Regina v Civil Service Appeal Board, Ex parte Cunningham: CA 1991

The court considered the effect of a disciplinary board failing to give reasons. The absence of any right to appeal may be a factor in deciding that reasons should be given. If it is ‘important that there should be an effective means of detecting the kind of error [by way of judicial review] which would entitle the court to intervene’ then the reasoning may have to be disclosed. Donaldson LJ said: ‘when a statute has conferred on any body the power to make decisions affecting individuals, the court will not only require the procedure prescribed by statute to be followed, but will readily imply so much and no more to be introduced by way of additional procedural standards as will ensure the attainment of fairness.’
The fact that leave to apply for judicial review has been granted calls for some reply from a pulic authority respondent. Once a public law court had concluded that there was an arguable case that a decision was unlawful, the court was entitled to be given the reasons for the decision. Lord Donaldson drew a further distinction between the legal duty on a public authority to provide an individual with reasons for a decision and the duty to provide a court with reasons for the authority’s conduct. Breach of the former duty can lead to the quashing of the decision without more. Failure to observe the latter can lead to the court drawing inferences adverse to the public authority, but it will not necessarily do so.
Donaldson LJ
[1991] 4 All ER 310, [1992] ICR 816
England and Wales
CitedLloyd v McMahon HL 12-Mar-1987
The district auditor had issued a certificate under the 1982 Act surcharging the appellant councillors in the sum of 106,103, pounds being the amount of a loss incurred or deficiency caused, as the auditor found, by their wilful misconduct.
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Ministry of Defence ex parte Colin James Murray QBD 15-Dec-1997
The defendant sought judicial review of his court-martial and of the confirming officers. He said the court should have heard that he committed the offence whist intixicated after taking an anti-malarial drug. The court dd not explain why it had . .
CitedRegina v Universities Funding Council ex parte Institute of Dental Surgery QBD 30-Jul-1993
When considering whether a disciplinary board should have given reasons, the court may find the absence critical ‘where the decision appears aberrant’. ‘the giving of reasons may among other things concentrate the decision-maker’s mind on the right . .
CitedMarshall and Others v Deputy Governor of Bermuda and Others PC 24-May-2010
(Bermuda) The claimants challenged their recruitment by conscription to the Bermuda Regiment on several different grounds. The issues now were whether conscription was lawful only where volunters were insufficient, and whether the acceptance of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 17 September 2021; Ref: scu.249849