environmental law centre
UK judicial review

about elc health environment

Help with Law
If you are unhappy with the decision of a public body you may be able to challenge the decision by taking judicial review proceedings in the High Court.

Can the decision of any public body be challenged?
Judicial review can be applied for in relation to any public body, including government departments, local authorities, the police and any organisation exercising a public function.

On what grounds can decisions be challenged?
The grounds for such cases will usually be that the body acted illegally or irrationally or that the decision was reached unfairly because of a defect in the procedure which led to the decision.

What remedies are available?
The usual remedy if a case succeeds is that the public body will be ordered by the court to reconsider or change its decision. Damages may also be available in certain circumstances.

How is the review procedure initiated?
Note that it is a complicated procedure and legal advice should be sought. Legal aid is available for judicial review cases.

An application for initial permission should be made to the High Court, which will only grant permission if there is an arguable case and the applicant has not unduly delayed in seeking permission.

The opponent in the case is served with the claim form and has the opportunity to file an cknowledgement of service not more than 21 days afterwards.

Guiding principles to be considered and incorporated are to be found in the following:-

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union full text
Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary full text
Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power full text

Time limit for submitting a review application ?
The timetable laid down in Court rules requires that an application for permission to be made expeditiously and in any event within three months of the decision complained of. The Court will sometimes exercise its power to extend that period.

How does the court deal with applications?
An application for permission is usually considered on papers by a single Judge.

There is no right to an oral hearing as such, although if permission is refused then the applicant may request reconsideration by way of oral hearing at that stage.









© Environmental Law Centre
PO Box 267 Southport PR8 1WD UK