High Court considers extraterritorial application of compulsory powers

In the case of R (On The Application Of KBR Inc) v The Director of the Serious Fraud Office [2018] EWHC 2368 (Admin) (“KBR“), the High Court dismissed a judicial review brought by the applicant, finding that the SFO was able to compel the production of documents located outside the jurisdiction held by a foreign company. This is the first time that an English court has reasoned that compulsory disclosure powers exercisable by a UK criminal enforcement agency have extraterritorial application. Continue reading

Public law remedies for breach of statutory duty by the FSA

The High Court has held in R (C) v Financial Services Authority [2012] EWHC 1417, that decision notices issued by the FSA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee can be quashed on judicial review where the reasons given by the RDC are inadequate. That is the case notwithstanding that the recipient of the decision notice could refer its case to the Upper Tribunal for a rehearing.

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The provision of reasons by public bodies

The approach taken by the Courts in three recent judicial review cases (set in a planning law context) provides a useful overview of relevant factors considered by the Courts when evaluating the adequacy of reasons given by public bodies.  The following key points are covered:

  • Subject to any relevant statutory duty, there is no general common law duty on public bodies to give reasons for their decisions.
  • The Courts have indicated that reasons should be given where either (1) a decision without reasons is insufficient to achieve justice or (2) the decision appears aberrant. 
  • Recent caselaw highlights that:
    • it is imperative not only for the reasons given to be clear, but also for any relevant documentation in which they are set out to be adequately cross-referred to in the decision document; and
    • the degree of particularity required for the provision of adequate reasons depends on the extent to which affected individuals are aware of the pertinent issues behind a particular decision, and any relevant statutory context in which a duty to give reasons is imposed.

To access our briefing on these cases, click here.