Regina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Mohammed Hussain Ahmed and Idris Ibrahim Patel: Admn 27 Apr 1998

The ratification by the government of a Treaty may create a legitimate expectation that its terms will be applied in dealing with an individual affected by it. (Woolf) ‘I will accept that the entering into a treaty by the Secretary of State could give rise to a legitimate expectation on which the public in general are entitled to rely. Subject to any indications to the contrary, it could be a representation that the Secretary of State would act in accordance with any obligations which he accepted under the treaty. This legitimate expectation could give rise to a right to relief, as well as additional obligations of fairness, if the Secretary of State, without reason acted inconsistently with the obligations which this country had undertaken.’ (Hobhouse LJ) ‘If there was no statement of executive policy other than the executives ratification of a treaty, it might be possible to say that it was legitimate expectation that the executives treatment and decision of matters falling within the ambit of such a treaty would be dealt with in accordance with that treaty.’
Hobhouse LJ considered the principle of legitimate expectation and said that it is ‘a principle of fairness in the decision-making process’. It is ‘a wholly objective concept and is not based upon any actual state of knowledge of individual immigrants or would-be immigrants; . . however, the application of the principle must be based upon some objectively identifiable legitimate expectation as to how decisions will be made and discretions exercised.’


Lord Woolf MR, Hobhouse LJ


[1998] EWHC Admin 453, [1998] INLR 570



Cited by:

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CitedRegina (Lika) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 16-Dec-2002
The applicant was an ethnic Albanian, whose application for asylum had been rejected on the ground that he had passed through Germany. The Dublin Convention did not create rights enforceable by individuals, its purpose is to produce a system which . .
CitedRashid, 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 . .
CitedLM and Others v Regina; Regina v M(L), B(M) and G(D) CACD 21-Oct-2010
Each defendant appealed saying that being themselves the victims of people trafficking, the prosecutions had failed to take into account its obligations under the Convention.
Held: Prosecutors had ‘a three-stage exercise of judgment. The first . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 27 May 2022; Ref: scu.138574