The following Public Law practice note Produced in partnership with Carl Gardner provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Any consultation exercise carried out by a public authority in relation to a proposed decision must be conducted at a time when proposals are at a sufficiently formative stage, with adequate information, and time to allow a proper and informed response, leading to an open-minded consideration of responses.
The legal requirements of consultation, first laid down in R v Brent London Borough Council ex parte Gunning, were approved by the Supreme Court in the context of a statutory requirement on a local authority to consult in Moseley.
There is no general duty for public authorities to consult those affected by their decisions; but a duty to consult may be imposed by statute, or may arise in public law either because of the duty to act fairly, or as a result of a legitimate expectation.
As Lord Wilson put it in Moseley:
‘A public authority's duty to consult those interested before taking a decision can arise in a variety of ways. Most commonly, as here, the duty is generated by statute. Not infrequently, however, it is generated by the duty cast by the common law upon a public authority to act fairly. The search for the demands of fairness in this context is often illumined by the doctrine of legitimate expectation; such was the source, for example, of its duty to
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