In the context of judicial ­review, this means the unreasonable use of civil procedure for the purpose of gaining unfair advantage over an opponent in a legal dispute. 

‘Ad hoc’ means ‘for this purpose’. An ad hoc committee is set up by Parliament for a specific reason and ceases to exist when its task is finished. 

Any policy decision reached by the Cabinet has to be supported thereafter by all members of the Cabinet whether they approve of it or not, unless they feel compelled to resign. 

The common law is made up of judge-made rules applied in decided cases which apply throughout England and Wales. 

Informal political rules adopted by those who participate in the process of government, which are considered binding to a varying extent but which are not enforceable in the courts. 

These impose conditions on where a person can go and what they can do. 

In the Human Rights Act 1998, ‘Convention right’ means:

1. The rights contained in Arts 2–12 and 14 ECHR;

2. Arts 1–3 First Protocol; and

3. Arts 1 and 2 Sixth Protocol.

Regulations and other laws made by government ministers empowered to do so by statute. The empowering statute may require such regulations to be scrutinized and approved by Parliament before they come into effect. 

A Directive is a legislative act of the European Union which requires member states to achieve a particular result without dictating the means of achieving that result. It can be distinguished from European Union regulations which are self-executing and do not require any implementing measures. Directives can be adopted by means of a variety of ­legislative procedures depending on the subject matter. 

Senior ministers who lead most, but not all central government departments. They are members of the Privy Council and the Cabinet. 

In Lord Diplock’s words, this ground means that the decision-maker must understand correctly the law that regulates his decision-making power and must give effect to it.

This is a discretionary court order which can be used to stop something being done or require something to be discontinued. It can also be used to order something to be done. 

According to the Pre-Action Protocol on Judicial Review, judicial review allows people with a sufficient interest in a decision or action of a public body to ask a judge to review the lawfulness of:

• an enactment; or

• a decision, action, or failure to act in relation to the exercise of a public function.

At common law, jurisdictional error developed as a ground of review which was available where a tribunal or inferior court (as opposed to an administrator such as a minister or public servant) purported to exercise jurisdiction in excess of that which had been conferred upon it, or failed to exercise jurisdiction which it properly had. 

This means that a matter is capable of being decided by a court. 

A Minister of the Crown is the formal constitutional term used to describe a member of His/Her Majesty’s Government. Secretaries of State are Ministers of the Crown. The term indicates that the person appointed serves in theory at His/Her Majesty’s Pleasure, and advises the monarch. In practice, all Ministers of the Crown are members of and are accountable to Parliament. 

Under the traditional doctrine, non-jurisdictional (ie non-judicially reviewable unless on the face of the record) errors, are errors of law made by a tribunal or inferior court in the course of exercising jurisdiction which it properly has. 

Any provision of an Act of Parliament which purports to limit or exclude the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court. 

To ensure the effective and uniform application of EU legislation and to prevent divergent interpretations, national courts may, and sometimes must, turn to the Court of Justice and ask that it clarify a point concerning the interpretation of Community law, in order, for example, to ascertain whether their national legislation complies with that law. 

Private members’ bills are Public Bills introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers. As with other Public Bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population. 

A decision of a public body suffers from procedural impropriety if, in the process of its making a decision, the procedures prescribed by statute have not been followed or if the ‘rules of natural justice’ have not been adhered to. 

Proportionality is a requirement that a decision is proportionate to the aim that it seeks to achieve. 

The Committee of Public Accounts is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the Committee may think fit. 

According to s 6(3) Human Rights Act 1998 ‘public authority’ includes:

1 a court or tribunal, and

2 any person certain of whose functions are functions of a public nature

but does not include either House of Parliament or a person exercising functions in connection with proceedings in Parliament.

Any organization whose functions are of a governmental nature whose powers are not wholly based on agreement. 

This is a wide subjective principle usually referring to the safety and welfare of the state. 

This is a principle of English common law under which the English courts can grant a court order allowing one litigant to refrain from disclosing evidence to the other litigants where disclosure would be damaging to the public interest. This is an exception to the usual rule that all parties in litigation must disclose any evidence that is relevant to the proceedings. In making a PII order, the court has to balance the public interest in the administration of justice (which demands that relevant material is available to the parties to litigation) and the public interest in maintaining the confidentiality of certain documents whose disclosure would be damaging. 

A Regulation is a legislative act of the European Union which becomes immediately enforceable as law in all member states simultaneously. Regulations can be distinguished from Directives which, at least in principle, need to be transposed into national law. 

A country which has an executive or non-executive president as head of state. 

The monarch’s acceptance of a parliamentary bill which has either received the necessary assents of the House of Lords and the House of Commons or has received the assent of the House of Commons under the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949. 

A Royal Commission is a major government public inquiry into an issue. 

The judicially accepted definition of Royal Prerogative is that it represents the residue of arbitrary and discretionary power possessed by the Crown. 

The rule of law implies the equal subordination of governmental bodies to the substantive and procedural requirements of the law so as to prevent them exercising purely arbitrary and discretionary power. It also embodies the idea that everyone is equally subject to the law and that the rights of citizens are protected by the legal system. 

The separation of powers is capable of meaning that:

• the same persons should not form part of more than one of the three organs of government;

• one organ of government should not control or interfere with the work of another; and

• one organ of government should not exercise the functions of another.

These are established by an official and binding vote providing for their scope and powers. ‘Standing’ in this context means that they are permanent. Standing committees meet on a regular or irregular basis dependent upon their enabling Act, and retain any power or oversight claims originally given them until subsequent official actions of the committee of the whole (changes to law or by-laws) disband the committee or change their duties and powers. 

In this context it means that governmental power is based on law rather than arbitrary force exercisable with absolute discretion. 

This is a Latin phrase that literally means ‘beyond the powers’. 

Under Lord Diplock’s classification, a decision is irrational if it is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question could have arrived at it. 

Under s 7(7) Human Rights Act 1998 a person is a victim of an unlawful act only if he would be a victim for the purposes of Art 34 ECHR if proceedings were brought in the European Court of Human Rights in respect of that act. 

The aim of the whip system is to maintain party discipline within Parliament. Whips are MPs or peers appointed by each party to maintain party discipline. In a sense they are personnel managers who convey information between party leaders and backbench members. Part of their role, however, is to encourage members of their party to vote in the way that their party would like.