Judicial review—time limits and the pre-action protocol
Produced in partnership with Matthew Purchase of Matrix Chambers and Dr Mirza Ahmad of St Philips Chambers
Judicial review—time limits and the pre-action protocol

The following Public Law practice note Produced in partnership with Matthew Purchase of Matrix Chambers and Dr Mirza Ahmad of St Philips Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Judicial review—time limits and the pre-action protocol
  • Time limits
  • The pre-action protocol for judicial review claims
  • Letter before claim
  • Response to letter before claim
  • The importance of compliance with the pre-action protocol
  • Interplay between complying with the pre-action protocol and the time limits for bringing a judicial review claim
  • Urgent cases and interim relief
  • How to apply for an expedited hearing
  • How to apply for interim relief

When considering whether and how to bring a claim for judicial review, the first step is to consider whether this would be an appropriate means of addressing the issues raised by the case at hand.

For further guidance, see: Judicial review—what it is and when it can be used.

Time limits

The next step will normally be to ensure that there is still time to bring a claim for judicial review. Under CPR 54.5, claims for judicial review (save for the three exceptions mentioned below) must be brought promptly and, in any event, within three months of the date on which the grounds for bringing the claim first arose.

There is an overriding requirement of promptness and it should not be assumed that a claim will be in time just because it is brought within three months. In R (Paul Jones) v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police the court emphasised that the three month limit is a backstop and people must act with the utmost promptitude.

Whether or not a claim has been brought promptly depends on all the circumstances, including the nature of the decision, the date on which the claimant became aware of the decision, the complexity of the grounds, the responsiveness of the defendant to requests for information (see below), and the context in which the decision was made. For example, the Administrative Court

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