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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

Judicial review: Application to bring proceedings

Judicial review proceedings are handled by Solicitor’s Office, in consultation with the relevant business unit. So any correspondence relating to judicial review should be referred to Solicitor’s Office.

The customer/HMRC must apply to the High Court or Upper Tribunal for permission to bring judicial review proceedings. The Upper Tribunal’s automatic jurisdiction is limited to decisions of the First-tier Tribunal which cannot be appealed. Additionally the High Court may transfer the judicial review to the Upper Tribunal or it may decide the case itself.

The Upper Tribunal may only grant permission where the applicant has sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates. The tribunal may refuse permission if the

  • applicant does not have sufficient interest in the matter,
  • there has been undue delay in making an application,
  • granting the relief sought would cause substantial hardship to, or substantially prejudice the rights of any person, or
  • would be detrimental to good administration.

The customer/HMRC must apply to the High Court or Upper Tribunal for permission to bring judicial review proceedings by sending a written application to the Court within three months of the date of the decision the application relates to.

The application can be made later if it is made within 1 month of the date when the First-tier Tribunal sent their reasons for the decision or notification that the application for the decision to be set aside was unsuccessful.

The application must state

  • their name and address
  • the name and address of

    • their representative (if any)
    • any other interested parties
  • an address where documents can be sent to them
  • details of the decision being challenged, including the date, reference and identity of the decision maker
  • a statement that the application is to bring judicial review proceedings
  • the outcome they are seeking
  • the facts and grounds of their case.

They must also send

  • a copy of any written record of the decision, and
  • copies of any other documents which the High Court/Upper Tribunal or any other party need to understand the application.

They may apply for an extension to the time limit, but must give reasons why they did not apply within the time limit.

The High Court/Upper Tribunal will send a copy of the application and any documents to all interested parties.

Any party who receives a copy of the application and wants to take part in the proceedings must write to the High Court/Upper Tribunal to acknowledge that the application has been served within 21 days of the date the High Court/Upper Tribunal sent the copy to them.

The acknowledgement must state

  • whether they intend to oppose the application for permission and, their grounds for support or opposition
  • the name and address of anyone not named in the application that they think is an interested party.

If they do not send an acknowledgement they may not take part in the application for permission. But they can take part in any subsequent proceedings if permission is given.