Bringing or Defending a Civil Case
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1. What are the other important matters that I should know about judicial review?

Timing

Judicial review proceedings must be brought promptly and in any case within 3 months of the date when grounds for the application first arose. In other words, if you want to apply for a review of a particular administrative decision, you must start your legal action within 3 months from the date when the decision was made.

Leave (permission to apply for the review)

An application for judicial review is by way of a two-stage process. You, as the applicant, must first obtain leave from the Court of First Instance of the High Court to bring an application for judicial review. If the court grants leave, you can then proceed with the substantive application.

Relief (solutions or ways to settle the dispute)

In your "Notice of application for leave to apply for Judicial Review" (Form 86A), it is important to state clearly the relief that you seek by way of judicial review. (You can read the notes for guidance and get a sample of Form 86A from the website of the Resource Centre for Unrepresented Litigants.)

The relief sought may include one or more of the following:

(a) Mandamus

This is an order compelling the respondent to perform an act specified in the order of the court, which is in the nature of a public duty or obligation. The act or obligation has to be specified in the application.

(b) Certiorari

This is an order to quash or set aside a decision already made by the respondent.

(c) Prohibition

This is an order to prevent the respondent from acting or continuing to act in excess of his power or to act against the rules of natural justice.

(d) Declaration

This is an order declaring the legal rights and duties of the parties.

(e) Injunction

This is an order restraining any person from acting in an office in which he is not entitled to act.

(f) Damages (compensation)

Damages may be claimed as relief in addition to other remedies. You cannot commence judicial review proceedings solely in order to seek damages.

(g) Interim (temporary/provisional) relief

The court may make interim orders before the substantive application for judicial review is decided. However, interim relief will not be granted before leave to apply for judicial review is given.

Further information

The application for judicial review is regulated under Order 53 of the Rules of the High Court and Practice Direction SL3 (Directions made by the Judge in charge of the Constitutional and Administrative Law List pursuant to O 72 r 2(3) of the Rules of the High court). Order 53 and the Practice Direction comprehensively set out the procedures you should follow in this type of application.

You can also refer to the webpage of the Resource Centre for Unrepresented Litigants to get a summary of the procedure.

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