In Nzolameso v City of Westminster, the Supreme Court addressed itself to two related and important questions in public law. Where a public authority gives reasons for a decision, what standard of reasoning is expected of it? And where its reasons are silent about a matter to which it needed to have regard, how are the courts to interpret that silence?
The case is part of a wider trend in public law to raise the bar on the standard required of decision-making, and is therefore of considerable significance beyond its immediate context.
Continue reading Nzolameso v Westminster – The Duty to Give (Good) Reasons
Sometime between 1am and 7am on 11 May 2009, Renford Braganza, the chief engineer aboard the MV ‘British Unity’, stepped out of his cabin. The ship, an oil tanker, was in the middle of the North Atlantic. He was never seen again.
How Mr Braganza’s employers, BP, responded to the unsolved mystery of his disappearance was the subject of the Supreme Court judgment in Braganza v BP Shipping Limited  UKSC 17. The Supreme Court held that fundamental principles of public law governing the exercise of discretion by public authorities can be equally applicable in private law to the exercise of discretion by one of the parties to a contract.
Continue reading Braganza – Using public law principles in contractual disputes