News article published on: 4th December 2015
Judicial review is concerned with the process of holding public bodies to account through the Courts. Every day public bodies make decisions in relation to a huge range of issues. If the decision is made by a public body exercising a public function then it is potentially liable to a claim for judicial review. The decision may be one by a government minister, a local authority, a housing association, or an official at a Jobcentre, amongst others.
Examples of situations where judicial review proceedings could be brought include decisions to close care homes, local authority schemes for the allocation of social housing, cuts to local community services provided by local authorities, decisions by local authorities to raise charges, certain decisions made by officials at a Jobcentre or local authority in relation to welfare benefits, or, in some situations, laws passed by government. An example of the latter is the challenge to the government’s removal of the spare room subsidy in Housing Benefit legislation, otherwise known as “the bedroom tax”.
It is important to be aware that judicial review is a complex legal area and that it is not possible to challenge every decision by a public body. Judicial review is always to be used as a last resort and there are strict time limits for bringing a claim. In most cases the time limit is 3 months. However, if you are concerned that a public body has not acted fairly, rationally or in good faith in reaching a decision, or in formulating or applying a policy or rule, then this may be something that could be challenged by way of a claim for judicial review.
Our solicitors are all experienced in bringing these cases and have achieved great results on behalf of clients. Osbornes has been granted a contract in Public Law by the Legal Aid Agency for this type of work, in addition to our legal aid contracts in housing, community care and family law. Therefore, for clients who qualify, we are able to bring challenges against public bodies with the benefit of legal aid funding. In other cases we are happy to discuss alternative methods of funding your case.
For more information and to speak with a member of the Public Law team you can call us on 020 7485 8811 or fill in our online enquiry form.