Judicial Review

What is a Judicial Review?

A Judicial Review is a legal remedy in the High Court whereby any decision made by an administrative or public body such as a local authority or District Court is examined. The High Court will consider whether that decision is unlawful if it is contrary to constitutional or justice principles by assessing how the decision was made rather than the decision itself. This difference is of the utmost importance.

You may have been on the receiving end of a decision which you are not happy with, however that decision may not of itself be sufficient grounds for a case of Judicial Review unless there is a a fault in the way in which the decision was made. If a Judicial Review is not the appropriate cause of action it is likely that the correct remedy is an appeal or re-hearing of the original case. There are strict deadlines and time limits which apply to Judicial Reviews and as such early and comprehensive expert advice is crucial. At Stephen O’Mahony Solicitors we have the expertise to help you navigate through this complex area of Irish Law.

Constitutional Law

“no official, no matter how high or how important the office which he holds in the State, may breach the terms of the Constitution, and impose on or suspend the constitutional rights of another citizen''

- as stated by Hardiman J. in the Supreme Court judgment in D.P.P. v J.C.

How we protect your Constitutional rights?

The Irish Constitution has many functions such as establishing how the government operates but it also has the important function of protecting the individual rights of every Irish citizen. In his career, Stephen O’Mahony has instigated some of the most important legal decisions in Irish judicial history, decisions which have vindicated and protected these constitutional rights where they were infringed. These landmark decisions have covered areas of law such as Habeas Corpus (unlawful detentions), wrongful convictions, unconstitutionality of legislation, contesting of Extraditions, entitlement to Legal Aid and many others. These cases are testament to his legal expertise and keen sense of justice.

Stephen O’Mahony Solicitors ability and expertise in litigating in the areas of Judicial Review and Constitutional Law is underpinned by his interest and knowledge of Human Rights Law. Throughout his career he has been at the forefront of representing clients in cases where fundamental Human Rights have been infringed upon such as the right to protest, right to assemble and right to privacy. His legal aptitude and awareness of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) has helped him vindicate these human rights for clients domestically within the Irish Court system.

Examples of some landmark cases

Law on Suspended Sentences declared unconstitutional News report - (Click Here)

Section 18 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1935 News report - (Click Here)

Minister for Justice & Equality v Magdalena Rostas 2014 IEHC 391
Which has been described as a rare example of where Article 6 of the ECHR (right to a fair trial) has been invoked to Rostas 2014 IEHC 391 successfully prevent an European Arrest Warrant.

What is the process?

There is a two-step approach which applies when seeking a Judicial Review. In the first instance, you must apply to the High Court seeking permission or leave to bring a Judicial Review. This is usually done in the absence of the opposite side of the proceedings and is referred to as the ex parte application. Secondly, if the initial application is successful, the Judicial Review can proceed once the other party have been served with the legal papers and formally put on notice.

Which organisations are Judicial Reviews taken against?

• District and Circuit Court decisions.
• The State.
• Government Departments.
• Government Ministers.
• Inquest verdicts.
• Local Authorities.
• Disqualification from receiving social welfare payments.
• Decisions relating to planning permission/concerning the environment.
• Deductions from army pensions and discharge of a member of the defence forces.
• Semi State Bodies.
• Decision-making Tribunals.

Who can apply for a Judicial Review?

An application for a Judicial Review to the High Court can only be made by those who are affected by the decision. This is known as the locus standi requirement. In simple terms, you must show the court that you have sufficient interest in the decision before the High Court will review how the decision was made.

Stephen O’Mahony Solicitors are one of the few dedicated public law teams in the country who have the experience and legal know how to bring a legal action to protect your fundamental rights. If you are concerned about how a decision maker has dealt with you then please contact this office immediately.