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What is Judicial Review?

By Caragh Deery - Law Student @ St Hilda's College, Oxford


Judicial review is the cornerstone of administrative law. In judicial review actions, a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision made or an action taken by a public authority. Any body exercising a public law function is susceptible to challenge by judicial review. This includes, but is by no means limited to, decisions of government departments, such as the Department for Education, decisions of the Attorney General, through to decisions made by local councils.

The constitutional importance of judicial review is immense. It ensures that the decis