What should a letter of claim for a judicial review contain?

The Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review sets out details as to what a letter of claim for a judicial review claim should contain.

The Protocol applies to all judicial reviews. However, it will not be appropriate to follow the Protocol where the claim is likely to become time-barred or where the Defendant does not have the legal power to change the decision being challenged or where the case is urgent.

What should the letter of claim contain?

Claimants are encouraged to use the standard format letter of claim annexed to the Protocol. In any event the letter of claim should contain the following information:

Information about the proposed Defendant

The letter of claim should be addressed to the proposed Defendant and sent to the appropriate address (see below). 

The proposed Defendant’s reference details (including relevant reference numbers for the matter in dispute and/ or details of the identity of those within the public body who have been handling the matter) should also be stated. In certain cases certain reference details should be provided (see below).

Information about the Claimant

The letter of claim should state the full name of the Claimant (including their title, first and last name) and their address. 

If the Claimant is represented the name, address and reference details of his legal advisers should also be stated. 

The letter of claim should state where the Defendant’s reply should be sent and where any Court documents should be served.

Details of the decision, act or omission

The letter of claim should contain the date and details of the decision, act or omission being challenged and why the Claimant considers it to be wrong. This is of particular importance if there has been more than one decision.

The facts

The letter of claim should contain a clear summary of the facts on which the claim is based.

The remedy sought

The letter of claim should set out details of the action that the Defendant is expected to take. This should be done by setting out details of the remedy sought, including whether a review or an interim remedy is being requested.

Information and documentation sought

The letter of claim should contain the details of any information that the Claimant is seeking and an explanation as to why the Claimant considers such information to be relevant. This may include a request for a fuller explanation of the reasons for the decision that is being challenged. 

Where the Claimant seeks disclosure of documentation or a policy, the letter of claim should set out the details of any documentation or policy sought and explain why these are relevant. If the Claimant relies on a statutory duty to disclose, this should be specified.

Details of any interested parties

If the Claimant knows of any interested parties, the details of such parties should normally be set out in the letter of claim. A copy of the letter of claim should be sent to such parties for their information and the letter of claim should confirm that a copy of the letter of claim has been sent to them. 

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For more information on:

  • Date for responding to the letter of claim
  • Where should the letter of claim be sent and what reference details need to be provided?
  • Claims concerning decisions in Immigration, Asylum or Nationality cases
  • Claims concerning decisions made by the Legal Services Commission
  • Claims concerning decisions made by a local authority
  • Claims concerning decisions made by a department or body for whom the Treasury Solicitor acts and the Treasury Solicitor has already been involved in the case.