Nash v Chelsea College of Art and Design: QBD 11 Jul 2001

A student’s appeal against her examination marking was heard, but the reasons were only given some months later.
Held: When looking to see whether those reasons should be admitted, a court should be careful before accepting late reasons, particularly where there was a statutory duty to give them. In the absence of such a duty the court should consider any inconsistency between the original and late reasons, whether it was clear that they were the original reasons of the whole committee, whether the reasons were a genuine expression of the original decision, or were a retrospective justification of the original decision, the extent of the delay, the circumstances in which the reasons were produced, and the qualifications and experience of the tribunal members. In this case the reasons were accepted.
Stanley Burnton J said: ‘it is one thing to require comprehensiveness and clarity from lawyers and those who regularly sit on administrative tribunals; it is another to require those qualities of occasional non-lawyer tribunal chairmen and members.’
Stanley Burnton J considered the applicable principles where the adequacy of the reasons is not itself a condition of the legality of the decision, in the following terms: ‘The relevant considerations include the following which to a significant degree overlap:
(a) Whether the new reasons are consistent with the original reasons.
(b) Whether it is clear that the new reasons are indeed the original reasons of the whole committee.
(c) Whether there is a real risk that the later reasons have been composed subsequently in order to support the tribunal’s decision, or are a retrospective justification of the original decision . .
(d) The delay before the later reasons were put forward.
(e) The circumstances in which the later reasons were put forward. In particular, reasons put forward after the commencement of proceedings must be treated especially carefully. Conversely, reasons put forward during correspondence in which the parties are seeking to elucidate the decision should be approached more tolerantly.’


Stanley Burnton J


Times 25-Jul-2001, [2001] EWHC Admin 538



Cited by:

Appeal fromNash v Chelsea College of Art and Design CA 24-Jan-2002
Application for permission to appeal against the decision: ‘The claimant, Miss Aletta Nash, complains of the second year assessment that she received in her course at the Chelsea College of Art, the respondent. That assessment was made as long ago . .
CitedZaiwalla and Co (a Firm) v Walia EAT 24-Jul-2002
The claimant sought aggravated damages for the aggressive way the respondent firm had defended her action for sex discrimination.
Held: In exceptional circumstances, and this was one, the tribunal could award additional damages where a . .
CitedClive Rees Associates, Solicitors, Regina (on The Application of) v Swansea Magistrates Court and Another Admn 30-Nov-2011
The claimant solicitors challenged a decision of the respondents to transfer legal aid orders for the representation of clients to a second frm of solicitors.
Held: The court considered the various cases, finding three decisions unlawful and . .
UsefulHamasour, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department (Supplementary Decision Letter – Effect) UTIAC 13-Jul-2015
Immigration Judicial Review – The decision in Nash v Chelsea College of Art and Design [2001] EWHC 538 (Admin) may provide a useful tool on the issue of whether a supplementary decision letter amounts to a fresh decision, or whether it merely . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Administrative, Education

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.84171