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What constitutes an action, decision or omission that may be challenged by judicial review

The Court will consider whether an action, decision or omission is amenable to review on the facts of each individual case. However, as a general rule, the Court takes a broad view as to what constitutes a challengeable action, decision or omission by a body exercising a public function. By way of example, the Court has held that press releases and policy guidance (national and local) may be amenable to review in particular circumstances.

In some circumstances, a public authority will make a series of decisions on a particular matter. For example, a local authority committee may develop a policy and decide to submit it for the approval of the full council at a later date. In such cases, it is likely that only the authority’s final decision – where it decides whether to approve the policy – would be amenable to judicial review (i.e. it is unlikely  that the initial decision – to submit the policy for the full council’s consideration – would be reviewable). Nevertheless, the Court will decide on the facts of each case whether a particular decision is reviewable.

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