About us

What we do

We review decisions made by people or bodies with a public law function, eg local authorities and regulatory bodies. We can:

  • carry out a judicial review of decisions made by other courts, tribunals and public bodies
  • hear challenges to decisions made by certain people or bodies (eg ministers or local government) where legislation has given the right to challenge

We also hear:

  • applications for ‘habeas corpus’, (a legal procedure where the court decides to rule on whether the detention of an individual is legal
  • applications to prevent someone who continues to initiate groundless legal proceedings (a ‘vexatious litigant’) from continuing to do so without first obtaining permission from a court
  • all applications under the Coroners Act 1988 (which deals with the appointment and conduct of coroners)
  • appeals ‘by way of case stated’ from the Crown Court or magistrates’ courts (where our opinion is sought on a particular point of law where a mistake may have been made)
  • applications for an order to imprison a person for contempt of court
  • appeals under the Extradition Act 2003 (which deals with extradition requests to and from the United Kingdom and bail)
  • appeals against decisions made by some professional bodies, eg the Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • applications for ‘restraint orders’ or ‘certificates of inadequacy’ where assets have been frozen or confiscated

We also contain a specialist Planning Court which handles judicial reviews of decisions about planning permission and other challenges to planning decisions.

Who we are

We are a specialist court within the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice.

We are based at the Royal Courts of Justice, London and also at centres in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester.

Cases may be heard by one High Court judge or by a ‘Divisional Court’ which consists of 2 or more judges, normally a High Court Judge and a Lord Justice of Appeal.

Court information

Corporate information

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