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Book Review: De Smith’s Judicial Review: Sixth Edition , edited by Harry Woolf, Jeffrey Jowell, and Andrew Le Sueur. (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2007)

Book Review: De Smith’s Judicial Review: Sixth Edition , edited by Harry Woolf, Jeffrey Jowell,... Harry Woolf, Jeffrey Jowell, and Andrew Le Sueur (eds), De Smith's Judicial Review: Sixth Edition (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2007) ccxxxvi + 1098 pp., ISBN 978-0-42169030-1, hb GBP 257. Professor de Smith's Judicial Review of Administrative Action (and its successor editions) needs little by way of introduction in the British and Commonwealth legal worlds. It is the leading work on judicial review in England and Wales. Beginning life as a PhD thesis, the work went through three editions under the hand of Professor de Smith. By the time of the author's death in 1974, the work had exerted, probably more than any other in English law, a seminal influence on the development of English judge made law; in this case, the law of judicial review. Its influence was felt throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Professor de Smith had the eye and the insight to see, and by his mastery impose, order and coherence in the seamless and confusing denouement of the common law principles of judicial review. He brought life and comprehension to the big picture where there had been confusion, minor cameos, and a comatose judiciary. Among English legal texts, it justly stands as a colossus. The present sixth edition of the work has now been re-titled De Smith's Judicial Review under the editorial team of Lord Woolf, former Master of the Rolls and Lord Chief Justice, Professor Jeffrey Jowell QC, and Professor Andrew Le Sueur. This is a redoubtable combination of academic and practitioner experience and wisdom. Of Administrative Action has been dropped from the title because judicial review is increasingly involved with decisions of a high policy content and with forms of review of legislation itself under EU and European Convention on Human Rights jurisprudence. As one would expect, the editors have produced a work of immense authority and comprehension. The focus is on judicial review so that public liability and contract are not given separate chapters which repeats the approach of the earlier edition. In a major change from the fifth edition, the first chapter does not provide an introduction to the administrative process in England and Wales. Nor does it provide an analysis of access to information and public interest immunity.1 These latter topics are dealt with elsewhere throughout the book. The reviewer personally would have said more about the Freedom of Information Act than do the editors ­ the brevity of this important measure makes it a little misleading, and what they describe as the first exemption is in fact an exclusion from the access provisions. It also seems strange to the reviewer not to find `Public Interest Immunity' in the index or a reference to Conway v. Rimmer in the case index. That was one of the great corpus of cases witnessing a growing awareness of the need for judicial protection of individuals against arbitrary action. The first chapter does concentrate on the constitutional fundamentals of judicial review and alternative 1 I declare an interest: I was responsible for the sections on access to information and Public Interest Immunity in the fifth edition as well as the ombudsmen. `Book Reviews'. European Public Law 15, no. 2 (2009): 279-285. © 2009 Kluwer Law International BV, The Netherlands EUROPEAN PUBLIC LAW dispute resolution including the ombudsman and internal redress mechanisms. The chapter introduces the theme of `Proportionate Dispute Resolution'. Since the fifth edition and its supplement, we have seen the impact of the Woolf reforms in judicial review ­ the new names of the prerogative orders, the Administrative Court of the Queen's Bench Division, a new procedure for judicial review, and most dramatically, the Human Rights Act. All of these developments are expertly dealt with ­ I learn something new, valuable, and intriguing every time I read sections of the work. In a further change from the fifth edition, chapters on discrete areas of judicial review are no longer present but their updated treatment is integrated throughout the text. This makes the work more cohesive and makes good sense. The European influence on the English approach to judicial review is addressed in detail, both in terms of the EU and the European Convention on Human Rights. Comparative material is included wherever relevant and instructive. For the practitioner or educator in English judicial review, this book is of priceless value and inestimable importance. For those readers whose experience is not in English law, De Smith's Judicial Review will provide a readable, fascinating, and detailed account of an area of the common law that was comatose fifty years ago ­ the date of the first edition. Patrick Birkinshaw Law School The University of Hull http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Public Law Kluwer Law International

Book Review: De Smith’s Judicial Review: Sixth Edition , edited by Harry Woolf, Jeffrey Jowell, and Andrew Le Sueur. (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2007)

European Public Law , Volume 15 (2) – Apr 1, 2009

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Abstract

Harry Woolf, Jeffrey Jowell, and Andrew Le Sueur (eds), De Smith's Judicial Review: Sixth Edition (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2007) ccxxxvi + 1098 pp., ISBN 978-0-42169030-1, hb GBP 257. Professor de Smith's Judicial Review of Administrative Action (and its successor editions) needs little by way of introduction in the British and Commonwealth legal worlds. It is the leading work on judicial review in England and Wales. Beginning life as a PhD thesis, the work went through three editions under the hand of Professor de Smith. By the time of the author's death in 1974, the work had exerted, probably more than any other in English law, a seminal influence on the development of English judge made law; in this case, the law of judicial review. Its influence was felt throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Professor de Smith had the eye and the insight to see, and by his mastery impose, order and coherence in the seamless and confusing denouement of the common law principles of judicial review. He brought life and comprehension to the big picture where there had been confusion, minor cameos, and a comatose judiciary. Among English legal texts, it justly stands as a colossus. The present sixth edition of the work has now been re-titled De Smith's Judicial Review under the editorial team of Lord Woolf, former Master of the Rolls and Lord Chief Justice, Professor Jeffrey Jowell QC, and Professor Andrew Le Sueur. This is a redoubtable combination of academic and practitioner experience and wisdom. Of Administrative Action has been dropped from the title because judicial review is increasingly involved with decisions of a high policy content and with forms of review of legislation itself under EU and European Convention on Human Rights jurisprudence. As one would expect, the editors have produced a work of immense authority and comprehension. The focus is on judicial review so that public liability and contract are not given separate chapters which repeats the approach of the earlier edition. In a major change from the fifth edition, the first chapter does not provide an introduction to the administrative process in England and Wales. Nor does it provide an analysis of access to information and public interest immunity.1 These latter topics are dealt with elsewhere throughout the book. The reviewer personally would have said more about the Freedom of Information Act than do the editors ­ the brevity of this important measure makes it a little misleading, and what they describe as the first exemption is in fact an exclusion from the access provisions. It also seems strange to the reviewer not to find `Public Interest Immunity' in the index or a reference to Conway v. Rimmer in the case index. That was one of the great corpus of cases witnessing a growing awareness of the need for judicial protection of individuals against arbitrary action. The first chapter does concentrate on the constitutional fundamentals of judicial review and alternative 1 I declare an interest: I was responsible for the sections on access to information and Public Interest Immunity in the fifth edition as well as the ombudsmen. `Book Reviews'. European Public Law 15, no. 2 (2009): 279-285. © 2009 Kluwer Law International BV, The Netherlands EUROPEAN PUBLIC LAW dispute resolution including the ombudsman and internal redress mechanisms. The chapter introduces the theme of `Proportionate Dispute Resolution'. Since the fifth edition and its supplement, we have seen the impact of the Woolf reforms in judicial review ­ the new names of the prerogative orders, the Administrative Court of the Queen's Bench Division, a new procedure for judicial review, and most dramatically, the Human Rights Act. All of these developments are expertly dealt with ­ I learn something new, valuable, and intriguing every time I read sections of the work. In a further change from the fifth edition, chapters on discrete areas of judicial review are no longer present but their updated treatment is integrated throughout the text. This makes the work more cohesive and makes good sense. The European influence on the English approach to judicial review is addressed in detail, both in terms of the EU and the European Convention on Human Rights. Comparative material is included wherever relevant and instructive. For the practitioner or educator in English judicial review, this book is of priceless value and inestimable importance. For those readers whose experience is not in English law, De Smith's Judicial Review will provide a readable, fascinating, and detailed account of an area of the common law that was comatose fifty years ago ­ the date of the first edition. Patrick Birkinshaw Law School The University of Hull

Journal

European Public LawKluwer Law International

Published: Apr 1, 2009

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