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Title: Curial deference and standards of review in administrative law
Author: Daly, P.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2011
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Why should courts defer to administrative decision-makers? What means should courts employ to ensure that they accord the right degree of deference to administrative decision-makers? When should courts defer to administrative decision-makers? In chapters 1 and 2, I explain my reliance on legislative intent and I argue that properly considered it suggests courts should be deferential to administrative decision-makers and accord them a variable degree of curial deference. I the first instance, legislatures have delegated variable extents of power to administrators, which counsels not only judicial restraint, but variable amounts of judicial restraint. In the second instance, a proper consideration of the relevant statutory provisions may reveal reasons for the delegation of power, what I call practical justifications for curial deference: expertise, complexity, democratic legitimacy, and procedural legitimacy. These practical justifications are variable in nature and should, if contained in statutes, be taken into account by reviewing courts. The arguments based on the delegation of power and on practical justification both suggest that reviewing courts should implement a variable standard of review to give effect to legislative intent. In chapter 3, I develop such a variable standard of review, I analyse the concept of reasonableness in the context of judicial review and elaborate on its internal reason and structure, thereby establishing its legitimacy. In chapters 4 and 5, I argue that the doctrine of curial deference developed in the previous chapters should have a wide scope. I suggest that the employment of complex concepts such as ‘jurisdiction’, ‘error of law’ and ‘justiciability’ as organising principles in judicial review may frustrate legislative intent. I urge instead that reviewing courts should undertaken a general inquiry into reasonableness whenever an exercise of delegated powers is impugned, except where fundamental rights have allegedly been infringed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available