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Excellent new Law Society practice note on immigration judicial review applications


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The Law Society’s Immigration Law Committee has put together an excellent and comprehensive practice note on immigration judicial review practice, procedure and conduct issues. It is aimed at:

All practitioners bringing immigration judicial review claims on behalf of claimants before the Administrative Court in England and Wales (High Court) and the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (Upper Tribunal).

It covers the case law on the obligations of representatives as well as a really good overview of the process of applying for judicial review on behalf of a client. The acknowledgements reveal that the practice note was reviewed by President McCloskey before publication. Basically, you would be nuts not to read it, whether you are a solicitor or a barrister.

If interested in out of hours cases and injunctions, do consider signing up for the Free Movement course on that subject, which takes a look at some of the practical and strategic issues that arise as well as covering ethics for both solicitors and barristers and including a podcast interview with Jawaid Luqmani of Luqmani Thompson and Partners.

Here’s the full contents of the Law Society Practice Note to give you a better idea of what is covered there:

1. Introduction

1.1 Who should read this practice note?

1.2 What is the issue?

2. Professional obligations

2.1 The SRA Code

2.2 Upper Tribunal guidance cases

3. When is judicial review an appropriate consideration and what are the grounds?

3.1 Are there any alternative avenues of redress?

3.2 Is the alternative remedy adequate?

3.3 Possible grounds for immigration judicial review

4. Pre-action obligations

4.1 Letter before claim

4.2 Failure to comply with the protocol 

5. Where and when to lodge a claim

5.1 Where to issue

5.1.1 Applications to issue in the Upper Tribunal

5.1.2 Applications to issue in the High Court

5.1.3 Failing to issue in the correct forum

5.2 Time limits

5.2.1 The general rule

5.2.2 Time limit for challenges to the Upper Tribunal to appeal itself

5.3 Relevant forms/fee

5.4 Documents and bundles

5.4.1 Contents of the application

5.4.2 Service of the application

6. Acknowledgement of service (AOS)

6.1 Period in which the AOS must be filed

6.2 Exceptions / extensions to the six week period

6.3 Failure of the SSHD to file the AOS

7. Decision on the permission application

7.1 In the Upper Tribunal

7.2 In the High Court

7.3 Completely without merit cases

8. The substantive hearing

8.1 Relying on additional grounds

8.2 Skeleton arguments

8.3 Substantive hearing bundle

9. Appeal to the Court of Appeal

9.1 Appeals from the Upper Tribunal

9.2 Appeals from the High Court

10. Urgent applications

10.1 When to issue an urgent application

10.2 Forms

10.3 Interim relief

10.4 Sanctions for incorrectly issuing an emergency application

10.5 Out-of-hours applications

11. Interlocutory applications  

12. Consent orders  

13. Costs

13.1 General principles

13.2 Assessment of costs

13.3 Application for wasted costs

14. Funding issues

14.1 Legal aid

14.1.1 Scope

14.1.2 Merits test

14.1.3 Means test

14.1.4 Emergency applications

14.1.5 Limitations and amendments

14.1.6 Issuing notice

14.1.7 High cost cases

14.1.8 Claiming legal aid costs

14.1.9 Professional and contractual obligations arising from the legal aid costs rules

15. A summary of good practice  

16. Acknowledgements  

17. Annex A – further resources

17.1 Legislation and procedure rules

17.2 Case law

17.3 Forms

17.4 Additional resources

Told you it was comprehensive.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.