Judicial Review

Our immigration lawyers have a great deal of experience in dealing with Judicial Review applications.   

What is Judicial Review: 
Judicial Review is not an appeal. Judicial Review is the procedure by which you can apply to the High Court challenging the decision, action or failure to act by a public body such as a government department or a local authority or other body exercising a public law function (ie: decisions or actions of the Home Office – UK Visas and Immigration).  You may also challenge the decisions  of inferior Courts and Tribunals by way of  judicial review.  From 1st November 2013, most  immigration Judicial Reviews are dealt with by the Upper Tribunal.

In  immigration cases,  Judicial Reviews can be issued in the following circumstances:  
•    If there is no right of appeal against a decision
•    if all other remedies (ie: appeal rights) have been exhausted.
•    to challenge the immigration authority’s delay in making a decision.  
Claims for judicial review must be brought promptly and in any event within three months of the decision/event complained of.  These time limits mean applications should be made as soon as possible once it is clear that the case is suitable for judicial review. 

Pre-Action protocol letter
A Judicial Review is started by the Claimant ( applicant) sending a ‘Letter before Claim’ to the relevant body which has made the decision which is being challenged by the Judicial Review.   These letters are called “Pre-Action Protocol”  letters.  The PAP will identify the issues that are in dispute and the usual practice is to allow the Defendant 14 days to respond.  

According to the Ministry of Justice: 
 “The letter should contain the date and details of the decision, act or omission being challenged and a clear summary of the facts on which the claim is based. It should also contain the details of any relevant information that the claimant is seeking and an explanation of why this is considered relevant…..”. 

Unless there is an emergency,  protocol must be followed by the Claimant. The Courts expect all parties to follow the protocol where the use of it is appropriate.  Non – compliance maybe taken into account, when an order for costs is made.  

Defendants are expected to respond within the 14 days allowed, if not there may be sanctions imposed for not responding within the 14 days period unless the defendants can show good reasons for not doing so.  
In some cases the Pre - Action Protocol letter will prompt the Defendant to review the decision and a fresh decision to be made.  However, Whether or not there is a response from the defendant, proceedings must be issued within 3 months of the date of decision, which forms the basis of the proceedings.

If you have received a decision and you have not been given an appeal right, the only remedy available to you may be Judicial Review.   Call our immigration solicitors  now on 0208-577-5491 to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case for Judicial Review Proceedings.