North Derbyshire Health Authority, ex p Kenneth Graeme Fisher [1998] 38 BMLR 76 (QBD)

Policy – guidance – circular

Where the contents of a circular amount to strong guidance, as opposed to a direction, a public body has a duty to take account of the circular in the discharge of its functions. If the public body chooses to depart from the national policy set out in the circular, it must give reasons for doing so. Thus, where a health authority failed to have regard to national policy contained in a circular from the Secretary of State because it considered that the policy was wrong, the body was acting unlawfully.

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