Guidance

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.

It also handles appeals from certain professional organisations, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Hearings take place in local centres in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, London and Manchester.

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.

Time limits

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.

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

Birmingham Civil and Family Justice Centre
Priory Courts
33 Bull Street
Birmingham
B4 6DS

Birmingham Civil and Family Justice Centre

Cardifff

Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre
2 Park Street
Cardiff
CF10 1ET

Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre

Leeds

Leeds Combined Court Centre
The Courthouse
1 Oxford Row
Leeds
LS1 3BG

Leeds Combined Court Centre

London

Administrative Court Office
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

Administrative Court Office

Manchester

Manchester County Court and Family Court
1 Bridge Street West
Manchester
M60 9DJ

Manchester County Court and Family Court

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 trial

Your case will be heard by a High Court judge or a ‘Divisional Court’ with a High Court judge and a Court of Appeal judge.

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.

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.

Previous decisions

The court’s decisions on earlier cases are published on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) website.

Court rules

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