You may be able to ask for a judicial review if you're unhappy with how a public body has made a decision. This can be a long and expensive process and there's no guarantee that the decision will be changed. You'll need legal advice if you want to apply for a judicial review. Speak to an independent advice agency who may be able to refer you to the Law Centre for more assistance.
Using the judicial review
A judicial review is a way of challenging how a public body made a decision. It can be used if a public body has
- ignored relevant factors when investigating a case
- refused to review its original decision.
If you want to use judicial review you must get permission from the court within three months of the final decision. The court will decide if the organisation followed the correct procedures when deciding your case. If the court finds that the correct procedures were not followed, the public organisation will have to look at your case again.
You will need legal advice if you want to apply for a judicial review. An adviser or solicitor can tell you whether you have a good case and can help with practical matters such as filling in court forms and preparing for hearings.
Applying for a judicial review
You can only ask for a judicial review if the organisation that made the decision is a public body, like:
- the Housing Executive
- a housing association
- the Social Security Agency
- Land & Property Services.
The judge will look at the merits of your case before deciding whether to start a judicial review. You will need specialist legal advice if you want to apply for a judicial review. An adviser can tell you whether you have a good case and can help with practical matters such as filling in court forms and preparing for hearings.
Outcome of a judicial review
The judicial review looks at how your case was decided. It does not look at the actual decision. If the judge decides that the organisation didn't follow the correct procedure, the organisation will have to look again at your case. However, this does not mean that the decision will be changed. The organisation will have to take a fresh look at the case following the correct procedures, but the final decision could be the same.