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Hard-Look Doctrine

23/4/19 Hard-Look Doctrine

Hard-Look Doctrine is a principle of Administrative law that says a court should carefully review an administrative agency’s decision to ensure that the agencies have genuinely engaged in reasoned decision making.
A court is required to intervene if it “becomes aware, especially from a combination of danger signals, that the agency has not really taken a ‘hard look’ at the salient problems.”
The U.S. Administrative Procedure Act instructs federal courts to invalidate agency decisions that are “arbitrary” or “capricious.”
Close judicial scrutiny helps to discipline agency decisions and to constrain the illegitimate exercise of discretion.


¬  To take a hard look = to examine carefully, to review
¬  To put under scrutiny = to scrutinize
¬  To come under scrutiny = to be scrutinized
¬  Arbitrary, capricious and whimsical are synonyms.
¬  Illegitimate exercise of discretion is another term for abuse of power.
¬  The phrase “is another term for” means that a word is a synonym with or that it is synonymous with or a synonym of.

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