R v MAFF, ex parte Hamble Fisheries [1995]

HF
spent money on trawlers to take advantage of MAFF policy.
Licensing
system then changed.
HF
claimed there was breach of its legitimate expectations.
Sedley
J held there was some precedent in favour of a doctrine of substantive
legitimate expectations.
Also
justified on principle of fairness in public administration.
Question
of whether expectation is legitimate is balancing act to be struck initially by
relevant policy-maker.
But
if outcome challenged by JR, court’s criterion was not bare rationality of
decision-maker’s conclusion.
Court,
whilst recognising constitutional importance of ministerial freedom to
reformulate policy, must deciding whether individual’s expectation of different
treatment has legitimacy which in fairness overrides policy choice.
Found
against applicants.
Means
adopted here were proportionate to end in view.