Public and Administrative Law

The law that regulates and controls government departments and other public bodies is known as public and administrative law. Its principle remedy is judicial review. This is the means whereby an individual or business can challenge the lawfulness of government action that affects them. Members of Foundry Chambers have experience in bringing and defending these challenges, in areas as diverse as the administration of police cautions, judicial bias, human trafficking, immigration detention and the legality of the badger cull.

Members of Foundry Chambers can assist at all stages of a public law challenge. Strict time limits apply, and so early advice is essential. Some members can provide this on a direct access basis in appropriate cases. Members are often instructed to draft letters to public bodies explaining why what they have done is unlawful, and asking them to remedy the breach. They also draft applications for judicial review, and appear before the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal including applications for urgent consideraiton. In addition to acting for applicants, members are also frequently instructed by government departments and public authorities to respond to applications.

Though judicial review is the principle remedy, not all public law challenges need be brought in this way. In some areas, there is a statutory regulator or tribunal, such as the Information Commissioner for disputes to do with freedom of information and data protection, or the Independent Monitor for issues to do with the disclosure of criminal records. In other areas, a complaint to a regulator can be combined with action in the civil courts, for instance in cases of police malpractice. Members of Foundry Chambers have wide experience of the routes available to challenge the actions of public bodies including civil claims, and can advise on the best course.

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