The Useful And Important Role Judicial Review Plays In The United Kingdom's Constitution.

1966 words - 8 pages

Justify the following: "The decision of Maurice Kay J. in R (on the application of Medway and Kent Councils, Essex County and Norman and David Fosset) v Secretary of State for Transport QBD, Admin. Ct. 26 Nov. 2002, illustrates the useful and important role judicial review plays in the United Kingdom's constitution."The operational system of government is divided into "inferior bodies" otherwise known as administrative bodies. These are bodies whose powers or jurisdictions are limited by the terms of parliament statutes, royal charters and prerogative orders from which they are formed, and they are referred to as "bodies of limited jurisdiction". To describe the possibility of their powers, the term "intra vires" is used. Intra vires is any action taken by the body and is within its powers. If the body acts in a way that is beyond its powers, then it will be said that it has acted in an "ultra vires" way. In general terms, the acting of an administrative body in an ultra vires way can be described as an abuse of power, which gives grounds for judicial review. The procedure for a judicial review is that the person who wishes to question the actions of an administrative body will apply to the Divisional Court of the High Court for a judicial review. For the applicant to be allowed a judicial review, he will have to have "sufficient interest" in the matter, also known as having "locus standi".The grounds for judicial review are never exhaustive and they present the variety of principles that govern the variety of ways in which administrative power may be abused or unlawfully exercised.The case of R (on the application of Medway and Kent Councils, Essex County and Norman and David Fosset) v Secretary of State for Transport QBD, Admin. Ct. 26 Nov. 2002 concerns the exclusion of Gatwick airport from any future development by the government. The White Paper issued by the Secretary of State for Transport did not include the possibility of building new runways at Gatwick airport, and the claimants (Medway Council and Kent County Council, Essex County Council, Norman Mead and David Foster) apply for a judicial review of the government's decision in order to prevent their interests being affected by undesirable factors. The case was brought before Mr Justice Maurice Kay who had the task of examining the eight principles on which the claimants based their application for judicial review.The first ground on which all claimants based their application was the reasoning the government gave for the exclusion of Gatwick. Reason giving provides citizens with the opportunity to challenge a decision by providing the essential knowledge for an effective challenge. It enforces self-regulation of public bodies, and forces them to justify their decisions by reference to the law. Kenneth Culpa Davis stated "We can say that the practice of reason giving may confine and structure official discretion". Reason giving sets a reasonable standard for public authorities to abide...

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