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R v Home Secretary, ex parte Al Fayed

[1998] 1 WLR 763

Case summary last updated at 07/01/2020 11:55 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v Home Secretary, ex parte Al Fayed

This was a case where the home sec refused naturalisation of D. Under s.44 of the British Nationality Act the home sec was not obliged to give reasons for his decision. CA held that since the home sec had not told D of matters weighing against him and therefore gave him no chance to refute them and that s.44 did not relieve the home sec of his public law duty to act fairly i.e. natural justice, judicial review would be allowed. 
Lord Woolf MR: “As the minister has a discretion to give the applicant notice of an area of concern, that discretion must itself be exercised reasonably. If not to give notice would result in unfairness then the discretion can only reasonably be exercised by giving notice.” 

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