What is Judicial Review?
Judicial review is a court process in which a judge checks if a decision or process adopted made by a public body or state body is legal or illegal.
It is a legal procedure where a person can contest the decisions of public bodies or state departments. In addition, it is a challenge to a decision made or the process of arriving at that decision.
A person feeling that their rights have been violated by the decision of the public authority, by courts like the Circuit, District, tribunal, or the local council can apply to the High Court for review of their decision.
The High Court is concerned with the fairness of the decision-making process of the administrative bodies, rather than the correctness of the decision itself.
The court takes all the relevant considerations into account, to check for evidence regarding any fraud, deceit, bad faith, or if the decision taken by the legal body had it in its capacity to do so.
Judicial Review Proceedings are brought before the High Court or Supreme Court by submitting an application to them, requesting leave (permission) to the court without notice to the decision-making body to challenge the decision.
The Judicial Review Proceedings application must outline the applicable issues and it is of high importance that the applicant should disclose all the relevant facts and figures.
Within the time limit outlined below the application for leave must be made immediately unless the court considers a good reason for permitting an extension.
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Time Limits for Judicial Review Applications
According to the recent amendment, matters related to such proceedings must commence within 3 months from the date when grounds for the application first arose. Following are the time limits for judicial review proceedings of other matters:
General Matters: 3 months
Immigration Matter: 28 days or 3 months based on the type of case
Planning Decision Matters: 8 weeks
Awarding of Public Contract Matters: 30 days
Judicial Review Case – Time Extensions
If there is good and sufficient evidence then the court will extend the time limit, only in exceptional circumstances.
Against whom can judicial review be sought?
It can only be brought forward to the superior courts such as the High Court and on appeal the Supreme Court against any person or administrative body that has exercised a public function.
Please be informed that the verdict of those courts can only be contested by a higher court, and Judicial review is not a remedy against them.
How do judicial review proceedings work?
An application for “leave” must be made on behalf of the applicant with the papers prepared by the solicitors within the above-mentioned time limit.
Statement of Opposition
To oppose an application for judicial review, the respondent is required to file a statement of opposition, which may include a replying affidavit challenging the facts outlined by the applicant. And when the pleading is closed, the case will then proceed to a hearing.
Notice Parties Involved
Any person who may be affected by the judgment of the proceedings should be notified in advance or may apply to be heard as a notice party.
The effect the third party or the respondents may have on them because of an extension, the court may have regard for it while taking an action. In certain restrictive type review cases, the application for leave must be filed on notice to the respondent since it can be denied by the court if substantial grounds and enough reasoning are not provided.
Grounds for judicial review Ireland
- Breach of Natural Justice and Fair Procedures – This includes ‘the rule against bias’, the general right to respect and ‘the right to be heard, and the ‘right to be given reasons for a decision, which is an integral part of procedural fairness
- Reasonableness – Did the public authority abuse their prescribed power and were their actions irrational
- Legitimate Expectations – Tied to the grounds of procedural impropriety, also considered a detached ground for judicial review, arise when an expectation on how the public authority will act is given to a party.
After granting leave for judicial review
- Certiorari – quash a decision
- Mandamus – compel the performance of a duty
- Prohibition – prevent action from being taken
- Declaration – seek a judge’s declaration on the rights of the parties
- Injunction – To compel the taking of an action or to prevent an action that is being taken
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What our clients say
Is it possible to appeal against a hight court decision?
If there is no statutory restriction in a particular case, a High Court decision on a judicial review may be appealed to the Supreme Court. You can find more information on Judicial Review. CLICK HERE
How much does a judicial review cost in Ireland?
The Government is proposing that an individual might have to pay €5,000, and a legal entity €10,000, towards a notice party’s costs, when a notice party successfully defends a judicial review.
What are the reasons for a judicial review in Ireland?
Refusals of an Irish passport, marriage certificate, or visa. Deportation orders. Decisions of An Bord Pleanála relating to planning permission.
Decisions of Government bodies that require an Environmental Impact Assessment and/or an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) licence.
Who pays for a judicial review?
The general rule that applies to judicial review litigation is that ‘costs follow the event’. This means the successful party has their legal costs paid by the losing party.
The court will decide whether or not it is appropriate to award costs based on whether there was any error of law made during litigation.
If there was no error of law, then the unsuccessful party will have to pay all legal costs.