Judicial Review

December 10th, 2019 by James Goudie KC

In Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago v Ayers-Caesar, (2019) UKPC 44, Lord Sales for the majority of the Privy Council, reiterated, at paragraph 2, that (1) the threshold for the grant of leave to apply for judicial review is “low”; and (2) all that is to be examined is whether there is “an arguable ground for judicial review which has a realistic prospect of success”; but (3) wider questions of the public interest may have “some bearing” on whether leave should be granted; and (4) if the Court is “confident” at the leave stage that the legal position is “entirely clear” and to the effect that “the claim could not succeed”, it would “usually be appropriate” for the Court to dispose of the matter at that stage.

At paragraph 23, Lord Sales said:-

“A declaration sought from a court as relief in relation to some claim is a declaration of right as between the claimant and the relevant person who is required to respect that right. It is not possible to sue for a declaration in the abstract, without issuing proceedings against a relevant defendant. …”

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