Our administrative and public law team specialises in holding public authorities to account
Our administrative and public law team specialises in holding public authorities to account. Our lawyers are regularly instructed to bring judicial reviews of government decisions – often in ground breaking and high profile litigation.
ITN's public law team advises private individuals, companies and non-governmental organisations on bringing challenges to a range of public bodies. Our extensive experience allows us to navigate complex public law and governance issues, whether contentious or non-contentious.
We advise on a wide range of matters, including constitutional and governance issues, equalities and human rights, regulatory functions and the formulation and implementation of policy. Our lawyers have challenged decisions made by government ministers, regulators, local authorities, police officers, the Charity Commission, schools and universities. We have also brought challenges to private companies exercising public functions and to political parties. Our aim is to develop an effective strategy, however novel or complex. Often, an issue can be resolved out of court at pre-action stage, but if necessary, we have experience of litigating at all levels of the Courts, from the High Court to the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.
Our Public Law team has proven expertise in all aspects of public law, including:
We have obtained notable successes in a variety of cases, from winning substantial damages for individuals who have been the victims of unlawful government action to effecting changes in central government policy. Our notable cases include:
Our lawyers are also active in professional and academic circles, contributing to the wider debate around public law issues through articles, seminars and are often invited to participate in public talks and debates.
Public law allows citizens to hold public authorities and state actors to account and to challenge them when things go wrong. Judicial Review is the tool which allows a Court to scrutinise the conduct of a public authority or those performing public functions. The Court will look, for example, as to whether that public authority has acted reasonably. It may also look at whether any decision made by those performing public functions does not breach laws such as the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010.
If you wish to challenge a decision made by a body acting in a public capacity, such as a central government department, legal advice should be sought as soon as possible.
Our Lawyers can help, individuals, representative groups or companies to have their voices heard. We can ensure that the decision maker looks again at the decision, preferably before any damage is done. A powerfully worded letter, complaint or internal appeal can sometimes be sufficient. If it is not, it may be necessary to bring judicial review proceedings.
These may lead to bad decisions being overturned and sometimes to authoritative rulings on the legality of policies, rules and procedures. Judicial review can develop the law and help others.
It is very important that you act quickly if wish to bring a judicial review case against a public body. The timeframes are very short indeed - most cases must be brought both promptly and within three months of the decision, but some, such as planning, environmental and procurement cases may need to be brought within six weeks.
We offer competitive private rates and can explore alternative funding options with you.
We also hold a Legal Aid Agency contract in public law so free legal aid may be available to you if you are on a very low income including where you are detained or imprisoned.