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Public Law and Judicial Review

Important legislative and executive decisions are sometimes made unlawfully, either because they are decided following an unfair procedure or without the necessary legal authority – sometimes they are just plain unreasonable or irrational.

We understand that such unlawful decisions of the state, particularly those relating to government policy, professional regulation and public services, can have very real and damaging consequences for both individuals and organisations. We have vast experience helping our clients pursue judicial review and are dedicated to getting unlawful decisions overturned as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Challenging a Decision of the State

Judicial review is the legal process of having a court rule on the lawfulness of a legislative or executive decision, act or omission. Although it is most commonly thought of as a way to challenge government decisions and legislation, it is much more wide-ranging and encompasses the unlawful decisions of all bodies that exercise a public law function, including:

  • The police, prison and immigration authorities
  • The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • Probation Service and Parole Board
  • Social Services
  • NHS trusts
  • Professional regulatory bodies, such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the General Medical Council (GMC)
  • School, universities and other educational establishments

The decisions of these public bodies and more can be challenged on a number of grounds. For instance, a public body may not have the power to make a particular decision or their decision is irrational or breaches fundamental human rights. If the court agrees that one of these grounds is well-founded and that a public body has therefore failed to act in accordance with its legal obligations, then the decision will be declared invalid and the public body will have to decide the matter afresh.

Crucially, judicial review is subject to very strict time limits. An application for permission to apply for judicial review must be filed no later than three months after the decision or act being challenged. This means it’s important to act quickly and decisively.

Saunders Law - Protecting & Enforcing Our Clients’ Rights

At Saunders Law, we’re dedicated to protecting civil liberties and addressing the right balance of power between the state and individuals. We’re well-known for our high-profile work and tirelessly fighting our clients’ corners. Operating from offices in the heart of London’s legal district, we’re also ideally located to guide our clients through the judicial review process.

We are ranked as a leading firm in The Legal 500 for Civil Liberties and Human Rights, and Administrative and Public Law, and in Chambers & Partners for Police Law: Mainly Claimant.

For a free, no-obligation, initial discussion of how we may be able to help, including possible funding options, please contact us today.

Call us on 0207 632 4300 or make an enquiry online.

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