Why is public law important

Public law remedies are the means by which public authorities can be held to account. In the absence of effective and accessible mechanisms of accountability, the exercise of power by central and local government, and the many other public bodies, may go unchecked.

 The decisions of public authorities have a particularly significant impact on the lives of those facing poverty, discrimination or disadvantage. Such decisions may determine whether health care is to be provided, whether a social security benefit is to be awarded, or whether a place in a care home is to be allocated to an elderly person awaiting discharge in hospital. Yet, despite being the very people who have the most to lose from an unlawful or unfair decision, those facing disadvantage are the ones also facing the greatest obstacles to accessing the public law remedy. The Public Law Project aims to tackle those obstacles and improve access to justice.

 

There is no principle more basic to our system of law than the maintenance of rule of law itself and the constitutional protection afforded by judicial review.

 

Lord Dyson, now Master of the Rolls, in R (Cart) v Upper Tribunal [2011] UKSC 2 Contact Us