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R (Alconbury Developments Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment

[2001] 60 CLJ 449

Case summary last updated at 07/01/2020 12:49 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R (Alconbury Developments Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment

These were 3 cases where the secretary of state granted planning permission himself under various statutes, and local protesters argued that this breached their convention rights to have civil rights and obligations determined by an independent and impartial tribunal, under Article 6 of ECHR. HL said these powers were subject to judicial review which would be by an independent tribunal so that the actual powers conferred on the secretary of state were NOT in breach of article 6 ECHR. This suggests that ‘control’ of a non-independent tribunal is equivalent to having an independent tribunal determine rights and duties within art.6. 
Lord Slynn: the Home Secretary is not really usurping a judicial function since it is for the executive to decide what is in the interests of the country regarding planning restrictions. The common law has developed judicial review of such executive actions, so that ultimately an “independent tribunal” will have control. 

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