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Public law and Judicial Review

Public law and Judicial Review 

Our public law team have extensive expertise in challenging public bodies on behalf of clients in the High Court. A public body is an organisation that is, at least in part, publicly funded to deliver a public or government service – e.g. the DWP, a Local Authority or a Health Board.

A legal challenge to a public body can arise from a decision they have made, something which they have not done or a policy they have adopted.

At Miles and Partners, we specialise in bringing challenges on behalf of claimants which relate to our work in the areas of housing, homelessness, community care and mental health. In order to enforce rights to public services, within these challenges, we will often use law relating to discrimination, children’s and disability rights.

Examples of cases which we can advise on include decisions relating to:

  • Community Care – assessments under the Care Act 2014, and the Children Act 1989 and services for looked after children and care leavers;
  • Housing – policies or decisions relating to homelessness or housing allocations for individuals, challenges to secure access to subsistence support for destitute asylum seekers and migrants, or planning decisions affecting residents;
  • Mental Health – such as when people suffer unlawful detention or deprivation of liberty,
  • Children Law – disabled children’s rights to assessments and service provision and in some cases education;
Judicial Review and complaints

Our team can advise you on the merits of challenging a public law decision and what steps to take. In a Judicial Review the court can quash (cancel) a decision and order the public body to make a new lawful decision.

This route can be used to obtain emergency injunctions requiring a local authority, for example, to provide housing and can resolve urgent issues in complex cases relatively quickly. Judicial review can also result in authoritative guidance from the court on future decisions and policies which can help larger groups of people with shared or similar problems.

Judicial review is supposed to be a remedy of last resort, and sometimes there may be other ways of dealing with decisions or failures of public bodies, including formal complaints.

A complaint can be made about delay, failure to provide information, failure to investigate and other failings by a public body. The public body can be made to change their decision or provide a service that they have failed to provide, apologise and sometimes pay compensation.

How we can help

It can often be difficult to identify illegality in a decision that affects you. We can talk to you about your case and let you know whether we can use public law remedies to help you resolve your problem.

Time limits in these cases are often very tight so it is important to seek advice as soon as possible if you believe an unlawful decision has been made – or is about to be made.

Funding for legal advice or representation

Subject to your means, we may be able to obtain legal aid funding to bring a challenge to an unlawful decision.

Once we understand your circumstances, we will advise what funding might be available and discuss which payment options might work best for you.