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Logic Law


A new section on Logic Law on aphorisms, maxims, rulings, and “Frames” of reference in rebuttal

of Sophistical Frames used against us.

Prepare your case and frame it in the context of principles of fairness, good faith, reasonableness, legitimate expectation and more.

Request: please help us build this database FOR YOU. The more we have, the better you're enabled to argue for yourselves.

Please email us suggestions to add new case law rulings on ANY principles of honour and dignity contact@logiclaw.co.uk

Examples of relevant case law (more to be added)

By kind permission of Trevor Nunn at Public Service Ombudsman Watchers



Click on a subject

  1. Natural Justice.

  2. Statutory Power: Duty to act fairly.

  3. Statutory Power: True purpose.

  4. Statutory Power: Limitations.

  5. Statutory power: Discretion, duty to promote legislative purpose.

  6. Statutory power: Duty not to act 'ultra vires'.

  7. Statutory power: Unreasonableness.

  8. Statutory power: Statutory intent.

  9. Statutory power: Duty to act in good faith.

  10. Statutory power: Discretion, duty to act reasonably.

  11. Right to procedural fairness.

  12. Duty to enquire/ ask the right questions.

  13. Duty to consider all relevant material.

  14. Duty to exclude all irrelevant material.

  15. Right to see documents relied on.

  16. Right to cross-examine.

  17. Duty to consider evidence of probative value.

  18. Right to sufficient information.

  19. Right to legitimate expectation.

  20. Duty not to adopt an unduly rigid policy.

  21. Duty not to be irrational.

  1. Natural Justice

    Natural Justice is an umbrella term for the legal standards of basic fairness. It is a fundamental doctrine within the common law, rested in centuries of legal tradition.

    R v Panel on Takeovers and Mergers, ex parte Datafin PLC (1987). Sir John Donaldson, Master of the Rolls "... a failure to observe the basic rules of natural justice, which is probably better described as fundamental unfairness since justice in nature is conspicuous by its absence."

    John v Rees (1970). Justice Megarry" It may be that there are some who would decry the importance of the rules of natural justice. ......those who take this view do not, I think, do themselves justice. As everybody who has anything to do with the law well knows, the path of the law is strewn with examples of open and shut cases which, somehow, were not: of unanswerable charges which, in the event, were completely answered ; with inexplainable conduct which was fully explained; ........ nor are those with any knowledge of human nature who pause to think for a moment likely to underestimate the feelings of resentment of those who find there is a decison against them as being made without their being afforded any opportunity to influence the course of events."

    Fairmount Investments Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment (1976). Lord Russell "I am satisfied that if the true conclusion is that the course which events followed resulted in that degree of unfairness ... that it is commonly referred to as a departure from the principles of natural justice and it may equally be said that the order is not within the powers of the Act and that a requirement of the Act has not been complied with. For it is to be implied, unless the contrary appears, that Parliament does not authorise by the Act the exercise of powers in breach of the principles of natural justice, and that Parliament does by the Act require, in paraticular procedures, compliance with those principles ."

    R v Tower Hamlets London Borough Council ex parte Chetnik Developments Ltd (1988). Lord Bridge "Statutory power conferred for public purposes is conferred as if it were upon trust, not absolutely - that is to say, it can validly be used only in the right and proper way in which Parliament when conferring it is presumed to have intended."

    Mahon v Air New Zealand Ltd (1984) Lord Diplock " the decision to make the finding must be based on some material which tends logically to show the existence of facts consistent with the finding and that the reasoning supportive of the finding, if it be disclosed, is not logically self-contradictory".

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  2. Statutory Power: Duty to act fairly.

    R v Commission for Racial Equality ex parte Hillingdon London Borough Council (1982). Lord Diplock "I do not think that in administrative law as it has developed over the last 20 years attaching a label "quasi-judicial" to it is of any significance. Where an Act of Parliament confers upon an administrative body functions which involves making decisions which affect to their detriment the rights of other persons ... there is a presumption that Parliament intended that the administrative body should act fairly towards those persons who will be affected by their decision."

    R v Inland Revenue Commissioners ex parte Unilever PLC (1996) Lord Justice Simon Brown "Unfairness amounting to an abuse of power .......... it is unlawful ....... because it is illogical or immoral or both for a public authority to act with conspicuous unfairness and in that sense abuse its power".

    R v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Pierson (1998) Lord Hope " unfairness ...... as there are no statutory rules, the presumption must be that he [Secretary of State] will exercise his powers in a manner which is fair in all the circumstances." R v Department for Education & Employement ex parte Begbie(2000) Lord Justice Laws "Fairness and reasonableness and their contraries are objective concepts: otherwise there would be no public law, or if there were it would be palm tree justice."

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  3. Statutory Power: True purpose.

    R v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, ex parte World Development Movement Ltd (1995). Lord Justice Rose "statutory powers however permissive, must be used with scrupulous attention to their true purposes and for reasons which are relevant and proper"

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  4. Statutory Power: Duties and Limitations.

    R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Pierson (1998). Lord Steyn "... unless there is the clearest provision to the contrary, Parliament must be presumed not to legislate contrary to the rule of law. And the rule of law enforces minimum standards of fairness, both substantive and procedural."

    R v Secretary of State for the Environment Transport & the Regions ex p Spath Holme (2001). Lord Nicholls "No statutory power is of unlimited scope"

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  5. Statutory power: Discretion, duty to promote legislative purpose.

    Recommendation Number R (80)2 of the Committee of Ministers (adopted 11 March(1980) In describing this basic principle "an administrative authority when exercising a discretionary power .......... observes objectivity and impartiality, taking into account any of the factors relevant to the particular case".

    R v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Brind (1991) Lord Ackner "The discretion .......... must be used only to advance the purposes for which it was conferred. It has accordingly to be used to promote the policy and objects of the Act."

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  6. Statutory power: Duty not to act 'ultra vires'.

    HTV Ltd v Price Commission (1976) Lord Denning - Master of the Rolls "A public body which is entrusted by Parliament with the exercise of powers for the public good cannot fetter itself in the exercise of them. It cannot be estopped from doing its public duty. But that is subject to the qualification that it must not misue its powers: and it is a misuse of power for it to act unfairly or unjustly towards a private citizen when there is no overriding public interest to warrant it".

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  7. Statutory power: Unreasonableness.

    Bromley London Borough Council v Greater London Council (1983) Lord Scarman "The unreasonableness of the decision i.e that which would enable the Court to conclude that it is one which no reasonable authority could have reached, is that it proceeded upon a misconception of the duties imposed upon the appellants by the statute."

    R v Hendon Justices, ex parte Director of Public Prosecutions (1994) It is implicit in the enactment that a conferred power is not to be exercised unreasonably ...... If it is ... the conferred power can be characterised as illegal, void or a nullity"

    R v Department for Education & Employement ex parte Begbie(2000) Lord Justice Laws "Fairness and reasonableness and their contraries are objective concepts: otherwise there would be no public law, or if there were it would be palm tree justice."

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  8. Statutory power: Statutory intent.

    Lord Steyn (1997) "We live in a democracy in the narrow sense that majority rule prevails but, more importantly, we live in a liberal European democracy based on values of justice, liberty, equality and humanity. Judges are therefore entitled to assume, unless the Statute makes crystal clear provision to the contrary, that Parliament would not wish to make unjust laws."

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  9. Statutory power: Duty to act in good faith.

    Board of Education v Rice (1911) Lord Loreburn 'They must act in good faith and fairly listen to both sides, for that is the duty lying upon everyone who decides anything".

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  10. Statutory power: Discretion, duty to act reasonably.

    Roberts v Hopwood (1925) Lord Wrenbury "A person in whom is vested a discretion must exercise his discretion upon reasonable grounds. A discretion does not empower a man to do what he likes merely because he is minded to do so - he must generally exercise the discretion to do not what he likes but what he ought. In other words, he must, by use of his reason, ascertain and follow the course which reason directs. He must act reasonably"

    R v Department for Education & Employement ex parte Begbie(2000) Lord Justice Laws "Fairness and reasonableness and their contraries are objective concepts: otherwise there would be no public law, or if there were it would be palm tree justice."

    Bushell v Secretary of State for the Environment (1981) Lord Diplock "in exercising their discretion, as in exercising any other administrative function they owe a constitutional duty to perform it fairly and honestly and to the best of their ability"

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  11. Right to procedural fairness.

    Greater London Council (1985) Lord Justice Muskill identified four ways in which a decision might be procedurally improper, namely,"

    1. Unfair behaviour towards persons affected by the decision.

    2. Failure to follow a procedure laid down by legislation.

    3. Failure properly to marshall the evidence on which the decision should be based. For example taking into account an immaterial factor or failing to take into account a material factor or failing to take reasonable steps to obtain the relevant information.

    4. Failure to approach the decision in the right spirit for example where the decision maker is actuated by bias or where he is content to let the decision be made by chance"

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  12. Duty to enquire/ask the right questions.

    The Secretary of State for Education and Science v Tameside M B C (1977) Lord Diplock. "the question for the Court is did the Secretary of State ask himself the right question and take reasonable steps to acquaint himself with the relevant information to enable him to answer it correctly?"

    R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Venables (1998) Lord Justice Hobhouse quot;Essential that (the Secretary of State) should be fully informed of all material facts and circumstances", "it is not clear what account the Secretary of State took of this consideration nor that he took any steps to inform himself of the relevant facts",

    Secretary of State for Education and Science v Tameside M B C (1977) Lord Wilberforce "The ultimate question in this case, in my opinion, is whether the Secretary of State has given sufficient, or any, weight to this particular factor in the exercise of his judgement."

    Lord Diplock "The Secretary of State did not direct his mind to the right question; and so, since his good faith is not in question, he cannot have directed himself properly in law"

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  13. Duty to consider all relevant material.

    R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Nelson (1994) "Not satisfied that the material before the Secretary of State was properly considered before the decision was taken"

    R v Legal Aid Area Number 1 (London) Appeal Committee ex parte McCormick (2000) "The Committee cannot simply leave those issues in the air since their resolution ... could be beneficial ...", "serious doubts about whether they did take into consideration all potentially relevant factors"

    Dakar v Minister of Transport "There may be situations when the Ministerial body has not taken any extraneous factors into account and has confined itself solely to relevant factors, yet there has been such a distortion and lack of proportion given to the weight given to these that the final result cannot possibly hold up and is therefore, completely unreasonable."

    Secretary of State for Education & Science v Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (1977) Lord Wilberforce "The ultimate question in this case, in my opinion, is whether the Secretary of State has given sufficient, or any, weight to this particular factor in the exercise of his judgement"

    R v Parliamentary Commisioner for Administration, ex parte Balchin (1998) "The relevant test .......... as well as a consideration has been omitted which, had account been taken of it, might have caused the decision maker to reach a different conclusion"

    Recommendation Number R (80)2 of the Committee of Ministers (adopted 11 March(1980) In describing this basic principle "an administrative authority when exercising a discretionary power .......... observes objectivity and impartiality, taking into account any of the factors relevant to the particular case".

    R v Director General of Telecommunications, ex parte Cellcom Ltd (1999)Justice Lightman "The Court may interfere if the Director has taken into account an irrelevant consideration or has failed to take into account a relevant consideration."

    R (on the application of Alconbury Developments Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment and the Regions (2001) Lord Slynn "It has long been established that if the Secretary of State ............. takes into account matters irrelevant to his decision or refuses or fails to take into account matters relevant to his decision .......... The Court may set his decision aside".

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  14. Duty to exclude all irrelevant material.

    R v Director General of Telecommunications, ex parte Cellcom Ltd (1999) Justice Lightman "The Court may interfere if the Director has taken into account an irrelevant consideration or has failed to take into account a relevant consideration."

    R (on the application of Alconbury Developments Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment and the Regions (2001) Lord Slynn "It has long been established that if the Secretary of State ............. takes into account matters irrelevant to his decision or refuses or fails to take into account matters relevant to his decision .......... The Court may set his decision aside".

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  15. Right to see documents relied on.

    T A Miller v Ministry of Housing Local Government (1968) "The person at risk should have an opportunity to comment on materials being considered by the decision maker and to contradict them".

    Wiseman v Borneman (1971) Lord Morris "I feel bound to express my prima facie dislike of a situation in which the tribunal has before it a document (which might contain both facts and arguments) which was calculated to influence the tribunal but which has not been seen by a party who will be affected by the tribunal’s decision"

    R v London Borough of Camden ex parte Paddock (1995) Justice Sedley "The principle that a decision making body should not see relevant to giving those affected the chance to comment on it and if they wish, to contravert it is fundamental to the principle of law (which governs public administration as much as it does adjudication) that to act in good faith and listen fairly to both sides is the duty lying upon everyone who decides anything."

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  16. Right to cross-examine.

    Osgood v Nelson (1872) Baron Martin There can be no doubt my Lords that the Courts of Law in this country, would take care that any proceeding in this country were conducted in a proper manner; that the person proposed who was to be removed should have every opportunity of cross-examining the witnesses brought forward against him, or otherwise opposing the case up against him; that he should have the power of calling witnesses to prove his own case; and he should have every possible opportunity which a person can have, according to the law and constitution of this country, of defending himself and of establishing that he is not liable to amotion"

    Bushell v Secretary of State for the Environment (1981) Lord Edmond-Davies There is a massive body of accepted decisions establishing that natural justice requires that a party be given an opportunity of challenging by cross-examination witnesses called by another party on relevant issues."

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  17. Duty to consider evidence of probative value.

    Mahon v Air New Zealand Ltd (1984) Lord Diplock an investigative decision maker "must base his decision upon evidence that has some probative value."

    R v Wakefield Magistrates Court ex parte Wakefield M B C (2000) The Magistrates decision "fatally flawed by its error of law in purporting to make a critical finding of fact, without having heard any evidence called in the proceedings upon which that finding of fact could properly be founded"

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  18. Right to sufficient information.

    Bushell v Secretary of State for the Environment (1981) Lord Diplock "Fairness requires that the objector ......... be given sufficient information about the reasons relied on by the Department as justifing the draft scheme to enable them to challenge the accuracy of any facts and the validity of any arguments upon which the departmental reasons are based"

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  19. Right to legitimate expectation.

    Council of Civil Service Unions v Ministry of the Civil Service (1985) Lord Roskill "The principle (of legitimate expectation) may (include) .......... an expectation of being allowed to undertake representations especially where the aggrieved party is seeking to persuade an authority to depart from a lawfully established policy adopted in connection with the exercise of a particular power because of some suggested exceptional reasons justifying such a departure."

    R v Secretary of State for The Home Department ex parte Ahmed (1999) Lord Justice Hobhouse "The principle of legitimate expectation and English law is a principle of fairness in the decision making process................."

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  20. Duty not to adopt an unduly rigid policy.

    R v Secretary of State for the Enviroment ex p.Brent London Borough Council (1982) "(The Minister is) entitled to have well in mind his policy. To this extent the reference to keep an open mind does not mean an empty mind. This mind must be kept ajar"

    R v Hampshire County Council ex parte W (1994) Justice Sedley "What is required by the law is that, without falling into arbitrariness, decision makers must remember that policies are means of securing a consistent approach to individual cases, each of which is likely to differ from others. Each case must be considered, therefore, in the light of the policy, but not so that the policy automatically determines the outcome".

    R v Ministry for Agriculture Fisheries and Food ex p Hamble Fisheries(Off shore) Ltd (1995) Justice Sedley "In describing the two conflicting imperatives of public law "the first is that while a policy may be adopted for the exercise of a discretion it must not be applied with rigidity which excludes consideration of possible departure on individual cases.............., the second is that a discretionary public law power must not be exercised arbitrarily or with partiality as between individuals or classes potentially affected by it............. the line between individual consideration and inconsistency, slender enough in theory, can be imperceptible in practice"

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  21. Duty to reconsider (where an important error of fact is made known).

    R v Newham London Borough Council ex parte Begum (1996) "the decision cried out for review when the error, on so important a matter, was drawn to the council’s attention by the claimant’s solicitors ............ A failure to reconsider the decision in these circumstances would in my judgement have been unlawful."

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  22. Duty not to be irrational.

    Bromley and London Borough Council v Greater London Council (1983) Lord Diplock "Decisions that, looked at objectively, are so devoid of any plausible justification that no reasonable body of persons could have reached".

    Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service (1985) Lord Diplock "By irrationality I mean what can now be succinctly referred to as Wednesbury unreasonableness ............. it applies to a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it."

    R v Housing Benefit Review Board of London Borough of Sutton ex parte Keegan (1995) Conclusion "was arrived at in the teeth of the evidence and was accordingly Wednesbury unreasonable"

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