Administrative Court: bring a case to the court
How to use the Administrative Court, part of the High Court which can hear cases about judicial reviews, statutory appeals and extradition.
Cases dealt with by the court
The Administrative Court deals with cases involving:
- judicial review of decisions by other courts, tribunals or public bodies
- statutory appeals and applications – legal challenges to government decisions, where the law allows this
- habeas corpus – deciding if someone has been legally detained
- extradition appeals – to return a person to a country to stand trial or serve a sentence
The court can hear a range of other cases, such as contempt of court applications, coroners’ decisions, and appeals by way of case stated from criminal courts.
Hearings take place in local centres in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, London and Manchester.
Read detailed guidance on bringing a judicial review case to the Administrative Court.
Planning and immigration judicial reviews
Use the Planning Court if you want to judicially review a planning matter.
Apply to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) for a judicial review of an immigration or asylum decision.
Before you start
Think carefully before you start a case, and try to settle the dispute out of court if you can.
Bringing a case can be complex, expensive and time-consuming.
You’ll probably need legal help on your options, the paperwork or presenting your case.
You will be asked to produce and share large numbers of documents and may have to pay for a number of hearings before the final trial.
If you lose your case, you will usually have to pay the other side’s costs, which can be very high.
Help and advice
You can get help and advice from a solicitor or barrister.
You may also be able to get free help from:
Court staff can explain how the process works but can’t give you legal advice.
There may be strict time limits for some types of appeal.
Check with a solicitor if you’re unsure about how much time you’ve got to start a claim.
Start a court case
To start a case, fill in the relevant form.
You will normally need permission to start a judicial review.
- Judicial review claim form (N461)
- Urgent judicial review claim form (N463)
- Start statutory appeal or case stated (N161)
- Statutory application (N208)
- Apply for permission to appeal under the Extradition Act (EXN161)
Where to send your form
You can send your form to your nearest local centre below.
You’ll need to bring along your own copy, a copy for the court and one copy for each of the defendants in the case.
Birmingham Civil and Family Justice Centre
33 Bull Street
Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre
2 Park Street
Leeds Combined Court Centre
1 Oxford Row
Administrative Court Office
Royal Courts of Justice
Manchester County Court and Family Court
1 Bridge Street West
Pay the court fee
You will usually have to pay a court fee to start your case.
Check the list of fees for details.
You can pay with cash, a credit/debit card, or a postal order or cheque (paid to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’).
If you’re on benefits or a low income you may be able to get help with your court fees.
Applying to the court and next steps
The court will stamp the copies of your form.
You may have to give or send a copy to the person or company who will be defending the case, known as the defendant.
A judge will decide if the court can take your case if you need permission to appeal.
If you’re refused permission you can ask for a short hearing to put your case in person.
The court will write to you to tell you the next steps.
The courtroom will usually be open to the public.
If you disagree with the decision
If you disagree with the decision, you may be able to ask the court for permission to appeal. You have to do this at the hearing.
If you’re turned down you can still apply to the higher court for permission. You can’t apply if you’re refused permission to appeal against a judicial review decision.
You don’t need permission to appeal in habeas corpus cases.
The other side can also appeal if you win your case.
Claiming back legal costs
You may be able to claim back these costs if you win, but you could be made to pay the defendant’s costs if you lose.
The judge will take into account how both sides acted during the case before deciding to allow or award costs.
The court’s decisions on earlier cases are published on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) website.
You can find detailed rules on using the court in the Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Directions.
|Type of case||Procedure rule||Practice direction|
|Judicial review||Part 54||Practice direction 54|
|Statutory appeal||Part 52||Practice direction 52|
|Appeals by way of case stated||Part 52||Practice direction 52E|
|Habeas corpus||Part 87|
Read section 3 of part 50 of the Criminal Procedure Rules for details of extradition appeals.
Published: 25 July 2016