Judicial review is when a judge assesses the lawfulness of a decision or action, or a failure to act, by a public body. It is not concerned with the outcome of a decision, but whether or not the law was applied properly and the correct process followed.
Any public organisation exercising a public function can have its decisions challenged by judicial review. This includes government departments, local councils, health authorities and boards of school governors. Private companies exercising public functions can also be subject to the process, for example, companies that run prisons.
You can only bring a judicial review if you have a direct interest in the public body’s decision. There are other free alternatives to judicial review you can consider first, such as the right to appeal to a tribunal, internal dispute resolution procedures or an ombudsman.
Judicial review is an expensive and complicated process and cases must be brought before the court quickly. If you think you have a case, you should get legal advice and representation from a specialist lawyer as soon as possible.
Our solicitors are highly experienced in bringing these cases: recently we helped challenge the decision of Barnet Council to increase parking charges by 400%. We have also successfully challenged council decisions to close care homes or remove funding from voluntary groups.