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[Landmark Judgement] Civil Service Unions v. Minister for the Civil Service (1984)

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Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: 22 September 2022, at 16:26 IST

Court – House of Lords

Citation – Civil Service Unions v. Minister for the Civil Service (1984) 3 All ER 935

Hon’ble House of Lords, speaking through Lord Diplock has held that Judicial Review is not directed against a decision, but is directed against the “Decision-Making Process”. It is held that the Doctrine of Proportionality, plays a pivotal part of the concept of judicial review, would ensure that even on an aspect which is, otherwise, within the exclusive province of the court.

If the decision of the court even as to sentence is an outrageous defiance of logic, then the sentence would not be immune from correction. Irrationality and perversity are recognised grounds of judicial review.

“Judicial review has I think developed to a stage today when, without reiterating any analysis of the steps by which the development has come about, one can conveniently classify under three heads the grounds on which administrative action is subject to control by judicial review. The first ground I would call ‘illegality’, the second ‘irrationality’ and the third ‘procedural impropriety’.”

“That is not to say that further development on a case by case basis may not in course of time add further grounds. I have in mind particularly the possible adoption in the future of the principle of ‘proportionality’ which is recognised in the administrative law of several of our fellow members of the European Economic Community;”

Drafted by – Abhijit Mishra