Judicial review

Judicial review is a process where the court examines the decision-making process of a public body (such as your local authority). It is very important to remember that it is only concerned with the lawfulness of the decision making-process; it cannot consider the merits of any decision.

Hugh James environmental solicitors are well known and highly regarded for advising on environmental group actions and leading judicial reviews against local authority and government decisions.


What is a judical review?

Judicial review is only concerned with the lawfulness of the decision making process. It cannot consider the merits of any decision.  It will not interfere with the discretion of a public body unless the public body has acted unlawfully.

The usual result from a judicial review procedure is that the decision is quashed or nullified.  In turn this usually means that the decision has to be taken again.  However, if a decision was taken inappropriately at the first instance, it will be difficult for it to be taken again.

Judicial review proceedings have to be issued promptly and usually within three months after the decision in question has been made.  It can be difficult to assess when time begins to run in various cases.  It is therefore important that if you wish to challenge a public authority’s decision that you take steps to do as soon as possible. Because of the tight timescales involved, we will require your assistance to organise the documents before sending them to us, so that we can assess the prospects of your potential judicial review claim in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

Permission must be obtained from the court before a full hearing will be permitted before the High Court.

Public funding (formally known as Legal Aid) is still available for judicial review cases subject to a successful application.

Judicial review environmental claim types

The environmental solicitors at Hugh James haved acted on many different types of environmental judicial review cases. We have significant expertise in leading judicial reviews against all different kinds of environmental concerns against planning applications.

In addition, we can also help you with the following:

  • Land Compensation Act claims read more
  • Airport expansion and development concerns read more
  • Road expansion and development concerns read more

Hugh James solicitors environmental judicial review experience

Hugh James environmental solicitors are regularly instructed by groups of residents wishing to challenge decisions which impact on the environment.

The law relating to judicial review is complex and we recommend that you take specialist advice if you are considering a challenge. The main thing you need to know is that the court will not readily interfere with public authority’s decisions however decision makers must act lawfully and in a procedurally fair way. This includes taking into account material considerations, not taking into account immaterial considerations, and acting within their powers.  The court has a supervisory role in ensuring that the decision maker has acted lawfully.



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