The tort of misfeasance in public office is designed to target “the deliberate and dishonest abuse of power”. Public officers are not liable merely because a bona fide administrative act is later found to be unlawful. But there is a misfeasance in public office if a person suffers loss or damage as a result of administrative action known to be unlawful by those persons taking it, and those persons knew that the claimant would suffer loss or were recklessly indifferent as to whether the claimant would suffer loss. A deliberate and vindictive act by a public official, targeted at the plaintiff, is not necessary. This paper is based on the House of Lords decision in Three Rivers District Council v Governor and Company of The Bank of England which is a definitive statement of the law as it stands in England.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/noel_cox/1/