Top Left Background Top Right Background
Bottom Right Background

Council of Cvil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service (The GCHQ Case) [1985]


  • Also known as the GCHQ case
  • Under prerogative powers, Margaret Thatcher’s government prevented GCHQ civil servants being members of unions
  • The unions sought judicial review of this decision


  • Could prerogative powers be subject to judicial review
  • Is there a public law right to legitimate expectation


  • Yes, but claim failed


  • Although prerogative powers can be subject to judicial review, there are certain exceptions, one being where the power is used in the interest of protecting national security, as it was in this case
  • There is a public law right to (procedural) legitimate expectation; a past practice can give right to such a right, though not when national security is the primary consideration
  • Wednesbury unreasonableness redefined as irrationality – a decision which is so outrageous that it defies logic or accepted moral standards can be quashed
Goto Top
Close Notification

Recent News

Other News