When is it time to apply for a judicial review? And how do I go about it?

The judicial review process made headlines again this week, this time in relation to an equestrian farmer who was refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanála to build a residential house on his farmland. of 18 acres in the town of Rathcoole, south of Dublin.

Naomi Hanlon says she was born and raised less than 150m from the Carrigeen development site, Rathcoole, Co Dublin, and is now the full-time operator of the family farm and equestrian centre, which are home to about 60 sheep and 10 horses.

Although the development application was refused on the grounds that the development would result in “random rural housing” in an urban area, Ms Hanlon said it was necessary for the operation of the farm that she live on the ground.

Judge Charles Meenan was satisfied that the plaintiff had raised substantial grounds which justified allowing Ms. Hanlon to pursue a judicial review challenge.

Judicial review is a mechanism by which an application can be made to the High Court to challenge the decision-making processes of administrative bodies and lower courts and is often used for planning decisions.

The purpose of judicial review is to ensure that administrative decisions of public bodies are made in accordance with legal and constitutional principles.

Therefore, it mainly deals with the decisional process
s rather than with the substance of the decision, but there is also a limited opportunity to review the substance of a decision.

There are two types – a conventional judicial review and a statutory judicial review.

The difference is that statutory judicial review involves statutory regimes, such as planning and asylum. The time limit is normally three months from the date on which the grounds for the request first appeared, but may vary under certain legal regimes.

For example, judicial review of a planning decision should generally be subject to eight weeks.

How to apply for judicial review

If you wish to initiate judicial review proceedings, you must appoint a lawyer. If you are filing an application for judicial review, you must first seek leave or an order of habeas corpus from the High Court.

The reason the court asks for permission is to filter out frivolous claims or baseless claims from the start.

In relation to planning matters, before filing an application for judicial review, you will need to show a court that all other avenues have been exhausted and that there have been appeals of a planning authority’s decision. development in front of An Bord Pleanala.

If this has not been done, it is likely that leave will be denied. The applicant will also have to demonstrate that he has a substantial interest in the proceedings, but also that he has serious grounds for contesting the decision.

This authorization request can be made initially ex parte, which means that the applicant does not have to put the other party in default.

The application for judicial review must, however, be served on the other party and the applicant must state the grounds for the application with an affidavit and the other party will have the opportunity to respond and state its position in a replying affidavit or statement of opposition.

If an application is successful, the High Court can grant a number of relief, including:

  • Order by Certiorari that the High Court may set aside the original decision and the original decision-maker must usually then reconsider the case and make a new decision.
  • Order of Mandamus by which the High Court can compel a judicial body to make a decision.
  • A restraining order by which the High Court can restrain the judicial body from making a decision.
  • A declaration where the Court can issue a declaration of the rights of the parties.
  • An injunction that can either prevent an action from occurring or compel an action.
  • Damages if the court finds it an appropriate remedy.