The Court has the power to grant relief from a public authority’s action, decision or omission if one or more of the common law grounds of review are made out.
However, in addition to the common law grounds of review, specific legislation sets out additional grounds on which a public authority’s decisions or actions may be challenged; these are known as ‘statutory’ grounds of review. By way of example, section 112 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 allows the Supreme Court to consider whether a Bill passed by the National Assembly for Wales is within the Assembly’s power (i.e. to consider the Bill’s legality on particular grounds), and Schedule 9 to the same Act allows the courts to consider, among other things, whether the Welsh Ministers’ decisions or actions are within their powers (i.e. to consider an action or decision’s legality).
Another example of a statutory ground of review, and the most relevant for the purposes of this guidance, is that set out in the Human Rights Act 1998. Section 6 of that Act provides that it is unlawful for a ‘public authority’ to act in a way which is incompatible with a Convention right, and section 7 sets out that the victim of an unlawful decision or act may bring a judicial review challenge in the courts.