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R v Devon CC ex parte Baker

[1995] 1 All ER 73

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

Judgement for the case R v Devon CC ex parte Baker

A Local Authority considering closing a residential home did not have a duty to notify and consult with each resident who might be affected, but did have a duty to act fairly, and to give sufficiently prominent notice and sufficient time to allow residents to make representations and give their objections, and for these to be considered. 
Brown LJ: Considering legitimate expectations: "Sometimes the phrase is used to denote a substantive right: an entitlement that the claimant asserts cannot be denied him.....various authorities show that the claimants right will only be found established when there is a clear and unambiguous representation upon which it was reasonable for him to rely. Then the administrator or other public body will be held bound in fairness by the representation made unless only its promise or undertaking as to how its power would be exercised is inconsistent with the statutory duties imposed upon it. The doctrine employed in this sense is akin to an estoppel. In so far as the public body’s representation is communicated by way of a stated policy, this type of legitimate expectation falls into two distinct sub categories: cases in which the authority are held entitled to change their policy even so as to effect the claimant, and those in which they are not." For an expectation to be legitimate it has to be reasonable. 

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