In criminal law, a judicial review is when a judge assesses the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. This public body could be the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Courts and Tribunals Service. Or the Serious Fraud Office, the Police or the Probation Service.
Judicial reviews must be made within three months minus one day of the original ruling. Therefore, if you want to pursue a judicial review. Immediate legal advice is essential as soon as possible so come and speak with Ashmans Solicitors.
What is a judicial review?
A judicial review is a type of court proceeding. It can be used to challenge the way in which a public body made a decision. In Contrast it is not intended to investigate the rights and wrongs of the final decision itself. Rather, it is concerned with the lawfulness of the whole process.
This is an important differentiation, a judicial review is not the same as an appeal. If you want to argue that a certain decision is wrong (for example. You have been found guilty and you think you should have been found not guilty), an appeal may be preferable. This requires a higher court to review the decision of a lower court.
A judicial review on the other hand considers whether there was an error of law or procedure. For instance, it may be that the Serious Fraud Office searched your premises. A judicial review can assess whether the search warrant was obtained lawfully. In criminal proceedings, a judicial review might also relate to –
- Decisions regarding a prisoner’s rights
- The conduct of the Independent Police Complaints Commission
- A miscarriage of justice
- A wrongful arrest
- False imprisonment
- Decisions made at a Coroner’s inquest
Making a judicial review
There are three grounds for a judicial review –
- Irrationality. Where the decision-making process is unreasonable or irrational
- Error in law. Where the law has been applied incorrectly, or the public body acted beyond its legal powers
- Procedural mistakes. Where the correct procedures have not been followed
To make a judicial review. A written argument must be submitted, laying out the grounds for judicial review. Typically this must be achieved within three months minus one day of the original ruling. If a judge accepts your written argument permission will be granted for a judicial review to proceed. Then a date will be set for a full hearing.
So if the judge finds in your favour at the hearing. Above all there are a number of possible outcomes. Consequently compensation could be awarded for your damages or the decision could be quashed. Or the public body in question could be told to take a particular course of action.