Has the Common Law Duty to Give Reasons Come of Age Yet?
21 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2012
Date Written: January 2, 2012
This article argues that the scope of the duty to give reasons (in English administrative law) and the consequences of its breach should be aligned with comparable principles of good administration, such as the duty to act fairly. To this end, four specific arguments are advanced: that there should be a general duty to give reasons; that it should be regarded, like the duty to act fairly, as a context-sensitive duty; that its breach should be capable in itself of rendering the decision concerned unlawful; and that, while there may be circumstances in which it is appropriate for remedial discretion to be exercised in a way which avoids quashing the decision, such circumstances are narrower than they might initially appear. Acceptance of these four arguments - which are substantiated by reference to the normative considerations that should properly animate the duty to give reasons - is a precondition for the emergence of a fully mature duty to give reasons.
Keywords: administrative law, judicial review, reasons, fairness, natural justice
JEL Classification: K4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation