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Judicial Reviews & Statutory Appeals

If you believe the way in which a public body such as a local authority (or central government) has reached a decision is unlawful then you can apply for the matter to be reviewed by a judge, known as a judicial review.

At Minton Morrill, our specialist solicitors are highly experienced in applying for and providing representation in judicial review proceedings.

Based in Leeds our solicitors act for people in Yorkshire and the North of England, but also elsewhere in the country including London. We issue proceedings in the Administrative Court’s regional offices in Leeds and Manchester, as well as in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, and in the Upper Tribunal.

Public bodies include councils and government and its departments and agencies such as the UKBA and the Legal Aid Agency. But also includes regulatory bodies for nurses, doctors, social workers, teachers, such as the NMC and GMC, and health authorities and the NHS, schools and education authorities – in fact any organisation or body that carries out a public function even when it may be a private body.

Judicial reviews are concerned with how decisions have been made rather than detailed factual disputes. Decisions can be wrong and unlawful because of  the way in which it was reached. There may be insufficient consultation with the people affected by the decision. Relevant information may have been ignored when making the decision. The decision may have been based on things that were not relevant. The body may have acted outside its own powers or in breach of its own guidance and policies. Discretion may have been exercised completely unfairly. Fundamental human rights may have been ignored and proportionality has gone out of the window. The decision may be perverse: wholly unreasonable.

If a judicial review claim is successful then the original decision will be found to be unlawful and will be quashed. This may mean it will have to be taken again, but this time properly, or it may mean that the decision is simply set aside. Damages can sometimes be claimed.

Examples of decisions which could be considered for judicial review include, but are not limited to:

  • Decisions by local authorities relating to the provision of care services, welfare and education of children with special educational needs;
  • Decisions about housing provision and homelessness;
  • Decisions relating to planning, compulsory purchase orders and clearance schemes;
  • Decisions about safeguarding and DBS certificates;
  • Decisions made by immigration authorities such as the UKBA on removal or deportation, asylum decisions, and denial of welfare benefits;
  • Decisions of regulatory bodies such as the NMC and the GMC, and
  • Decisions which relate to the rights of prisoners, people with disabilities, or elderly people in need of special residential care

A judicial review requires an application for permission from the court and needs to be acted on quickly. Even though up to three months may be allowed many applications must be brought more speedily. Sometimes the decision is an ongoing one, but still needs to be acted on as soon as possible.

Therefore, it is essential to seek expert legal advice from a solicitor with experience of the judicial review process, such as at Minton Morrill.

Our specialists can advise you on the process, including the chances of your claim being successful. We can provide full representation in judicial review proceedings, including preparation of detailed evidence.

We can also advise about the availability of legal aid for judicial review.

To find out more about how our specialist solicitors can help you with the judicial review process, please contact us.