Soft Law and Public Authorities

Remedies and Reform

By Greg Weeks

This book considers the phenomenon of soft law employed by domestic public authorities. Lawyers have long understood that public authorities are able to issue certain communications in a way that causes them to be treated like law, even though these are neither legislation nor subordinate legislation. Importantly for soft law as a regulatory tool, people tend to treat soft law as binding even though public authorities know that it is not. It follows that soft law's binding effects do not apply equally between the public authority and those to whom it is directed. Consequently, soft law is both highly effective as a means of regulation and inherently risky for those who are regulated by it. Rather than considering soft law as a form of regulation, the book examines the possible remedies when a public authority breaches its own soft law upon which people have relied, thereby suffering loss. It considers judicial review remedies, modes of compensation which are not based upon a finding of invalidity, namely tort and equity, and 'soft' challenges outside the scope of the courts, such as through the Ombudsman or by seeking an ex gratia payment. The book also includes a significant comparative dimension, particularly concerning Australian and UK law. (Series: Hart Studies in Comparative Public Law, Vol. 11) [Subject: Public Law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Comparative Law]


Publication Date: 4/14/2016
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781782256885