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The Coherence of the Doctrine of Legitimate Expectations

Cambridge Law Journal, 2014, vol. 73, pp. 61-85

20 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2012 Last revised: 5 Dec 2014

Adam Perry

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Farrah Ahmed

Melbourne Law School

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

The doctrine of legitimate expectations is a developing area of administrative law, and many issues remain outstanding, including the grounds of legitimate expectations. Promises, practices, and policies are the recognized grounds of legitimate expectations, but what is special about them? Why do they and only they give rise to legitimate expectations? The lack of an obvious answer has led some commentators to worry that the doctrine is ultimately incoherent. In this paper, we argue, first, that promises, practices, and policies each comprise or make applicable a certain type of rule, and second, that having a legitimate expectation is a matter of such a rule binding a public body to act in some way. This rule-based account provides a unified, economical explanation of the grounds of legitimate expectations that also sets the doctrine on a coherent foundation.

Suggested Citation

Perry, Adam and Ahmed, Farrah, The Coherence of the Doctrine of Legitimate Expectations (October 1, 2013). Cambridge Law Journal, 2014, vol. 73, pp. 61-85. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2163255 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2163255

Adam Perry

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

Farrah Ahmed (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/melbourne-law-school/community/our-staff/staff-profile/username/Farrah

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