Judicial review—what it is and when it can be used
Produced in partnership with Mathew Purchase of Matrix Chambers and Dr Mirza Ahmad of St Philips Chambers
Judicial review—what it is and when it can be used

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

  • Judicial review—what it is and when it can be used
  • What is Judicial Review?
  • Preliminary and pre-action considerations
  • Who and what can be challenged?
  • Is the defendant a public body?
  • Was the act or omission complained of ‘public in nature’?
  • Who can bring a claim?
  • When to use judicial review rather than other possible remedies—judicial review v private law proceedings
  • Remedy of last resort—is there a suitable alternative remedy?
  • On what grounds may a claim be brought?
  • More...

What is Judicial Review?

Judicial review is a process by which the courts exercise a supervisory jurisdiction over the exercise of public functions by public bodies. This supervisory jurisdiction should not be confused with or considered to be a right of appeal.

CPR 54.1 states that:

a 'claim for judicial review' means a claim to review the lawfulness of–

  1. an enactment or

  2. a decision, action or failure to act in relation to the exercise of a public function.’

Proceedings normally take place in the Administrative Court, which is part of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court. Judicial review proceedings are subject to a number of Civil Procedure Rules, Practice Directions and a pre-action protocol. Additional guidance is also provided in the Administrative Court Judicial Review Guide. The guide is designed to assist parties conducting judicial review claims in the Administrative Court, collating relevant statutory provisions, procedural rules, practice directions, case law and guidance. The guide aims to ensure efficient use of court resources and to help achieve the overriding objective of dealing with cases justly and at proportionate cost.

The key rules governing the judicial review process are set out in section 31 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (SCA 1981) and CPR 54, which modifies CPR 8. However, other provisions of the CPR, such as those concerning costs, may also be applicable. SCA 1981, s

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