chapter  13
30 Pages

GROUNDS OF JUDICIAL REVIEW II: FAIR HEARINGS AND THE RULE AGAINST BIAS

13.1 Introduction

The courts may review a public authority’s decision on the ground of ‘procedural impropriety’ if the decision maker has failed to meet required standards of fair procedure. It is difficult to define precisely what is meant by the word ‘procedure’ in this context, but, in essence, it concerns the way in which the decision is reached rather than the actual decision itself (in contrast, the grounds of review known as illegality and irrationality both look, in different ways, at the actual decision). Over the years, the courts have built up detailed rules setting out what is required of decision makers in different circumstances – in other words, what procedures they have to follow in order to ensure that their decisions comply with the requirements of ‘fairness’.