It is essential that those affected by negative Home Office decisions take advice about their position as soon as possible, as the timeframes for lodging judicial review applications challenging unlawful Home Office decisions is limited.
Judicial Review is a form of court proceeding in which a Judge will review the lawfulness of a decision, action or omission made by a public body and it is an option that can only be used if there is no other alternative remedy.
It may be appropriate to judicially review a Home Office decision if you believe that the Home Office has acted either unlawfully, irrationally or unfairly when making their decision.
An action or decision may be unlawful if the decision-maker had no power to make it or exceeded the powers given to him/her in doing so. An action or decision may be irrational, but if the court considers it so unreasonable the decision is “perverse”. Finally, a decision may be considered unfair if it is found that the decision-making process itself was conducted unfairly, for example if you were not given the right to a fair hearing.
It is important to note that you can only seek to judicially review a decision if you do not have a right of appeal or other alternative remedy, and it must be remembered that Judicial Review is a review of procedure, so the court will not substitute what it thinks is the ‘correct’ decision. This may mean that the public body will be able to make the same decision again, so long as it does so in a lawful way.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch for expert advice if you require assistance in preparing and presenting Judicial Review claims before the Upper Tribunal and higher courts.