Comprehensive Guide on Judicial Review

A judicial review is a vital legal recourse available to challenge decisions made in asylum, immigration, or human rights applications, often involving decisions by the Home Office or other relevant authorities. Unlike typical appeals, judicial review focuses on assessing whether the law has been correctly applied and if the proper procedures have been followed.

When to Consider Bringing a Judicial Review Challenge?

Judicial review becomes necessary in various scenarios, including:

  • Challenging decisions to transfer asylum claims to other countries under inadmissibility rules.
  • Contesting certified asylum or human rights claims, where there is no right of appeal within the UK.
  • Seeking redress for rejected further submissions without appeal rights.
  • Addressing cases of unlawful detention or refusal of permission to appeal at the Upper Tribunal.
  • Applying for interim relief to challenge imminent removal.
  • Dealing with immigration application refusals without appeal rights and unsatisfactorily resolved administrative reviews.

Instructing our leading London immigration law firm for preparing and submitting your judicial review application offers expertise in Judicial Review. Our firm specialises in immigration law and has a proven track record in handling judicial review cases. We possess the knowledge and experience to navigate complex legal procedures effectively.

The Judicial Review Process

Pre-Action Stage: Informing the Home Office

Before initiating a judicial review, it’s essential to notify the Home Office of your intent. This allows the Home Office an opportunity to reconsider its decision or rectify any errors without resorting to formal legal proceedings. Termed as the ‘pre-action’ stage, this process involves sending a formal letter, known as a ‘pre-action protocol’ (PAP) letter or ‘letter before claim’, to the Home Office.

Instructing our leading London immigration law firm for preparing and submitting your judicial review application offers expertise in Judicial Review. We conduct a thorough assessment of your case during the pre-action stage, ensuring that all relevant factors are considered before proceeding with the judicial review application. This comprehensive approach enhances the effectiveness of your legal strategy and aims to maximise your chances of success in the judicial review process.

Time Limits for Judicial Review Applications

Promptness is key when applying for a judicial review. Applications should be lodged as soon as reasonably possible, with a strict deadline of three months from the date of the decision being challenged. This timeframe applies predominantly to decisions made by the Home Office in asylum and immigration cases.

Stage 1: Seeking Permission

Before proceeding to a judicial review hearing, obtaining permission from the Court is necessary. This initial stage, known as the ‘permission stage’, dictates that the Court’s authorisation is necessary for the judicial review process to commence. It’s important to note that this process pertains specifically to judicial reviews in England and Wales.

Determining Remedy

When completing the judicial review claim form, specifying the desired remedy is crucial. This entails outlining the outcome sought from the Court. The available remedies typically include:

  • Quashing Order: This remedy aims to nullify a negative decision made by the Home Office, potentially prompting a reconsideration, or remaking of the decision.
  • Injunction: Seeking an injunction aims to prevent the Home Office from executing actions such as removal from the UK. In immigration judicial reviews, quashing orders and injunctions are the most pursued remedies.

Permission Decision

In determining whether to grant permission for a judicial review hearing, a judge typically scrutinises the application and accompanying documents submitted. This assessment aims to evaluate the merits of the case and ascertain whether proceeding with a judicial review is warranted. Typically, decisions on permission are rendered within a timeframe of three to four months, barring urgent injunction applications.

Refusal of Permission

It’s important to note that many judicial review permission applications face refusal. For instance, in 2022, out of 722 civil immigration and asylum applications lodged for judicial review, only 93 were granted permission at the initial stage. These decisions are predominantly made based on document review rather than oral hearings.

Should your application for permission be denied based on document assessment, there may be avenues for renewal of the decision. This involves requesting the Court to reconsider the decision in an oral hearing. However, if your case is deemed “totally without merit,” the right to renew the decision may be forfeited. Nevertheless, it’s possible to challenge this categorisation by applying to the Court of Appeal.

Granting of Permission

Upon being granted permission to proceed with the judicial review, there are potential outcomes to consider. The Home Office may opt to settle the case outside of Court through a consent order, wherein terms of agreement are delineated. Alternatively, if the case proceeds to a full judicial hearing, you will receive detailed instructions on necessary submissions and fee payment requirements.

Stage 2: Substantive Hearing

If permission is granted and neither party seeks withdrawal, a substantive hearing ensues. During this stage, the judge meticulously examines the claim in detail, considering factors such as legality, rationality, and lawfulness of the decision under review. While the timing of the hearing may vary, it’s crucial to compile evidence demonstrating the alleged flaws in the decision-making process.

At the conclusion of the substantive hearing, the judge may deliver a decision on the day, although it’s more common for them to reserve judgment. This entails notifying you of their decision in writing at a later date, after thorough consideration of the evidence presented during the hearing.


Navigating the judicial review process in immigration cases requires specialised expertise and strategic planning. By choosing our leading London immigration law firm, you gain access to seasoned legal professionals dedicated to achieving favourable outcomes for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a conference call with our solicitor and embark on your judicial review journey with confidence.

Contact Us

For professional guidance and assistance with your application, contact our immigration solicitors on 02030110276 or complete our contact form.

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