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Unreasonableness And Irrationality Notes

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Con & Ad: Unreasonableness and Irrationality Introduction

- Wednesbury unreasonableness: Associated Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corp [1948]. facts: W. had power under s1(1) Sunday Entertainment Act 1932 to grant licence 'subject to conditions as the authority thinks fit'; licence granted to APH to open Sundays, but condition that no-one under 15 allowed; APH challenged ? CoA: not unreasonable. standard: [Ld Greene]: decision so unreasonable that no reasonable authority could have come to it.

- Controversial: 'unreasonableness' undefined - courts come close to impinging on role of executive. conflict with separation of powers - vs. principle of JR: legality + process of decision, not substance.
[Loveland]: 'more readily regarded as being concerned with the political + moral rather than (in the strict sense) the legal character of the decision concerned'). insufficient explanation of why unreasonable: intuitive: risk that disguises prejudice / policy decisions. lack of transparency + structure.
[Jowell & Lester]: test tautologous - unreasonable = decision which is not reasonable. not always followed: many decisions 'coldly rational'. too deferential?

Reformulation of the Wednesbury Test

- Irrationality: GCHQ [1985]: [Ld Diplock]. standard: decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it.

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