Challenging decisions of the UK communications regulator
Produced in partnership with Charles Russell Speechlys
Challenging decisions of the UK communications regulator

The following TMT guidance note Produced in partnership with Charles Russell Speechlys provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging decisions of the UK communications regulator
  • The Digital Economy Act 2017
  • EU regulatory framework
  • UK—Ofcom
  • What Ofcom decisions can be challenged before the CAT?
  • CAT appeal
  • Ofcom decisions that cannot be challenged before the CAT—judicial review
  • DEA 2017

This Practice Note considers appeals against decisions which were made by the communications regulator in the UK, the Office of Communications (Ofcom) before 31 July 2017. In this context, it also takes account of relevant European Directives (as transposed into UK law), considers the establishment and functions of Ofcom and the ways in which Ofcom’s regulatory decisions may be challenged at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) (and subsequently the Court of Appeal), and/or by judicial review at the High Court.

The Digital Economy Act 2017

Section 87 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA 2017) came into force on 31 July 2017. DEA 2017, s 87 brought into effect amendments to the Communications Act 2003 (CA 2003), including the introduction of a new section (CA 2003, s 194A) which implemented a new standard of review to be applied by the CAT when reviewing Ofcom’s decisions. The new standard of review entails application of judicial review principles, rather than dealing with an appeal upon the merits. For more, see News Analysis: Exploring the new regime for appeals against Ofcom decisions. However, the amendments introduced by DEA 2017, s 87 do not apply in relation to appeals against decisions made before 31 July 2017. This Practice Note therefore sets out practical guidance upon appeals against decisions of Ofcom which were made before