Judicial Review is a mechanism by which an application can be made to the High Court to challenge the decision making processes of administrative bodies and lower courts.
The High Court Rules applying to judicial review applications are found in Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts.
The specific types of relief that can be sought are:
- Certiorari - quash a decision
- Mandamus - compel the performance of a duty
- Prohibition – prevent action being taken
- Declaration – seek a judge’s declaration on the rights of the parties
- Injunction – prevent an action being taken or to compel the taking of an action
To start a judicial review case you need three documents: a statement of grounds, a verifying affidavit and an ex parte docket. They should all be on A4 size paper. You must file the statement of grounds and the verifying affidavit in the Central Office of the High Court. The ex parte docket is handed into the court registrar when the application is made in court.
The Statement of Grounds should include the following:
- Name, address and description of the Applicant
- Reliefs sought and the grounds upon which the relief is sought
- Name and registered place of business of the solicitors or in the case of an applicant in person, the applicant’s address for service
Ex parte docket
The form of the ex parte docket should comply with High Court Practice Direction No. 59.
The statement of grounds, verifying affidavit and exparte docket must each be stamped with the relevant court fee where applicable
Applications for leave to apply for Judicial Review (other than for asylum and strategic infrastructure development matters below) are made on a Monday during the legal term. A copy of the papers to support the application must be left in the High Court Central Office by 11.00 on the morning of the application. The applicant then makes an ex-parte application to court for leave to apply by way of judicial review.
If the application is granted, the applicant has to issue a notice of motion, or a plenary summons as the case may be, for the substantive relief sought. A return date for the notice of motion will be given by the Court.
This motion cannot be issued until the order granting leave to apply has been perfected. This motion must be issued within seven days of the perfection date (the date the order is signed by the court registrar) of the order unless the order specifies another time limit. The order may give further directions.
When filing the notice of motion you must present both a copy of the order and the statement of grounds.
Granting leave to apply by way of judicial review does not act as a stay – if a stay is required same must be applied for explicitly. If a stay is granted but the notice of motion does not issue within the prescribed time, the stay lapses.
Asylum Judicial Review
Strategic Infrastructure Developments
All applications for leave to apply for judicial review in respect of permissions or decisions concerning strategic infrastructure developments must be made to the assigned judge each Thursday during term. See Practice Direction HC74 for details.