The asylum applicant challenged a certificate given by the respondent that the claim for asylum was manifestly ill-founded. The respondent had made a mistake in applying the appropriate policy, but had sought to correct the error. The claimants asserted that a legitimate expectation had been created.
Held: The abiding principle which underpins the legitimate expectation cases is the court’s insistence that public power should not be abused. The applicant had not relied on the policy until the error had been made, and no legitimate expectation had been created. ‘Where a public authority has issued a promise or adopted a practice which represents how it proposes to act in a given area, the law will require the promise or practice to be honoured unless there is good reason not to do so. What is the principle behind this proposition? It is not far to seek. It is said to be grounded in fairness, and no doubt in general terms that is so. I would prefer to express it rather more broadly as a requirement of good administration, by which public bodies ought to deal straightforwardly and consistently with the public.’ and ‘a public body’s promise or practice as to future conduct may only be denied, and thus the standard I have expressed may only be departed from, in circumstances where to do so is the public body’s legal duty, or is otherwise, to use a now familiar vocabulary, a proportionate response (of which the court is the judge, or the last judge) having regard to a legitimate aim pursued by the public body in the public interest. The principle that good administration requires public authorities to be held to their promises would be undermined if the law did not insist that any failure or refusal to comply is objectively justified as a proportionate measure in the circumstances. ‘
Laws LJ continued: ‘ . . there is every reason to articulate the limits of this requirement – to describe what may count as good reason to depart from it – as we have come to articulate the limits of other constitutional principles overtly found in the European convention. Accordingly a public body’s promise or practice as to future conduct may only be denied, and thus the standard that I have expressed may only be departed from, in circumstances where to do so is the public body’s legal duty, or is otherwise, to use a now familiar vocabulary, a proportionate response (of which the court is the judge, or the last judge) having regard to a legitimate aim pursued by the public body in the public interest. The principle that good administration requires public authorities to be held to their promises would be undermined if the law did not insist that any failure or refusal to comply is objectively justified as a proportionate measure in the circumstances . .’
Laws LJ, Thomas LJ, Nelson J
 EWCA Civ 1363, Times 14-Dec-2005
Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 72(2)(a), European Convention on Human Rights 8
England and Wales
Cited – Regina v Governor HM Prison Brockhill, ex parte Michelle Carol Evans (No 2) CA 19-Jun-1998
The plaintiff was serving a sentence of imprisonment. Her detention was correctly calculated in accordance with the law as understood. That method was later disapproved when the Divisional Court laid down (everyone has assumed correctly) a different . .
Appeal from – Regina (Nadarajah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 2-Dec-2002
The Claimant was a Tamil from Sri Lanka claiming asylum. He was married in 1991; his wife was also Tamil. In 1995 his claim for asylum in Germany failed. What then happened was disputed. The Claimant said that he voluntarily returned to Sri Lanka, . .
See Also – Secretary of State for the Home Department, Regina on the Application of Soumahoro; Regina on the Application of Nadarajah; and similar CA 19-Jun-2003
In each case asylum applicants had been certified as suitable to be returned to the first country at which they had arrived on fleeing their home countries.
Held: To determine whether article 8 was engaged given the territoriality principle, . .
Cited – Abdi v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 5-Dec-2003
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex Parte Thangarasa; Same Ex parte Yogathas HL 17-Oct-2002
The applicants were asylum seekers who had been ordered to be returned to Germany, the country to which they had first escaped, for their asylum claims to be dealt with. They objected, asserting that Germany would not deal with their applications in . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Adan, Same, ex parte Aitsegeur HL 20-Dec-2000
The Convention gave protection to an asylum seeker fearing persecution by non-state agents in his country of origin where that government was unable or unwilling to provide protection. France and Germany did not recognise this right, and therefore . .
Cited – Regina (Yogathas) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 9-Sep-2001
When assessing the propriety of an order requiring an asylum seeker to be removed and returned to a third country, it was wrong to look at the processes which might be applied by that third country. The court should look at the outcome of the . .
Cited – Samaroo and Sezek v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 17-Jul-2001
Two foreign nationals with leave to remain in this country committed serious crimes. The Secretary of State ordered their deportation.
Held: Where the deportation of a foreigner following a conviction here, would conflict with his human . .
Cited – Huang v The Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 1-Mar-2005
The adjudicator’s function is effectively to retake the Home Secretary’s decision. In doing so he will have regard to the Home Secretary’s policy in relation to the deportation of offenders as a material fact but not as a substitute for or a fetter . .
Cited – Regina (Yaser Mahmood) v Secretary of State for Home Department Admn 9-Aug-2001
The Home Secretary had served notice that the applicant was an illegal immigrant, and liable to deportation. An order had been made for the cross examination of the applicant. He had come to England to study, but soon dropped his immediate plans. He . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State ex parte Khan CA 4-Apr-1984
The Secretary of State had refused an entry clearance for a child to be allowed into the United Kingdom for the purpose of adoption by the applicant, but had done so upon grounds nowhere mentioned in a Home Office circular letter apparently setting . .
Cited – Clarke v London Borough of Enfield CA 9-May-2002
Where a decision of a public decision-maker is quashed and the decision falls to be re-taken, it will or at least may be re-taken in light of the legal and factual context prevailing at the time the fresh decision is made. . .
Cited – Birkdale District Electric Supply Co. Ltd v The Corporation of Southport 1926
The appellants, having bound themselves not to exercise their discretion in the raising of electricity prices, were held not to have incompetently fettered their discretion, bearing in mind the commercial purposes for which the discretion was . .
Cited – Regina v Liverpool Corporation ex parte Liverpool Taxi Fleet Operators Association CA 1972
A number of taxi cab owners challenged a decision of the Council to increase the numbers of hackney cabs operating in the city. At a public meeting with the council prior to the decision, the chairman had given a public undertaking that the numbers . .
Cited – Regina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, ex parte the National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses Ltd HL 9-Apr-1981
Limitations on HMRC discretion on investigation
The Commissioners had been concerned at tax evasion of up to 1 million pounds a year by casual workers employed in Fleet Street. They agreed with the employers and unions to collect tax in the future, but that they would not pursue those who had . .
Mentioned – In Re Findlay, in re Hogben HL 1985
A public authority, and the Prison Service in particular, is free, within the limits of rationality, to decide on any policy as to how to exercise its discretions; it is entitled to change its policy from time to time for the future, and a person . .
Cited – Regina v Inland Revenue Commission ex parte Preston; In re Preston HL 1984
Duty of Fairness to taxpayer – Written Assurance
The applicant was assured by the Inland Revenue that it would not raise further inquiries on certain tax affairs if he agreed to forgo interest relief which he had claimed and to pay a certain sum in capital gains tax.
Held: Where the . .
Cited – Ex parte Hamble (Offshore) Fisheries Ltd 1995
Judicial review was requested of a decision of the Minister to declare a moratorium on the permitted transfer of certain fishing licences.
Held: The request failed. Sedley J put forward a test for what makes a claim for a legitimate . .
Cited – Rashid, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 16-Jun-2005
The Home Secretary appealed against a grant of a judicial review to the respondent who had applied for asylum. The court had found that two other asylum applicants had been granted leave to remain on similar facts and on the appellants, and that it . .
Cited – Regina v North and East Devon Health Authority ex parte Coughlan and Secretary of State for Health Intervenor and Royal College of Nursing Intervenor CA 16-Jul-1999
Consultation to be Early and Real Listening
The claimant was severely disabled as a result of a road traffic accident. She and others were placed in an NHS home for long term disabled people and assured that this would be their home for life. Then the health authority decided that they were . .
Cited – Regina v Department of Education and Employment ex parte Begbie CA 20-Aug-1999
A statement made by a politician as to his intentions on a particular matter if elected could not create a legitimate expectation as regards the delivery of the promise after elected, even where the promise would directly affect individuals, and the . .
Cited – Regina v Secretary of State for Home Department and Governor of Her Majesty’s Prison Risley ex parte Hargreaves, Briggs and Green CA 20-Nov-1996
No sufficient expectation which could form the basis of a judicial review arose from an agreement for prison home leave which was later denied. The only legitimate expectation of the prisoners was to have their applications individually considered . .
Cited – X, Regina (on the Application of) v Y School Admn 21-Feb-2007
The court was asked whether a school was entitled to refuse to allow a Muslim girl to wear the niqab full face veil at school. The reasons were ‘first educational factors resulting from a teacher being unable to see the face of the girl with a . .
Cited – Lumba (WL) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 23-Mar-2011
The claimants had been detained under the 1971 Act, after completing sentences of imprisonment pending their return to their home countries under deportations recommended by the judges at trial, or chosen by the respondent. They challenged as . .
Cited – Wheeler, Regina (on the Application of) v Office of the Prime Minister and Another Admn 2-May-2008
The applicant sought leave to bring judicial review of the prime minister’s decsion not to hold a referendum on the ratification of the treaty of Lisbon.
Held: The claimant had arguable points under the 2000 Act and otherwise, and permission . .
Cited – Birks, Regina (On the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Admn 25-Sep-2014
The claimant police officer sought judicial review of a decision to continue his suspension. He had been investigated and cleared after a death in custody. He sought to join the Church of England Ministry and was offered a post. He was re-assured . .
Cited – Mandalia v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 14-Oct-2015
The Court considered the guidance given to UK Border Agency case workers when considering document submitted by persons applying for leave to enter or stay in the UK as foreign students. M had applied to study here, but had not accompanied his . .
Cited – Hemmati and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 27-Nov-2019
The Home Secretary appealed from a finding that illegally entered asylum seekers had been unlawfully detained pending removal. The five claimants had travelled through other EU member states before entering the UK. The court considered inter alia . .
Cited – Finucane, Re Application for Judicial Review SC 27-Feb-2019
(Northern Ireland) The deceased solicitor was murdered in his home in 1989, allegedly by loyalists. They had never been identified, though collusion between security forces and a loyalist paramilitary was established. The ECHR and a judge led . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Immigration, Human Rights, Constitutional
Updated: 16 January 2022; Ref: scu.235238