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. 

The Protocol strongly advises Claimants to seek appropriate legal advice when considering making a claim for judicial review and, in particular, before sending the letter of claim to other parties or before making a claim.

Date for responding to the letter of claim

The Claimant should indicate when it expects the Defendant to respond to the letter of claim. Normally this will be within 14 days, although the precise time will depend upon the circumstances of a particular case. Normally a claim should not be made until this date has passed, unless the circumstances of the case require immediate action to be taken.

Where should the letter of claim be sent and what reference details need to be provided?

Apart from where stated below, the letter of claim should be sent to the address on the letter notifying the decision and marked with the reference details stated on that letter.

Claims concerning decisions in Immigration, Asylum or Nationality cases

The letter of claim should be sent to the Judicial Review Unit of the UK Border Agency. Their address is St Anne’s House, 20-26 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 2RL. 

The following reference details should be stated, depending on the type of case: 

  • The Home Office reference number;
  • The Port reference number;
  • The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal reference number;
  • The National Asylum Support Service reference number. 

If these are unavailable, the full name, nationality and date of birth of the Claimant should be stated.

Claims concerning decisions made by the Legal Services Commission

The letter of claim should be sent to the Legal Director of the Legal Services Commission’s Corporate Legal Team. Their address is 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London SW1P 2BS. 
 

The certificate reference number should be stated.

Claims concerning decisions made by a local authority

The letter of claim should be sent to the address on the decision letter or notification. A further copy should be sent to the local authority’s legal department.

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.

The letter of claim should be sent to department or body for who the Treasury Solicitor acts. A further copy should be sent to the Treasury Solicitor. Their address is One Kemble Street, London WC2B 4TS.