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Preparing a judicial review

This content applies to England

Information on preparing for a judicial review .

Steps before a review

Specialist advice from a solicitor will be needed to prepare a judicial review. The most important practical steps are to establish whether the client has a case, whether the client is entitled to legal help and, if so, to refer the client to a solicitor without delay so that a claim can be issued within the time limit of three months from the date the matter complained of first arose.

The Administrative Court judicial review guide prepared under the direction of the lead Judge of the Administrative Court provides a general explanation of the work and practice of the Court with particular regard to judicial review. It does not have the force of law, but parties using the Administrative Court will be expected to act in accordance with it.

The requirements of the Pre-action Protocol for Judicial Review must also be complied with before issuing a claim, except in urgent cases. See the page Pre-action Protocol for Judicial Review for more information on the requirements.

Public funding

Challenging a local authority by way of judicial review can be extremely costly. Hence most clients will need to apply for legal aid from the Legal Aid Agency.

Details of what kind of work is covered by legal aid are contained in Annex C of the Pre-action Protocol for Judicial Review.

Information about finding a local solicitor who may be able to assist is available from the Civil Legal Adviser Finder or by calling the Civil Legal Advice Service on 0345 345 4 345.

Funding is based on a person's income. Initial advice can be paid for under the legal help scheme (formerly known as the 'green form scheme'). The help that a solicitor can give under the scheme is, however, normally limited to a letter before action.

To proceed further with the case, a solicitor will need to apply for a full funding certificate and, if necessary, an emergency funding certificate. Normally, cases needing judicial review arise as emergencies and a client will be granted an emergency public funding certificate. The key issues will be the client's means and the merits of the case. Further information on public funding is available in the Civil legal aid section.

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