Coughlan Case Summary - Legitimate Expectation

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Coughlan Case and Essay

Substantive Legitimate Expectation


That where a PA represents (either by express promise or by course of dealings) that it will conduct itself in a certain way that rep may give rise to an expectation that the pa will continue to act in this way giving rise to l.e

Maybe too focused on merits of the case... Craig suggests that the protection of LE is in the interests of constitutional law… providing predictability, regularity and certainty.

Bingham in ex parte unilever - categories are not closed and development should not be caged… if a pa makes a promise it can amount to a contract and it’s unfair to go back on this. … le is the public law equiv of estoppel.

-Schmit (1969)
Scientology applicants visa rejected by home secretary, they were deported before end of trial; however, Denning felt they had a legitimate expectation to stay in the country until the end of their trial. This was a third element following on from natural justice, and their rights and privileges

-Coughlan (2001)
Financial reasons wanted to close home, however had made an unequivocal promise stating she can stay, she relied on this selling her home. CoA held PA would only be allowed to resile from this in public interest. Also amounted to breach art 8 respect for one’s home

***Importance: new category of LE… sought to create this distinction from PLE. Here abuse of power was key, implications only financial but impact was huge. It would have been unfair to go back on promise and this lead to disproportionate effect on Coughlan.

-The boundaries of this case are still being explored…

-Examples of how this operates:

- Bibi (2001)

Held that there was a legitimate expectation but the court was not willing to apply the Coughlan test and ‘order authority to honour its promise when to do so would assume the powers of the executive’. This suggested J didn’t want to meddle in the affairs of g/p especially considering delicate...
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