The Test of Irrationality

October 13th, 2021 by James Goudie KC

In Pantellerisco v SoS for Work & Pensions (2021) EWCA Civ 1454 Underhill LJ for the Court of Appeal says, at para 56, that the “degree of intensity” with which the Court will review the reasonableness of a public law act or decision “ varies “according to the “nature” of the decision in question, and, at para 57, that in the context of governmental decisions in the field of “social and economic policy” the administrative law test of unreasonableness is generally applied with “considerable care and caution.” The approach of the Courts is in general to accord a “high level of respect” to the judgment of public authorities in that field. This respects the “separation of powers” between the judiciary and the elected branches of government.

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