• In the case of Mandalla v Secretary of State for the Home Department 2015 UKSC 59 the rule that a public authority should follow its published policies unless it has a good reason not to was established.
  • This rule is derived from a principle of good administration, related to legitimate expectations but self-standing.

Facts of the Case

  • The claimant, an Indian foreign student on a T4 Student visa, applied for a visa extension in the hopes of pursuing his graduate studies. Still, his application was refused by the Home Office.
  • Immigration Rules required the claimant to provide bank statements showing a minimum of £5,400 for 28 consecutive days.
  • However, the claimant’s bank statement only showed a consecutive of 22 days.
  • Within the Home Secretary’s published policy relating to the Immigration Rules, UK Border Agency caseworkers handling these types of applications were given ‘Process Instructions,’ whereby they had to ask for a missing document if they had reason to believe that it actually existed before refusing an application.

Issues in Mandalla v Secretary of State for the Home Department 2015 UKSC 59

  • The latter Process Instructions had not been followed, thus, resulting in the claimant challenging the decision to refuse his visa extension, as he expected the process instructions to be followed.

Held by Supreme Court

  • On appeal, the original decision was rebutted, as the refusal of the applicant’s application was unlawful.

Lord Wilson

  • The agency’s refusal of the claimant’s application was unlawful because the process instruction obliged them to first invite the claimant to repair the deficit in his evidence.
  • ‘The court is the final arbiter of what a policy means.