Judicial Review is a process by which the lawfulness of decisions made by public bodies can be challenged. In the context of criminal law Judicial Review is most commonly used to challenge decisions of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS). Judicial Review can also be a useful tool for identifying and challenging human rights breaches by the police including unlawful searches, unlawful arrest and unlawful detention.
Judicial Review is a vital component of the Criminal Justice system in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is necessary to hold public bodies such as the PPS to account for the decisions they make. This is particularly important in the context of criminal law as members of the public have an expectation that they will receive a fair trial and will not be unlawfully detained. When these rights are breached the relevant decision makers should be challenged to ensure such breaches do not happen again.
Judicial Review is a remedy of last resort. This means that an applicant must have exhausted all other avenues of appeal before making an application for Judicial Review. If an applicant has exhausted all of their appeal options then they must seek legal advice urgently as an application for judicial review must be made within 3 months of the final decision from the public body.
A Judicial Review can be brought if a decision from a public body is thought to be illegal, procedurally unfair, irrational or disproportionate. Judicial Review’s can and have been successfully brought against the PPS for failing to prosecute an individual. Our expert solicitor’s review the facts of each particular case and advise our client’s on the merits of taking a judicial review and whether they have any alternative remedies available.
Contact us for an initial enquiry. We will always discuss the funding options which are available to our clients, including; Legal Aid, legal expenses cover, litigation insurance and private paying.