Public authorities may be under a duty to consult on their proposals. Such a duty may be set in legislation, or may be inferred by the Court.
Where public authorities undertake consultation, it must be fair and:
- take place when the proposal is at a formative stage – public authorities must have an open mind:
- sufficient reasons must be given for the proposal to allow for intelligent consultation and response;
- adequate time must be given for consideration and response;
- the product of the consultation must be taken into account.
A decision may be quashed where the public authority fails to comply with a legal duty to consult or undertakes defective consultation.