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Grounds for judicial review

Up until 1984 the textbooks traditionally defined the grounds for judicial review as being ultra vires caused by the breach of a rule of natural justice, or caused by the failure to follow a procedural requirement prescribed by statute, or caused by a body acting in excess of its legal jurisdiction or abusing its powers by acting in contravention of the ‘Wednesbury principles’. The only exception was a ground for review, revived in R v Northumberland Compensation Appeal Tribunal, ex p Shaw (1952) of ‘error of law on the face of the record’. This was an exception because the body was acting within its jurisdiction when taking the decision (ie intra vires) but the decision had been reached via an erroneous interpretation of the law recorded in its proceedings.