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Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Chapter one: Defining the constitution
  3. Chapter two: Parliamentary sovereignty
  4. Chapter three: The rule of law and the separation of powers
  5. Chapter four: The royal prerogative
  6. Chapter five: The House of Commons
  7. Chapter six: The House of Lords
  8. Chapter seven: The electoral system
  9. Chapter eight: Parliamentary privilege
  10. Chapter nine: Constitutional conventions
  11. Chapter ten: Local government
  12. Chapter eleven: Parliamentary sovereignty within the European Union
  13. Chapter twelve: The governance of Scotland and Wales
  14. Chapter thirteen: Substantive grounds of judicial review 1: illegality, irrationality and proportionality
  15. Chapter fourteen: Procedural grounds of judicial review
  16. Chapter fifteen: Challenging governmental decisions: the process
    1. Barnard and Others v National Dock Labour Board and Another [1953] 1 All ER 1113
    2. RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT ORDER 53 rule 1
    3. Heywood v Hull Prison Board of Visitors and another [1980] 3 All ER 594
    4. Supreme Court Act 1981
    5. O'Reilly v Mackman and others and other cases [1982] 3 All ER 1124
    6. Wandsworth London Borough Council v Winder [1984] 3 All ER 976
    7. Law v National Greyhound Racing Club Ltd [1983] 3 All ER 300
    8. R v East Berkshire Health Authority, ex parte Walsh [1984] 3 All ER 425
    9. R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Benwell [1984] 3 All ER 854
    10. R v Panel on Take-overs and Mergers, ex parte Datafin plc and another (Norton Opax plc and another intervening) [1987] 1 All ER 564
    11. Roy v Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Family Practitioner Committee [1992] 1 All ER 705
    12. R v Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, ex parte World Development Movement Ltd [1995] 1 All ER 611
    13. Boddington v British Transport Police [1998] 2 All ER 203
  17. Chapter sixteen: Locus standi
  18. Chapter seventeen: Human rights I: Traditional perspectives
  19. Chapter eighteen: Human rights II: Emergent principles
  20. Chapter nineteen: Human rights III: New substantive grounds of review
  21. Chapter twenty: Human rights IV: The Human Rights Act 1998
  22. Chapter twenty-one: Human rights V: The impact of The Human Rights Act 1998
  23. Chapter twenty-two: Human rights VI: Governmental powers of arrest and detention
  24. Chapter twenty-three: Leaving the European Union

Supreme Court Act 1981


31 Application for judicial review


(1) An application to the High Court for one or more of the following forms of relief, namely-

(a) mandamus, prohibition or certiorari; [These remedies are now re-styled as 'a mandatory order'; 'a probitory order'; and 'a quashing order 'respectively.]

(b) a declaration or injunction under subsection (2); or

(c) an injunction under section 30 restraining a person not entitled to do so from acting in an office to which that section applies,

shall be made in accordance with rules of court by a procedure to be known as an application for judicial review.


(2) A declaration may be made or an injunction granted under this subsection in any case where an application for judicial review, seeking that relief, has been made and the High Court considers that, having regard to-

(a) the nature of the matters in respect of which relief may be granted by mandatory, prohibiting or quashing orders;

(b) the nature of the persons and bodies against whom relief may be granted by such orders; and

(c) all the circumstances of the case,

it would be just and convenient for the declaration to be made or of the injunction to be granted, as the case may be.


(3) No application for judicial review shall be made unless the leave of the High Court has been obtained in accordance with rules of court; and the court shall not grant leave to make such an application unless it considers that the applicant has a sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates.


(4) On an application for judicial review the High Court may award to the applicant damages, restitution or the recovery of a sum due if-

(a) the application includes a claim for such an award arising from any matter to which the application relates; and

(b) the court is satisfied that such an award would have been made if the claim had been made in an action begun by the applicant at the time of making the application.

(5) If, on an application for judicial review seeking a quashing order, the High Court quashes the decision to which the application relates, the High Court may remit the matter to the court, tribunal or authority concerned, with a direction to reconsider it and reach a decision in accordance with the findings of the High Court.


(6) Where the High Court considers that there has been undue delay in making an application for judicial review, the court may refuse to grant-

(a) leave for the making of the application; or

(b) any relief sought on the application,

if it considers that the granting of the relief sought would be likely to cause substantial hardship to, or substantially prejudice the rights of, any person or would be detrimental to good administration.


(7) Subsection (6) is without prejudice to any enactment or rule of court which has the effect of limiting the time within which an application for judicial review may be made.