The Judge Over Your Shoulder: Understanding legal issues in decision making

In Legal and Judicial Reform by Amanda Anderson

Duration: 1 week
Dates: 29 June to 3 July 2020
Tuition fees: £2,290 (exc. VAT)

About the workshop
Law lies at the heart of public administration and policy making. Public services and administrative procedures are founded on legal rules and most policy decisions take effect through legislation. The principle that public decision-makers and office holders at even the most senior levels can be held to account in the courts for illegal, unjust or unconstitutional behaviour is the essence of the rule of law. Yet non-lawyer officials tend sometimes to treat legal issues as a nuisance that gets in the way of their work or to regard such issues as the exclusive province of their legally qualified colleagues. Neglecting or failing to understand the legal implications of decisions can have serious consequences when a ministry or a local authority ends up by losing a high-profile case in the courts.

What the workshop will cover
This workshop will examine the impact of law and judicial decisions upon policy making and public administration and will explore ways in which the understanding and handling of legal issues in public bodies might be improved. During the workshop you will be able to explore current and continuing
developments in administrative and constitutional law in the UK and in your own jurisdictions; the working relationships between lawyers and non-lawyers in public bodies; and the respective roles of adjudicative bodies such as administrative courts, tribunals and ombudsmen.

How participants will benefit
The workshop will give you the opportunity to:
• Examine the ways in which law has an impact upon decision making
• Highlight the importance of the rule of law as the basis for the legal accountability of public office holders
• Explore the respective roles of lawyers and non- lawyers in public administration
• Familiarise you with recent and continuing developments in administrative and constitutional law in the UK which have relevance to your own jurisdiction
• Consider the respective roles of administrative courts and other adjudicative bodies and the relationships between them
• Visit practitioners in key organisations such as the Supreme Court, the Administrative Court, the Treasury Solicitor’s Department and a specialised tribunal
• Help you to identify practical ways in which the identification and handling of legal issues in your own organisation might be improved.