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Amenable Bodies Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Constitutional and Administrative Law Notes

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Amenable Bodies _______________________________________________________

Definition of a Public Body CPR 54.1 that only public bodies are amenable to review Historically certiorari was designed to put the decision of an inferior court into the hands of a superior court for 'swift justice' - Halsbury's Laws describes its scope as "the determination of persons or bodies who are by status at charter entrusts with judicial functions". It required:

1. Had decision makers gone beyond power

2. Was it a decision where the recipient had a right to be heard as a principle of natural justice R v Electricity Commissioners ex parte London Electricity Joint Commission Commissioners were given power to unify electricity providers & the applicants were to be prejudiced by the scheme. In the context of a quashing order (though this was most commonly sought - has been interpreted as applying to all JR) Held: reviewable decision
? Atkin LJ: "any body of persons having legal authority to determine questions affecting the rights of subjects, and having the duty to act judicially"

Ridge v Baldwin Dismissal of chief constable by the local watch committee which had a power of dismissal Held: they must dispose of their power in accordance with natural justice which he found to have been lost in wartime.
? Lord Reid: took issue with the 'judicial' element, as he found this should be inferred from the nature of the power & not a component itself. Wartime legislation could not evince such a duty, for example, because of the nature of the power

R v Criminal Injuries Compensation Board ex parte Lain (above) The board argued it was exempt from JR because it was not a public body per Atkin LJ:
- It did not have legal authority because it was set up by prerogative
- It did not determine questions affecting the rights of subjects Held: rejecting these arguments - prerogative powers justiciable in theory. Their definition as a public body established - they were one stage in the determination of questions affecting rights

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