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Course Details

(Webinar via Zoom) Avoiding Judicial Review: Policies, Relevant Considerations and Reasonableness
Dr. Stephen Thomson, Associate Professor, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong
Date: 26 January 2021 (Tuesday)
Time: 2:30pm - 5:45pm
Level: I (Intermediate)
For delegates who have prior knowledge of the subject area
Language: English
Fee: HK$ 1,700
Accreditation: 3 CPD pts (Accredited by The Law Society of Hong Kong)
Ref: L21CP01
Venue: Webinar Course
Presenter's Biography:

Dr. Stephen Thomson is an Associate Professor in the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong. He is a Legal Adviser to the Ombudsman of Hong Kong, a member of the Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of Hong Kong, and an examiner on the Overseas Lawyers Qualification Examination. He was recently a Herbert Smith Freehills Visitor at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge.

Dr. Thomson is author of 'Administrative Law in Hong Kong' (Cambridge University Press, 2018), the leading text on the subject, carrying a foreword by Hon. Andrew Li, first Chief Justice of the Hong Kong SAR. Dr. Thomson is also the author of the first and only text to systematically examine the nobile officium, the "extraordinary equitable jurisdiction" of the Supreme Courts of Scotland. His book carries a foreword by Rt. Hon. The Lord Hope of Craighead, first Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court, and has been positively cited by the Inner House of the Court of Session (the supreme civil court in Scotland) in Cumbria County Council, Petitioners [2016] CSIH 92, and by the Scottish Land Court in Grains v Gifford's Executors, 2016 GWD 31-552. He has published in a number of leading journals including Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Public Law, Melbourne University Law Review, Civil Justice Quarterly, Texas International Law Journal and the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law..

Dr. Thomson was awarded his Ph.D. by the University of Edinburgh for his thesis 'The Constitutional Basis of Judicial Review in Scotland', under the supervision of Prof. Chris Himsworth and Prof. Neil Walker. He also holds the degrees of LL.B. (Hons.) (First Class), LL.M. (Res.) (by Thesis) and Dip.L.P. from the University of Edinburgh, and studied at the University of Leuven (Belgium) under an Erasmus Exchange Scholarship. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Thomson worked at a UK law firm and has acted in a consultancy and advisory capacity to public bodies and law firms in both Hong Kong and the UK.

This seminar aims to explain the role of policies, relevant considerations and reasonableness in public decision-making. It will show ways in which public bodies can improve their chances of avoiding judicial review by properly formulating and applying policies, taking all relevant considerations into account, excluding irrelevant considerations from the decision-making process, and improving the reasonableness and rationality of decisions made.

The course is not only of interest to those working in public bodies, but also to those representing clients who might seek judicial review of public bodies. As a result of this course, they should have a better understanding of what to look for in decisions and decision-making processes undertaken by public bodies in the fields of policy, relevant considerations, and reasonableness / rationality.

The seminar leader will use a selection of up-to-date cases to guide delegates through a practical and accessible approach to the subject, and will be delighted to take your questions on the day.

  • The role of policies in decision-making
  • How should policies be, and not be, formulated?
  • How should policies be, and not be, applied?
  • What are relevant considerations and how should they be incorporated into the decision-making process?
  • What are irrelevant considerations and how should they be excluded from the decision-making process?
  • What are unreasonableness and irrationality review?
  • How can decision-makers reduce the probability of being reviewed for unreasonableness and irrationality?

Category: Civil Litigation & Procedure
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