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Attending a judicial review

Yesterday, I observed the second and final day of the judicial review substantive hearing F v Buckinghamshire County Council. I was only able to hear the final points and submissions (we had our tCI member exclusive webinar on the first day of the hearing), but the morning’s arguments by both barristers raised interesting questions concerning early help and children’s centres. I’m sure many councils reading this may have been in a similar position or might have this item on their agenda to discuss and you can expect an explanation and commentary on the judgment from the Institute, when it is released. Until then, I thought it might be useful to talk you through the process of a judicial review.

It is the final hurdle. You’ve completed your public consultation, but then you receive a letter before action and a judge grants permission for a full hearing.

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself challenged in the High Court, you’ll want to make sure you have done your homework meticulously. One of the points of interest for me is the amount of detail discussed and analysed in a hearing is huge. For example, one of the arguments could focus entirely on the criticism over the wording used in a document (options v solutions) or possibly the lack of wording used that may have helped to evidence whether you had due regard or had conscientious consideration before taking a decision (Gunning Four). I once attended a hearing where the placement of a comma to separate the meaning of a word was of crucial importance!

When I met recently with David Wolfe QC, I asked him to run through the process from start to finish and you can hear it below.

Our Law of Consultation course discusses cases challenged in the High Court and our recently launched two-day Masterclass goes into further detail and allows more time for debate on the cases.

If you would like to learn more about the process of a legal challenge, contact me via email at

About the Author

Rebecca is the Institute’s Client Executive. She has experience in a legal environment working within the family law department. She studied Politics at Leeds university and took a key in interest in public engagement. Her role provides the Institute with knowledge and up to date case law for the benefit of clients. She has spent time working abroad and with international charities.
Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys travelling and chasing the sunshine, cooking, shopping and spending time with her family.

Read more about Rebecca

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