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R (Bibi) v Newham LBC

[2002] 1 WLR 237

Case summary last updated at 08/01/2020 14:39 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R (Bibi) v Newham LBC

A LA promised Ps that they would be given houses with secure tenure, but then went back on the promise when realising that, at the time of the promise, they had not been under a legal obligation to provide such housing. CA held that they had to stick to the promise to the extent that the LE created had to be taken into account when placing Ps on the list. 
 
Schiemann LJ: “The court has two functions—assessing the legality of actions by administrators and, if it finds unlawfulness on the administrator's part, deciding what relief it should give. It is in our judgment a mistake to isolate from the rest of administrative law cases those which turn on representations made by authorities. The same constitutional principles apply to the exercise by the court of each of these two functions. The court, even where it finds that the applicant has a legitimate expectation of some benefit, will not order the authority to honour its promise where to do so would be to assume the powers of the executive. Once the court has established such an abuse it may ask the decision taker to take the legitimate expectation properly into account in the decision making process.” I.e. remit the decision to the DM rather than order fulfilment of the promise. NB He says all this while keeping the Coughlan categories. What is the state of the law following this judgement? Possibly just a restrained version of Coughlan 

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