Challenging Immigration Decisions through Judicial Reviews
If you or your client have had an immigration application refused, depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to use a judicial review to have the decision overturned if the legality of that decision, and the process used to arrive at it, can be brought into question.
At Imperium Chambers, we completely understand how stressful it can be when an immigration decision doesn’t go in your favour, especially if there is a threat of deportation or removal, and there are emotive family matters to consider. However, even if an individual is being detained and no right of appeal has been granted, it may not be too late to challenge the decision. And that’s where a judicial review can be so powerful.
About judicial reviews
In immigration cases, judicial reviews are often used where no right to appeal has been granted. They are usually a last resort and can be incredibly complex and time consuming. However, with the right expertise behind them, they have the potential to revoke a decision, offering a lifeline in many immigration cases.
A judicial review does not set out to challenge a final decision in an immigration case, but instead the process that led to that decision. They can be used to question the fact that a right to appeal was not granted, or to examine the legality of an order to remove someone to another country. If it can be proved that such decisions were not made lawfully, then it opens the doorway to put forward an additional legal challenge which could, in turn, lead to having a decision overturned.
The judicial review process can be summarised as follows:
- Letter before action / pre-action protocol letter (PAP) – before the application can begin, a letter must be sent to the Home Office providing a reasonable amount of time (usually 14 days) to respond and change its decision. Sometimes, when prepared with expertise, a PAP can lead to the Home Office reconsidering its decision without having to go as far as a judicial review, saving a great deal of time and money. If the claim does go ahead, then the judge will often view the PAP to decide whether you should be entitled to your costs.
- Judicial review application on the papers – a judicial review requires permission from the Court or Tribunal. The judge will need to be persuaded that your case is arguable in order to allow it to proceed, so the grounds for the review will need to be drafted with great care, fully explaining your case and raising the relevant objections.
- Renewed judicial review application – where a judge refuses permission to bring a judicial review on the papers, the next step is to request a hearing to allow you to explain your case to the Court or Tribunal. Such hearings can be an intense experience, requiring sound expertise and experience in the preparation stages. Our barristers here at Imperium Chambers are highly experienced in this type of hearing and have an exceptional record of success in persuading judges to allow the review to proceed.
- Substantive review hearing – once you have been granted permission to bring a judicial review, the court will have a substantive hearing where the judge will hear detailed arguments and scrutinise the evidence submitted. Because we are barristers, we will have represented you from the very start of the case, so we’ll have the advantage of knowing precisely what evidence will be relevant, and how to present it so that you have the best possible chance of a successful outcome.
- Consent order – if the Home Office believes that they may lose the case because there is an error in their decision or the process they used, they will often issue a consent order. This may be issued immediately following the judicial review claim being filed, after permission is granted at the renewal hearing, or any time ahead of the substantive review hearing. The better presented your case, the more chance you have of the Home Office reconsidering its decision.
How Imperium Chambers can help
Whether you wish to challenge a court’s immigration decision, or you want to press ahead with an appeal but no right to appeal has been granted, Imperium Chambers is ready to help.
With so much at stake, it is vital that your case is given the support it needs through the highest levels of expertise and ability. And that is precisely what you’ll get from the renowned immigration barristers at Imperium Chambers, always dedicated to achieving justice for our clients.