Reply To: Estoppel (Personal Bar) and HB overpayment recovery

#9297
Anonymous
Guest

Hi Peter,

I don’t profess to be an expert, but my view is that legitimate expectation could be raised in an appeal concerning the LAs choice of target for recovery.

The problem here is that the LA appears to have given an undertaking that they would recover from A rather than B prior to the overpayment decision being made.

Personally I think that legitimate expectation could be raised as a ground for disputing the decision on appeal – the grounds of judicial review, as with other public law principles such as human rights, are applicable to decisions made under the HB scheme in addition to the statutory provisions that govern decision-making – and not just to the question of whether or not to pursue recovery.

It may also be that estoppel and/or legitimate expectation could be raised as a defence to a civil action for recovery or alternatively as a head for a seperate action for judicial review. This may be more successful against decisions – such as whether to recover – which do not carry a statutory right of appeal. The courts are less likely to scrutinise the decisions of public authorities on JR grounds where a person has exhausted, or has failed to exercise a statutory right of appeal.