Judicial Review and Family Law

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Judicial Review and Family Law

What is judicial review?

A judicial review is a form of a court proceeding, in which the judge reviews the lawfulness or otherwise of a decision or action, or a failure to act, by a public body exercising a public function.

In the case of Family Law matters, this often would take the form of challenging decisions made by Local Authorities and in particular Children’s Services’ departments of Local Authorities.

Judicial review is however only available where there are no other effective means of challenge.

For example, if you were unhappy with a decision made by a Local Authority and having then exhausted all internal and other mechanisms available to challenge a decision made, only then could a Judicial review against the decision be considered. All other challenges would have to have been made first before any judicial review proceedings could be commenced.

Judicial review is concerned with whether the law has been correctly applied, and the right procedures have been followed.

In order to succeed the claimant will need to show that either:

  • A public body is under a legal duty to act or make a decision in a certain way and is unlawfully refusing or failing to do so;
  • or

  • A decision or action has been taken by a public body that is beyond the powers it is given by law.

Judicial review is about the supervision of administrative decision making.

It can be a fast, effective and powerful way to convince a public body to reconsider a decision or force them to take action they should be taking. The court’s decision must be followed, and one judicial review case can make a difference to many other people.

Judicial review is a complex area of law and if you believe that a decision has been made against you by a Local Authority which you feel is capable of being challenged then at Prism Family Law we may be able to help. We deliberately offer free initial 30 minute appointments with clients so that consideration can be given as to whether a case is worth pursuing or not. Should you wish to meet with us in the first instance please telephone XXX to make an appointment or alternatively contact us via email at XXXX.

With the kind permission of the Public Law Project more information can be found via the Short Guide to Judicial Review hyperlink: An Introduction to Judicial Review – PDF

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