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Decisions: Carltona and the CUC Code

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The Committee of University Chairman publishes a code of good practice designed, among other things, to ensure clarity about the authority on which decisions are taken on behalf of universities, subordinate domestic legislation created and the exercise of discretion regulated. In Carltona Ltd.v. Commissioners of Works [1943] 2 All ER 560 AC the question was whether civil servants were acting ultra vires if they acted on behalf of a competent authority without reference to that authority. Oxford and Cambridge, which preserve an ancient system of governance by direct academic democracy, remain testbeds of this principle, for their administrators are in effect their ‘civil servants', not their managers. This article examines the questions which are arising as both universities begin to create Senior Management Teams, and the implications for the higher education sector more widely.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Cambridge, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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