2 November 2022

What is a Judicial Review and who can apply for it?

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What is a Judicial Review and who can apply for it?

Judicial review is an integral part of the UK justice system allowing the applicants to challenge the legality and lawfulness of decisions made by government or public bodies. In immigration, applicants can apply to have decisions judicially reviewed made on matters including asylum, immigration, or human rights application. These applications are usually considered by the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

What is Judicial Review?

If the government or public body acts questionably when deciding an application, an applicant can challenge the decision based on judicial review grounds including illegality, irrationality and unfairness.

On an application for judicial review, the deciding judge will review the decision and determine whether the conclusion reached by the government/public body was procedurally and legally correct.

How does Judicial Review work?

Judicial review can only be sought when the conclusion reached by the government/public body was not in accordance with the law. It protects applicants from state powers and holds public authorities accountable for making unlawful/incorrect decisions.

When an application for judicial review is made, the judge reviews the decision on the grounds raised by the applicant. If the judicial review claim is successful, the decision made by government or public authorities can be nullified, quashed, or declared unlawful if an applicant is successful in his application.

Who can apply for Judicial Review?

An applicant must have legitimate grounds for challenging a decision by way of judicial review – judicial review is not the appropriate remedy for all refusals/decisions.

Immigration decisions that can be challenged via an alternative remedy such as an appeal or administrative review, cannot be challenged by an application for judicial review, at least in the first instance. An application for judicial review, is a last resort remedy.

What is the Judicial Review process?

The initial stage is to submit a Pre-Action Protocol letter setting out the applicant’s concerns to the Home Office. The Home Office usually responds within 14 days. If an applicant is unsuccessful at the Pre-Action Protocol stage, the applicant may proceed to making an application for judicial review.

If settlement cannot be achieved between parties i.e. the government or public body and the applicant, the application will be determined by a judge on papers. The decision of the judge will determine the next steps of the judicial review process e.g. whether the application will proceed to a substantive hearing, oral renewal hearing or some other avenue.

How can we help?

At Connaughts, we have expertise and extensive experience in assessing merits of applications for judicial reviews and representing applicants all throughout the judicial review process.

If you have a refusal decision which you feel has no avenue for challenge, we can help assess if judicial review is the appropriate remedy for you.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss that may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

About the Author

Awais has an extensive experience of advising high net-worth individuals on all types of immigration matters, ranging from investor and entrepreneur visa applications to appeals and judicial reviews in the Immigration Tribunal and the High Court.

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