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Judicial review in Scotland: Wikis


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The power of judicial review of all actions of administrative bodies in Scotland (including the Scottish Parliament) is held by the Court of Session. The procedure is governed by Chapter 58 of the Rules of Court. There are no time limits on seeking judicial review, although if proper administration is prejudiced by delay on the part of the pursuer, the court may exercise its discretion and refuse to grant a review. Despite the procedural differences, the substantive laws regarding the grounds of judicial review in Scotland are the same as in England and Wales, with decisions in one jurisdiction regarded as highly persuasive in the other. There is, however, one substantial difference in Scotland since there is no distinction between review of a public body and a private body, which is different from in England, where review is only possible in the case of a public body or a quasi-public body (West v. Secretary of State for Scotland). Readers are referred to Judicial review in English Law for further detail on the grounds of review. Generally, it is confined to purely procedural grounds (the official action was illegal or improper), although the court will also sanction decisions which are, in substance, so unreasonable that no reasonable decision-maker could have reached it (so-called Wednesbury unreasonableness). A more rigorous standard of substantive review is applied where the matter complained of touches upon the pursuer's rights in terms of the Human Rights Act 1998. About six hundred judicial review cases are raised every year, but most are settled by agreement with only a small minority having to be decided by the court.



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