What is judicial review?
Judicial review is a process by which the courts review the lawfulness of a decision made (or sometimes lack of a decision made) or action taken (or sometimes failure to act) by a public body. It is mechanism by which a judge considers whether a public body has acted in accordance with its legal obligations and if not, can declare a decision taken by it to be invalid.
Leigh Day has used judicial review to successfully challenge the actions of, among others:-
- Government ministers and government departments
- Local authorities and local NHS trusts
- Chief constables and prison governors
- Maintained schools and school governing bodies
- Magistrates, coroners and county courts
- Regulatory and supervisory bodies such as Monitor and the Care Quality Commission
- Charity Commission
- Some tribunals
We act for individuals, interest groups, local residents groups, charities and NGOs to bring claims relating to a huge variety of issues, including:-
Our judicial review specialist solicitors are widely recognised by both leading legal directories as being leaders in their field. Partner Richard Stein
is identified by Chambers 2012 as a star individual and acts in some of the most high-profile judicial review cases in the UK.
The team is experienced in securing Protective Costs Orders for claimants who cannot afford the risk of having to pay the other side’s costs. Judicial reviews can be very expensive, further information on paying for a judicial review case can be found here.
What are the grounds of a judicial review challenge?
Decisions by public bodies can be challenged on a number of grounds. If:-
- the public body does not have the power to make a particular decision, or it has
- used a power which it does have for an improper purpose;
- the decision is irrational;
- the procedure followed by the public body is unfair or biased;
- the decision taken is in breach of the Human Rights Act;
- the decision taken is in breach of European Community Law;
- the public body failed to comply with one of its legal duties, for example, the public sector equality duties.
If you think a decision taken by a public body is potentially unlawful you should:-
- Find somebody affected by the public body’s decision willing to take legal action.
- This can be an individual or a group which represents the interest of those concerned.
- Request and obtain as much documentation as you can about the decision, for example copies of the minutes of meetings at which the public body made the decision, any press releases or press cuttings about the decision, any correspondence you have had with the public body about the decision.
- Obtain legal advice/help in order to write a letter before claim.
- DO NOT DELAY! It is extremely important that you act quickly. Cases must be brought promptly, within weeks of the decision to ensure the greatest chance of success.
- The latest time you can bring a judicial review application is normally three months, from the date of the decision. However, the court usually expects the application to be made sooner than this.
Download the Judicial Review - Challenging decisions by public authorities factsheet
To speak to any member of the judicial review team at Leigh Day please call on 020 76501200 for a friendly, and free initial consultation.