There are over 1,800 public bodies in the UK including authorities responsible for: housing; health and social care; building and planning; business and commerce; funding; professional regulation; and education. If you object to their decisions, you can attempt to resolve your grievance through the official channels i.e. a government-appointed ombudsman. However, if your efforts are frustrated, you have the option of using a remedy known as judicial review. Judicial review provides a legal mechanism for individuals and organisations to challenge a public authority based on the lawfulness of a decision. Public bodies can only act within the powers they are granted by the law; if it is found that they have exercised power outside of their remit, this would be deemed unlawful by the courts and the decision under review would be considered void.
As well as officially submitting your claim within the strict 3-month time limit (note: shorter time limits exist for certain planning and procurement decisions) from the date of the decision, it is important to enlist a solicitor that will present a comprehensive case before the court. Judges are reluctant to interfere with the operation of government bodies, therefore: your legal team will have to provide a case of such a high standard that a judge will have no alternative but to overrule the public authority’s decision.
At Merit Legal, we have the resources and the know-how in building detailed and intricate cases, with access to a leading Queen’s Counsel in judicial review. Having successfully challenged decisions by way of judicial review on multiple occasions, we understand exactly what it requires to produce a compelling and persuasive case.