This original and stimulating book is the first systematic study of the principle of 'legitimate expectations' in administrative law to appear in the English language. The notion of reasonable or legitimate expectations has played a central role in the development of administrative law over the last thirty years and it remains one of the most contentious and most frequently invoked grounds of judicial review. In this book Dr Schonberg provides a detailed, comparative, and critical analysis of that notion He begins by clarifying why administrative law should protect expectations at all, by linking expectations to fairness, trust in administration, and the Rule of Law with its requirements of legal certainty and formal equality. In the light of this framework he examines in detail the principles and rules which contribute to the protection of expectations. The scope of this analysis is broad, looking both at procedural and substantive principles of administrative law as well as principles of tort liability and stautory compensation.
In all of these areas, English law is carefully compared with French and EC law and is shown how the three legal systems often reach similar outcomes by the application of different legal principles and rules. The current state of English law is examined critically in the light of the comparative study of French and EC law, and a number of original suggestions for legal reform are presented. They include the adoption of: a general principle of irrevocability of intra vires administrative decisions, a distinct principle of substantive legitimate expectations subject to a 'significant imbalance' threshold for judicial intervention, and a statutory right to compensation for loss caused by 'sufficiently serious' violations of public law.
Soren Schonberg is a referendaire in the Chambers of Advocate-General Francis Jacobs at the European Court of Justice