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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

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A client objects to a decision which has been made to grant planning permission for the building of a supermarket on land near his home. The client has discovered that the chairman of the planning committee that made the decision is a non-executive director of the supermarket chain in question. 


Which of the following best describes the status of this decision?

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The test for bias in administrative law is whether a fair minded and informed observer would conclude that there is a real possibility of bias. This objective standard ensures that decisions are made without improper influence and maintain public confidence in the fairness of administrative processes. In this scenario, the fact that the chairman of the planning committee is a non-executive director of the supermarket chain would likely lead a fair minded and informed observer to conclude there is a real possibility of bias, rendering the decision unlawful. 


Key Point: The rule against bias in administrative law requires that decisions be free from improper influence. The test is whether a fair minded and informed observer would perceive a real possibility of bias, which is a crucial standard for maintaining fairness and integrity in public decision-making.

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