Legal aid FAQs - judicial review

Q1.   How do I make an application for a judicial review?

You will need to make an application to representation higher. Given the time constrains we would expect all applications for judicial review to be made as emergency applications. When prospects of success are being considered for a potential judicial review, the Agency is concerned with the prospects of securing the substantive relief being sought. Simply having good prospects of obtaining leave from the court to proceed is not sufficient. However, if the judicial review is seeking to overturn a decision, the Agency will not generally need to consider whether a different decision would be reached by the public body if the challenge were successful.

In cases where the court has already granted leave, the Agency may regard the legal merits test as having been satisfied, in the absence of any new information casting doubt on the merits of the application. Even in cases where leave has been granted legal aid may be refused under the reasonableness test on applicable grounds, for example lack of cost benefit or the availability of alternative funding.

All funded judicial reviews must be conducted in accordance with the Judicial Review Practice Note and Pre-Action Protocol.

For guidance on how to submit an emergency application request in LAMS, refer to Section 18.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual and ‘Submitting an emergency application’ in the Instructional Videos.


Q2.   What information do LSANI require?

Please provide the following:

  • Best estimates of prospects of obtaining the relief being sought and likely costs, as defined in the guidance.
  • Statement of the main grounds of the challenge.
  • Explanation of the client’s standing to bring the proceedings.
  • Description of any other appeals or avenues available to the client and how the other side have responded to them.
  • Identification of any other persons who might benefit from the outcome of the proceedings and whether attempts have been made to secure funding from them.
  • Details of any previous judicial review proceedings brought by the applicant.
  • Details of any related challenges and the outcome of same.

Q3.   What documentation should I provide with my application?

We will require:

  • Relevant interparty correspondence, in particular correspondence under the Pre-Action Protocol.
  • Key disclosed documents, including the document setting out the decision under challenge.
  • Any relevant supporting documentation e.g. policy documents, relevant legislation, guidance.

For guidance on how to upload a document in LAMS, refer to ‘Uploading a document’ in the Instructional Videos.

Q4.   What type of certificate will I receive?

Generally, the Agency will limit the certificate to certain steps in proceedings so as to minimise the exposure of the fund in the early stages of the case.

Certificates for judicial review will be limited to taking all necessary steps to prepare and lodge a leave application and for junior counsel to appear and present that application. Should a “rolled up hearing” be anticipated this should be made clear on the face of the application. When a limitation has been exhausted you should follow the amendment request process to seek either a further limitation or a full certificate.

For guidance on how to submit an amendment request in LAMS, refer to Section 19.0 of the LAMS Supplier Manual.

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