Select Committee on Public Administration Memoranda


Submitted by Andrew Le Sueur, Reader in Law, University College London


  1.  This memorandum deals with one particular aspect of the draft Freedom of Information Bill-the giving of reasons for decisions by public authorities. Throughout the political campaign for freedom of information in the United Kingdom, the right to reasoned decisions has been treated as the poor cousin of the right to access to documentary records. The two are distinct, but equally important.

  2.  The practice of reason-giving has an instrumental value in promoting better and lawful decision-making. People who are given reasons are better able to complain that a mistake or misjudgement has occurred and request an internal review, complain to an Ombudsman, appeal to a tribunal or challenge the legality of the determination by judicial review. Of course, the provision of a reasoned explanation for a decision may allay a sense of grievance a person has and dissuade the person from complaining. Reason-giving also has a self-regulatory role: if an official has to articulate a clear explanation for a determination, or is aware that he or she may be called upon to do so, the decision is more likely to be taken in accordance with the legal powers and constraints placed upon the decision-maker. In a liberal democracy, reason-giving by public authorities also emphasises the nature of the relationship between government and the governed. Public officials should not, generally, issue peremptory commands to people. Rather, they should seek to justify, persuade and gain consent for their actions.


  3.  The White PaperYour Right to Know (Cm 3818) and Freedom of Information: Consultation on Draft Legislation (Cm 4355) are both sparing in their analysis of reason-giving. Neither explain what options for reform exist, or why the Government is opposed to the enactment of a general statutory duty to give reasons. Even though the draft Bill eschews creating a direct statutory duty to provide reasons, it is, in essence, a law reform project. Yet almost nothing is said by the Government about how its proposals intermesh with existing statutory duties to give reasons, to the fast developing common law in this field or to European Community law on the issue. There is a pressing need for "joined-up thinking" about obligations on public authorities to give reasons—something that seems absent from the Government's approach.

  4.  It is clear, however, that the Government accepts that reason-giving by public authorities is generally a desirable activity. The questions which therefore arise are to do with how the practice is best implemented. Where reasons for a decision have been recorded and the record has not been destroyed, such a record of reasons will fall within the general right of access to information created by clause 8. A fully-fledged right to reasons should go further than this, however, It needs to be more than a duty to disclose; it should be a duty to articulate an explanation for a determination at the time the decision is made or shortly afterwards. The draft Bill seeks to encourage—but not compel—this by requiring that, in adopting a publication scheme, every public authority must have regard to the public interest "in the publication of reasons for decisions made by the authority" (clause 6).


  5.  In considering the arrangements proposed by the draft Bill, it is helpful to set them against other options for reform. One option, often canvassed in the past, would be the enactment of a direct statutory duty placed on public authorities to give reasons for their decisions.

  6.  In many other legal systems a broad legal duty has indeed been placed on public authorities to give reasons for their determination. Article 33 of the South African Constitution states that "Everyone whose rights have been adversely affected by administrative action has the right to be given written reasons". Legislation to give further effect to that constitutional right is currently being prepared. In France, a Statue of July 11 1979 provides that natural and legal persons have a right to be informed without delay of the reasons of unfavourable individual administrative decisions relating to them (article 1). In Australia, the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 creates a right for a person entitled to seek judicial review of a decision to request a public authority to supply a written statement of (i) its findings on material questions of fact (ii) a reference to the evidence or other material on which findings are based; and (iii) the reasons for a decision (section 13). Many other legislative provisions could be cited by way of illustration.

  7.  There is also a broad obligation on public authorities in Member States to give reasons where a decision impinges on rights established by European Community law.[247] The principle of primacy of European Community law over inconsistent national laws and practices means that public authorities in England and Wales may be under a legal obligation to provide reasons, even if not apparently compelled to do so by domestic law.

  8.  Against this background, campaigners have advocated the enactment of a general duty to give reasons for England and Wales. In 1988, the JUSTICE-All Souls Review of Administrative Law in the United Kingdom argued for the adoption of a statutory right to reasons similar to that adopted in Australia.[248] In February 1999, Lord Lucas introduced a Private Member's Bill which provided, more straightforwardly, that a "public authority shall make available . . . to any person, the reason for any decision taken by it in relation to that person" (clause 1(1)) and 6(2)(d)).

  9.  The mere fact that other countries and the European Community have by legislation established direct legal rights to be given reasons does not, without more, compel the conclusion that such a right should be enacted in England and Wales. It does, however, shift the balance of argument and prompt the question: why is such a right not needed in England and Wales? Nowhere in Your Right to Know or in consultation document Cm 4355 does the Government expressly set out its objections to a general statutory duty to give reasons. The main point of introducing Freedom of Information legislation, rather than just modifying the existing Code of Practice on Access to Government Information is a belief that it is no longer constitutionally acceptable for fundamental rights in this area to lie solely in the gift of executive government. If this is accepted in relation to rights of access to "information recorded in any form" (clause 1(1)) it is not immediately obvious why the equally important right to reasoned decisions should demand different treatment—and continue to be regulated by codes of practice.

  10.  A further reason for supporting a general statutory right to reasons is that this would give best effect to the standards set by the Council of Europe Resolution (77)31 On the Protection of the Individual in Relation to Acts of Administration Authorities. This sets out five principles of good administration, including:

    "IV Statement of Reasons. Where an administrative act is of such nature as adversely to affect his rights, liberties, or interests, the person concerned is informed of the reasons on which it is based. This is done either by stating the reasons in the act, or by communicating them, at his request, to the person concerned in writing within a reasonable time."

  A similar provision is also contained in Recommendation No R (80)2 Principles Applicable to the Exercise of Discretionary Powers by Administrative Authority (March 1980). The Council of Europe considers reason-giving to be essential not merely desirable. There is, arguably a contradiction between this and the Government's stated purpose behind the draft Bill's approach of enabling public authorities to take a flexible approach to reason-giving.


  11.  In the ways described below, the current law and practice on reason-giving is fragmented. It is difficult for people to know when they have an entitlement to reasons and how to enforce that right. Public authorities find it difficult to understand what is required of them. The draft Bill will do nothing to simplify the situation; on the contrary, it seems likely to exacerbate the problem. Your Right to Know spoke of the need for co-operation between the new Information Commissioner and the public sector Ombudsmen. Such collaboration is obviously needed, but it does no more than tackle the difficulties created by the draft Bill itself. The complexities go far deeper. The provision for reason giving in the draft Bill needs to be considered in the context of other legally recognised entitlements to reasons. The inclusion of reason-giving duties in publication statements will have legal consequences. It is possible that they will be regarded by the courts as creating legally binding duties (see below para 12[c]). There is also a danger that their existence will discourage Parliament from including statutory duties to give reasons in particular Bills (see below, paras 14-16).

  12.  The law as it is, and as it will be if the draft Bill is enacted, may be summarised in the following way.

    (a)  A person may have a statutory right to reasons under one of a large number of Acts of Parliament and statutory instruments which provide for this (see below, paras 14-16).

    (b)  The common law may require reasons to be given as an aspect of procedural propriety, enforceable by way of an application for judicial review. No general duty to give reasons exists at common law, but the courts tend to hold that fairness demands a reasoned explanation for a determination where (i) an important interest of the person is affected[249] or (ii) some "trigger factor" exists, such as an apparently aberrant decision.[250] The law in this field has developed rapidly over the past decade.

    (c)  Commitments by public authorities to give reasons in the publication schemes proposed by the draft Bill have been described as "unenforceable".[251] This is not quite accurate. The common law principle of legitimate expectation holds that where a public authority indicates either expressly or by their past practice that they will adopt certain practices, fairness demands that those practices are in fact followed-unless there is some compelling justification not to do so. It is therefore possible that a person may be able to seek judicial review of a failure by a public authority to match up to its published scheme.

    (d)  European Community law requires a public authority to give reasons for a determination where community law rights are affected (see above, para 7).

    (e)  Where a reason for a decision has been recorded, and the record has not been destroyed, a person will be able to claim a right of access to it under the proposed Freedom of Information Act. Disputes about a refusal of access will be determined by the new Information Commissioner.

    (f)  Where a reason for a decision has not been recorded, or it was recorded but the record was destroyed, the Freedom of Information Act will provide no direct right to be given reasons. Both the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and the Commission for Local Administration have, however, defined maladministration to include a failure on the part of a public authority within the respective jurisdictions to give reasons for decisions. The CLA has as one of its maxims of good administration that local authorities "give reasons for an adverse decision and record them in writing for the customer concerned".[252]Presumably in situations where reasons have not been recorded, or records not kept, the PCA and CLA will continue to consider complaints about a failure to give reasons as incidents of maladministration.

  13.  Clearly then, obligations to give reasons arise in a myriad of ways. Publication schemes devised by public authorities which may or may not contain provision for reason-giving, will further add to the untidy patchwork of rights, obligations and remedies in this field. To avoid misleading people about their rights to reasoned decision, publication schemes which do deal with reasons will surely have to set out the situations in which they are under legal obligation to give reasons, as well as the circumstances in which they will voluntarily do so. The process of drafting publication schemes in this way may have an educative effect on public authorities. It will not, however, be an easy task.

  14.  If Parliament accepts the arrangements for reason-giving proposed in the draft Bill, and rejects the enactment of a general statutory duty to give reasons, this ought not to imply that more particular statutory duties to give reasons are unimportant or unnecessary. Many dozens of legal duties to give reasons already exist in the statute book.

  15.  Statutory duties to give reasons, or explain, may be categorised in various ways, but it is especially useful to consider what circumstances prompt their inclusion and also the nature of the duty. Beginning with the types of trigger factors which prompt Parliament to legislate on reasons, two things are obvious. One that a great many statutory duties to give reasons already exist and any reform proposals will need to take this into account Secondly, it is possible to make sense of what Parliament does. Just as one can extract principles embedded in a series of judicial judgements; so to with the statute book.

    (i)  Total prohibition on giving any reasons. Here Parliament has decided there needs to be a strong prohibition against reason-giving, notably in relation to decisions involving spying.[253]

    (ii)  Decision maker "shall not be required" to give reasons. Here public authorities "shall not be required" to give reasons, though (by implication) they may do so if they wish. Thus in December 1997, after litigation by the Fayed brothers over their application for citizenship,[254] the Home Secretary announced that henceforth reasons would be given for such decision, notwithstanding section 44 of the British Nationality Act 1981.[255]

    (iii)  Reasons to be given "in such manner as may be specified in regulations". An Act of Parliament may require reason-giving, but leave the detail to be worked in a statutory instruments—as in the utilities statutes.[256] As a model for creating a duty this provides flexibility, though obviously it is important that delegated legislation is subject to adequate Parliamentary scrutiny.

    (iv)  Reasons on request. Some legislation provides that reasons shall be given if the person affected by the decision so requests. This was the model favoured by the JUSTICE-All Souls Committee in 1988.[257] A typical example is section 11 (12) of the Weights and Measures Act 1985.[258]

    (v)  Always give reasons. In numerous instances, legislation requires reasons to be given by a decision-maker whether or not that decision adversely affects the person.[259]

    (vi)  Reason where the liberty of the person is at stake. Naturally Parliament has been attuned to the need for reasons when individual liberty is restricted by the actions of officials.[260]

    (vii)  Reasons for the refusal of an application. Perhaps the largest single category of statutory reason-giving at the moment is prompted by the refusal of some permission or denial of some benefit.[261]

    (viii)  Reasons for refusal of compensation or decision on other monetary payment.[262]

    (ix)   Reasons for the revocation of a licence or terminating a benefit or appointment.[263]

    (x)   Reasons for the imposition of terms on a licence.[264]

    (xi)   Reasons for enforcement action.[265]

    (xii)   Reasons for decision which benefits the citizen. Parliament has recognised that there may be a public interest in reasons being given for a decision which benefits an individual.[266]

  Your Right to Know did not explain what the Government means by "reasons". The common law has developed a definition of what constitutes an adequate reason which varies according to the context. In Australia, where a general duty to give reasons has been enacted, a statutory definition has been made.[267] What has often been overlooked is the fact that the English statutory book currently contains many different types of explanatory duty, as the following taxonomy shows.

    (i)   Reasons either in summary or extended form. Here decision-takers are given flexibility in their reason giving obligation: in some situations summary reasons are sufficient; at other times, reasons "in extended form" are needed.[268]

    (ii)   Reasons in "detail". Parliament may require decision-takers always to explain themselves fully by giving detailed reasons.[269]

    (iii)   Reasons "in ordinary language". It may, however, be more appropriate in other contexts to require decision-takers to explain themselves in straightforward, non-technical ways avoiding legal jargon.[270]

    (iv)   Explanation of the law. An imperative may also be that the citizen be informed about the law—whether that be the nature of his own duties or the legal consequences of the decision taken by a public authority.[271]

    (v)  Explanation of legal basis of decision. Statutory provisions may recognise the importance of public authorities explaining the legal source of their power to citizens.[272]

    (vi)  Consequences of failing to give reasons. Legislative provisions may seek to avoid the difficulties the common law sometimes created for itself by stating explicitly what, if any, repercussions flow from a failure by a public authority to give a reason.[273]

    (vii)  Information about appeals. Legislation may impose obligations on decision-takers to supply information about appeals from their determinations.[274]

  16.  To take the view that a general statutory duty to give reasons is undesirable is not necessarily to deny the importance of particular statutory duties to give reasons and other explanatory duties. One undesirable side effect of the arrangements proposed in the draft Bill may, however, be that Parliament will be discouraged from including such legal duties in the Bills and statutory instruments which it scrutinises. It will be too easy for Ministers to argue that a legislative duty is unnecessary because the matter will be dealt with by a publication scheme. Parliament ought not to be by-passed in this manner. One way for Parliament to respond could be to establish a specialist committee to audit draft legislation for its compliance with principles of procedural fairness. The committee would develop expertise on this area, in much the same way as the House of Lords' Select Committee on the Scrutiny of Delegated Powers and the proposed Joint Committee on Human Rights.


  17.  Provision for reasoned decisions should not be regarded as marginal to the project of making government more transparent. It is as important as provision on access to documentary records. The Government has, as yet, failed to explain why a general and direct statutory duty to give reasons has been rejected. The main problem with the draft Bill's arrangements is that it further fragments an already confused field of law. If a general duty to give reasons is not to be enacted, Parliament ought to be more systematic in scrutinising particular Bills and statutory instruments to ensure that appropriate procedural protections are put in place.

June 1999

247    Case 222/86, UNECTEF v Heylens [1987] European Court Reports 4097. Back

248    Administrative Justice: Some Necessary Reforms (Oxford 1988), Chapter 3 Back

249    eg R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Doody [1994] 1 Appeal Cases 531. Back

250    eg R V Civil Service Appeal Board ex parte Cunningham [1991] 4 All England Reports 310. Back

251    Campaign for Freedom of Information, Submission to Public Administration Committee, June 22, 1999. Back

252    Commission for Local Administration in England, Good Administrative Practice-Guidelines on Good Practice, vol 2 (London, 1995), axiom 16. DUTIES TO GIVE REASONS IN PARTICULAR LEGISLATION Back

253    Intelligence Services Act 1994, Sch 2 ["the Tribunal shall not, except in reports under paragraph 6(1)(b) of Schedule 1 to this Act, give any reasons for a determination notified by them to a complainant."]; Security Service Act 1989, Sch 2; Interception of Communications Act 1985, Sch 1. Back

254    R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Fayed [1998] 1 Weekly Law Reports 763. Back

255    Other examples include: British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1990, s 1 ("Neither the Secretary of State nor the Governor shall be required to give any reason for any decision made by him in the exercise of a discretion vested in him by or under this Act and no such decision shall be subject to appeal or liable to be questioned in any court"); Iraq (United Nations) (Sequestration of Assets) Order 1993 (S1 1993 No 1244), art 17 ("The Treasury shall not be required to give reasons for their conclusions under article 14(1), and the Treasury and Secretary of State shall not be required to give reasons for their or his decisions under article 15(1) or 16(1) to the extent that to do so would in their or his opinion be likely to cause damage to national security"). Back

256    Telecommunications Act 1984, s 27G (5) ("Any person determining any billing dispute in accordance with regulations under this section shall, in such manner as may be specified in regulations, give his reasons for reaching his decision with respect to the dispute"); Gas Act 1986 s 15A; Electricity Act 1989, s 44A; Water Industries Act 1991, s 150A. Back

257    See above, footnote 2. Back

258    "If an inspector refuses to pass as fit for use for trade any equipment submitted to him under this section and is requested by the person by whom the equipment was submitted to give reasons for the refusal, the inspector shall give to that person a statement of those reasons in writing". For other illustrations see eg: Costs in Criminal Cases (General) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986 No 1335), art 9(6) ("The applicant may request the appropriate authority to give reasons in writing for its decision on a determination and, if so requested, the appropriate authority shall comply with the request"); Employment Appeal Tribunal Rules 1993 (SI 1993 No 2854), art 31 ("The Appeal Tribunal shall, on the application of any party made within 14 days after the making of an order finally disposing of any proceedings, give its reasons in writing for the order unless it was made after the delivery of a reasoned judgement"); Patents Rules 1995 (SI 1995 No 2093), art 88 (Controller "if any party so desires, shall give his reasons for the decision"). Back

259    eg Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, s 23(4) ("Where the Ombudsman includes any recommendations in a report... the report shall give his reasons for making the recommendation"); European Specialist Medical Qualifications Order 1995 (SI 1995 No 3208), art 13 (STA shall secure that an appeal panel gives reasons for its determination); Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1994 (SI 1994 No 3159), art 8(4) ("The Director shall give reasons to apply or not to apply, as the case may be, for an injunction in relation to any complaint which these Regulations require him to consider"); Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988 (SI 1988 No 915), arts 5, 8, 10; Building Societies Appeal Tribunal regulations 1987 (SI 1987 No 891), art 14 (tribunals shall give its reasons for its determination); Friendly Societies Appeal Tribunal Regulations 1993 (SI 1993 No 2002), art 14; Local Government Reorganisation (Superannuation and Compensation) Regulations 1990 (SI 1990 No 521), art 3; Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 1993 (SI 1993 No 2687), Schedule 2. Back

260    eg Mental Health Review Tribunals Rules 1983 (SI 1983 No 942), r 23 ("The decision by which the tribunal determines the application shall be recorded in writing; the record shall be signed by the president and shall give the reasons for the decisions and, in particular, where the tribunal shall give the reasons for the decision and in, particular, where the tribunal relies upon any of the matters set out in section 72 or 73 of the Act, shall state the reasons..."); Bail Act 1976, s 5A ("[3]...the custody officer shall, with a view to enabling that person to consider requesting him or another custody officer, or making an application to a magistrates' court, to vary the conditions, give reasons for imposing or varying the conditions. [4] A custody officer who is by virtue of subsection [3] above required to give reasons for his decision shall include a note of those reasons in the custody record and shall give a copy of that notice to the person in relation to whom the decision was taken"). Back

261    eg Public Entertainments Licences (Drug Misuse) Act 1997, ss1, 2 (local authority's refusal of application for the renewal or transfer of a licence); Education Act 1996, s 185 (duty of governing body to consider ballot on grant-maintained status; if they decide not to hold a ballot, a notice must be issued containing "an explanation of the reasons for that decision"); Chiropractors Act 1994, s 15 (9); Osteopaths Act 1993, s 15(9) ("Where the General Council refuses such an application is shall, when notifying the institution concerned, give reasons for its refusal"); Trade Union and Labour Relations (consolidation) Act 1992, s 6(6) (Application for certificate of independence-"If he decides that the trade union is independent she shall issue a certificate accordingly; if he decides that it is not, she shall give reasons for his decision"); Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990, s 11 (reasons for determining claim about deemed hazardous waste consent); Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Shed 1; Local Government Superannuation (Local Government Reorganisation) regulations 1985 (SI 1985 No 1515), art 6; Education (National Curriculum) (Temporary Exceptions for Individual Pupils) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989 No 1181), art 13 (head teacher to give reasons for refusing to give, vary or revoke a direction); Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc) Regulations 1994 (SI 1994 No 2716), art 24 (nature conservation body refusing consent must give reasons); Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986, s 3; Telecommunications (Open Network Provision) (Voice Telephony) regulations 1998 (SI 1998 No 1580), art 26 (where a request for access to special network is refused the statutory licensee must "provide to the organisation making the request a promote and fully reasoned explanation for the refusal"); Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 1996 (SI 1996 No 2925), art 11 ("If the competent authority decides to refuse to grant its approval to the applicant's request it shall, in its notification of this refusal, include a statement of reasons for refusal and a clear explanation of appeals procedures and their time limits"). Back

262    eg Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973, s 35 (court shall give reasons, on passing sentence, if it does not make compensation order when it is empowered to do so); Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, s 6(6) (Application for certificate of independence-"If he decides that the trade union is independent she shall issue a certificate accordingly; if he decides that it is not, she shall give reasons for his decision"); Data Protection Act 1984, s 7 (Data Protection Registrar shall give reasons and inform applicant of rights of appeal); Redundant Association Officers Compensation Regulations 1967 (SI 1967 No 80), art 34 (resettlement compensation); Local Government Reorganisation (Compensation) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986 No 151) art, 13; Education (Reorganisation in Inner London) (Compensation) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989 No 1139), art 12; Child Support (Arrears, Interest and Adjustment of Maintenance Assessment) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992 No 1816), art 13 (reasons for refusal to adjust amount payable under a maintenance assessment following a review); NCIS Service Authority (Levying) Order 1997 (SI 1997 No 2284), art 8. Back

263    eg Transport and Works Act 1992, s 23 ("If the Secretary of State exercises the power conferred on him by subsection (6) (a) above...he shall give reasons to the appointed person for revoking his appointment"); Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation Act 1992, s 7 (reasons to be given for withdrawing certificate that trade union is independent ); Telecommunications Act 1984, s 7 (power to licence systems); Family Proceedings Courts (Children Act 1989) Rules 1991 (SI 1991 No 1395), s 12 (magistrates court terminating an appointment of solicitor for child). Back

264    eg Public Entertainments Licences (Drug Misuse) Act 1997, s 1; Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Schedule 1; Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste Regulation 1993 (SI 1993 No 3031), art 11 (chief inspector shall give reasons for attaching conditions to an approval). Back

265    eg Chemical Weapons Act 1996, S4 (Secretary of State to give reasons for his suspicion that an object is a chemical weapon); Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 Schedule 1 (notice must "state the nature of the remedial action which in the officer's opinion should be taken and explains why and within what period"); Housing Act 1985 s 377A (works notice must "state the works which in the authority's opinion should be undertaken and explains why and within what period"); Importation of Bees Order 1997 (SI 1997 No 310), art 7 (reason for considering suspending or revoking a licence); Medicines (Monitoring of Advertising) Regulations 1994 (SI 1994 No 1933), s 11 (control by a complaints authority of certain broadcast advertisements); Boiler (Efficiency) Regulations 1993 (SI 1993 No 3083), art 9 (failure to comply with regulations; powers of notified bodies). Back

266    eg Town and Country Planning Act 1990 ss 191, 192 (in granting certificate of lawfulness of existing or proposed use or development, authority shall "give reasons for determining the use or operation to be lawful"); Criminal Justice Act 1988, s 153 (court to give reasons for granting bail to a person accused of serious offence); Prosecution of Offences Act 1985, s 23(5)(DPP, in issuing notice to discontinue proceedings in magistrates court, shall "give reasons for not wanting the proceedings to continue"). Back

267    See above paragraph 6. Back

268    eg Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 1993 (SI 1993 No 2687), Sched 1, para 10(4) ("The tribunal shall give reasons for its decision in a document signed by the chairman. That document shall contain a statement as to whether the reasons are given in summary or extended form..."). Back

269    eg Medicines (Monitoring of Advertising) Regulations 1994 (SI 1994 No 1933), art 11(4) ("A complaints authority shall give reasons in detail for its decision under paragraph 1 [....], and shall communicate those reasons in writing to the person against whom action has been taken under that paragraph, referring to any remedy available in the court and any time limit which must be met"); Redundant Association Officers Compensation Regulations 1967 (SI 1967 No 80), art 34 ("The decision of the Secretary of State on a claim shall be notified to a claimant in writing, shall give reasons for the decision, shall show how compensation which the Secretary of State has determined to be payable has been calculated, and shall specify any factors to which, in accordance with these regulations, regard has been had and by reason of which less than the maximum compensation provided for..."). Back

270    eg Housing Act 1996, s 214 ("The authority shall explain to every applicant, in ordinary language, the duty imposed on him" to notify authority of any change of material facts and that he commits an offence if he fails to notify); Criminal Justice Act 1991, Sch 3, Part II ("Before making or amending a probation offer...the court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language-(a) the requirements of the 1973 Act relating to probation orders; (b) the powers of the home court under that Act...; and (c) its own powers under this paragraph"); Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act 1991, Sch 2; Football Spectators Act 1989, s 7 (court shall explain to convicted person "in ordinary language the effect of the conviction on his membership of the national football membership scheme" s 15, (explain in ordinary language the effect of a restriction order). Back

271    eg Housing Act 1996, s 214; Criminal Justice Act 1991, Sch 3, Part II; Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act 1991, Sch 2; Football Spectators Act 1989, ss 7, 15; Criminal Justice Act 1982, Sch 13, Part III (courts "shall explain to the offender in ordinary language-(a) the requirements of the legislation relating to community service orders" and the power of the court); Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973, s22 (explain in ordinary language liability under s 23 if during operational period of suspended sentence of imprisonment person commits an offence punishable with imprisonment); Environment Act 1995, Schs 13, 14 (explain that owner has right to apply for postponement and explain the consequences which will occur if no application is made); Secure Training Centre Rules 1998 (SI 1998 No 472), art 7 (The governor, or an officer deputed by him, shall so explain the information [on privileges, incentives, sanction, family contact etc] so provided that he can understand his rights and obligations), art 30 (Aftercare: "Every trainee shall be given a careful explanation of his liability to supervision after release and the requirements to which he will be subject while under supervision"); Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 1840), art 13, Sch 5 Part II. Back

272    eg Education Act 1996, s 52 (proposal for changing a controlled school to an aided school "shall be accompanied by a statement which explains the effect of section 53"); Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, s 4 (temporary listing in urgent cases-"A notice which is so affixed must explain that by virtue of being so affixed it is treated as have been served for those purposes"); Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 1612), art 103 (notice of decision by the Secretary of State under regulation 102 must include "[c] reference to any legislation or provisions of the Scheme relied upon"). Back

273    eg Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 1840) ("No failure on the part of a fire authority to-(b) give reasons...shall make an application [for an enforcement order] under this regulation void"). On the common law, see de Smith, Woolf and Jowell, n 22 above, para 9-055. Back

274    eg Local Government Superannuation (Local Government Reorganisation) Regulations 1985 (SI 1985 No 1515), art 6(2) ("The body are to notify the person in writing of their decision, and in their notification they must-(a) give reasons for their decision, and (b) inform the person of his right to institute proceedings under paragraph [3] and of the address to which any application instituting such proceedings should be sent"); Children Act 1989, Sch 6 (notice must be accompanied by an explanation of the right to appeal conferred by paragraph 8); Motor Vehicles (EC Types Approval) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992 No 3107), art 12 (1) ("A relevant notice shall specify the reasons for the decision to which it relates, the right to request a review under these Regulations and the time limit for making such a request") Back

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