There are 3 categories: Where the body revokes a right that has previously been held (forfeiture cases) there is a right to know the grounds, to a fair hearing, and decision by an unbiased panel. The second category are cases of mere ‘application’ for a right. Here those procedural requirements don’t apply. The intermediary third category is where P is applying for a right but has a legitimate expectation that it will be granted. This is closer to the forfeiture cases (though Megarry VC doesn’t go into this, as he says there is no LE here: Arguably wrong, since P had previously held all those other forms of licence and therefore would have expected to be granted the final type of licence. Instead Megarry just concludes that this is a mere ‘application’ case).