What we do

Improving access to judicial review is a core focus for Public Law Project.  

Judicial review is a legal process that allows individuals and communities to stop public authorities from acting unfairly or unlawfully. It can be used, for example, to challenge the improper closure of schools or hospitals, to release someone from unlawful detention, or to ensure that people are not denied access to benefits to which they are entitled.

Judicial review is a fundamental part of the public law system in the UK and an essential constitutional check against executive power. It is therefore particularly important for poor and marginalised groups. Unfortunately, under the current system, financial barriers and restrictions to legal aid mean that for many people it is out of reach.

PLP is tackling three main challenges. They are to:

  • Keep the pressure on decision-makers to enhance and preserve access to judicial review
  • Ensure that charities and NGOs can use judicial review to support the poor and the marginalised
  • Improve access to judicial review in ‘advice desert’ areas

How we do it

Casework

PLP regularly represents individuals and charities in cases to help them to challenge unfair systems, enforce their rights, and to improve access to judicial review.

  • Protecting charities from legal costs in judicial review – Cornerhouse and Bahta

If you are a charity or NGO and you would like to speak with one of our caseworkers, please get in touch: s.harper@publiclawproject.org.uk

Research and policy

PLP helps to inform on-going policy discussions on judicial review by sharing and disseminating research and insight about how the system works and the barriers people face in accessing public law remedies.

We also publish resources on how public law and strategic litigation can be used to challenge unfair systems and to clarify the law in the wider public interest.

We regularly produce consultation responses and briefings for Parliamentarians.

If you work in Government, academia, policy or research, or if you want to know more about our research and policy work in judicial review, please get in touch: research@publiclawproject.org.uk

Working with charities, NGOs and civil society organisations

PLP works with a wide range of charity and civil society groups to identify and pursue public law issues affecting their beneficiary groups. We work with NGOs, campaigners and academics to understand how and when strategic litigation can be used most effectively.

Through a strategic partnership with the Lankelly Chase Foundation, PLP works directly with frontline charities to support people facing severe and multiple disadvantage.

Training and resources

Each year hundreds of lawyers from charities, private practice and NGOs, as well as advisers and public authority decision-makers, attend PLP’s flagship How to do Judicial Review training. PLP also produces regular training programmes on specific aspects of judicial review, such as on how to navigate costs and financial barriers. Additionally, we deliver bespoke training packages for charities and advisers as well as guides on judicial review for members of the public.

“I have definitely been more proactive in initiating pre action protocol procedures and applying for funding … I have used the information pack a great deal in a current case.” – Testimonial

Get in touch with a member of our training team: events@publiclawproject.org.uk