Judicial Review is an application to the High Court to set aside (quash) a decision of the Home Office, UKBA (UK Border Agency) or the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. It is a way of holding government bodies accountable, by challenging the legality of their decisions. This application will only take place once all appeals have been exhausted. Understandably, Judicial Review applications require specialised expertise, and one needs to obtain sound legal advice before making such an application to the High Court.
Immigration lawyers are the experts to go to, should one find oneself at odds with the UKBA. Advice can be obtained on all manner of visas, and help is available at all stages of the process. It may be prudent to obtain legal intervention at the appeals stage, well before the case reaches the point of Judicial Review. There have been many satisfactory conclusions to cases on appeal, without those cases ever having to go further.
Should one’s visa be refused, one would lodge an appeal with the Tribunal (provided that a right to appeal has been granted). At an Immigration Appeal, one’s case will be heard by an independent Immigration Judge. The Appeal allows one to put forward a stronger verbal argument than would have been the case in the original written visa application. If the application succeeds, one will be allowed to remain in the UK. If the applicant lives abroad, he/she will be allowed to enter the UK.
In cases where the Home Office, UKBA has denied a visa, and not granted a right of appeal against the refusal, the refusal may be challenged by Judicial Review. A Pre-Action Protocol notice must be sent to the Home Office, UKBA giving 14 days to review their decision. If their original decision is upheld, or if they do not respond within 14 days, one may apply to the High Court for permission to apply for Judicial Review. If, after the court hearing, the visa is approved, the High Court will be asked to decide whether or not the Home Office, UKBA acted lawfully or not.
The volume of applications for Judicial Review in immigration cases has risen alarmingly over the last few years. It is said that they have tripled in the last decade. One of the reasons for this has been the Home Office, UKBA’s apparent inertia in dealing with thousands of cases. It has been said that up to a quarter of all immigration-related applications for Judicial Review, are aimed at challenging delays in UKBA decision-making. Recently, there has been much written in the press about the chaos within the UKBA. There are allegedly thousands of unopened mail items, and thousands of cases that have missed their deadlines. One of these cases has been waiting since 1995 for a decision. Many of these cases involve people who have children in the UK, and the lack of urgency or answers has caused untold distress. Immigration lawyers mostly agree that Judicial Review is often the only thing that works, and they are against any government plans to restrict applications.
About the Author:
Angelina is a freelance business and legal blogger. She enjoys writing about challenges that government departments face. She recommends looking around for knowledgeable immigration lawyers to help you appeal a judge’s decision. Jennifer can be found blogging about all current business and legal issues.