judicial review

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1 The principal means by which the High Court exercises supervision over public authorities in accordance with the doctrine of * ultra vires. The power of the High Court to exercise judicial review is often referred to as its supervisory jurisdiction. The mechanism for seeking judicial review is by making a claim under the procedure provided for in Rule 54 of the Civil Procedure Rules. Claims are made to the Administrative Division of the High Court. The common law grounds on which judicial review may be granted were defined in the case Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service [1985] AC 374 (HL) as illegality, irrationality, and procedural impropriety. In terms of the Human Rights Act1998, judicial review may also be used to challenge action by public authorities that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. If the claim for a judicial review is successful, the court may grant a quashing order, mandatory order, prohibiting order, declaration, or injunction; it may also award damages in certain circumstances.

2 In European Union law, the European Court of Justice has a judicial review function provided for under Article 230 of the EC Treaty. In terms of this provision, community acts (i.e. legally binding acts of the community institutions) are challengeable by means of judicial review on the grounds of lack of competence, infringement of an essential procedural requirement, or infringement of the Treaty or any rule of law relating to its application or misuse of powers. Action can be brought by an institution of the EU, a member state, or (in certain limited circumstances) an individual.

Subjects: Law.

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