Irrationality

July 26th, 2021

To be unreasonable in the public law sense a decision must be irrational or outside the range of reasonable responses open to the decision-maker. The intensity of review may differ, but irrationality always presents a high hurdle. A rare example in which irrationality is found in a number of respects is provided by R (GB of Yew Tree Primary School) v SoS for Education (2021) EWHC 2084 (Admin). The Judge was especially critical of the SOS’s treatment of the approach and evidence of the local authority. A suggestion of bad faith or bias on the part of the authority unsupported by evidence was irrational. The case is the first successful challenge to a refusal to revoke an Academy Order.

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