14th November 2015

Criminal Judicial Review

Richard Wilson KC, LL.D, James McLernon and David Ball

A Practitioner’s Guide to Judicial Review in the Criminal Justice System and Related Areas.

Edited by Piers von Berg.

The contributing authors are Piers von Berg, Richard Wilson QC, Rachel Taylor, Sarah Parkes, James McLernon, Liam Loughlin, Florence Iveson, Geoffrey Sullivan, David Ball, Justin Leslie, Saoirse Townshend, Kathryn Howarth, Grainne Mellon and James Packer. The contributors include barristers at 36 Bedford Row, 42 Bedford Row, Church Court Chambers, Garden Court Chambers and solicitors from Fisher Meredith and Duncan Lewis.

This is a comprehensive guide to challenging decisions of criminal courts and public bodies in the criminal justice system using judicial review. Written by a team of criminal and public law practitioners, it considers claims for judicial review arising in the criminal justice system, which now represent a distinct area of public law. These claims are set apart by special considerations and rules; for example, on the limits of the High Court’s jurisdiction or the availability of relief during ongoing proceedings.

Criminal practitioners may lack the background to spot public law points. Equally, public law specialists may be unfamiliar with criminal law and types of issues that arise. Criminal Judicial Review is intended as a resource for both.

The book deals with the principles, case law, remedies and, the practice and procedure for obtaining legal aid and costs. It will be of assistance to any practitioner preparing or responding to judicial review claims involving the following:

  • The Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
  • Magistrates’ courts, the Crown Court and Coroners.
  • Prisons and the Parole Board.
  • Statutory bodies such as the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Legal Aid Agency.
  • Claimants who are children, young persons or have mental disorders.
  • The international dimension including extradition proceedings and European Union law.
  • Practical considerations such as CPR Part 54, remedies, legal aid and costs.

From the Foreword by The Rt Hon Lord Judge:

“The book is offered in clear and simple style, focussing less on esoteric theoretical considerations and more on the practical needs of the practitioner. It brings together materials relating to public law with which a criminal specialist may be less well informed, and material relevant to the criminal justice processes which may not be immediately apparent to the public law specialist. It will assist with the preparation of arguments, and also enable submissions which are unarguable to be discarded. It will therefore provide valuable guidance in this broad and developing area of practice.”


“Perhaps surprisingly, this is the first book exclusively devoted to the topic of criminal judicial review. Do we need one? Having read this, I think the answer is: yes… Commendably, the book does not steer clear of controversy, suggesting for example possible challenges following the recent appellate decision in the case of Davis. It has a clear and simple style, is easy to use and will meet the needs of the practitioner. In my view it will become the “go–to” book for judicial review.” Greg Foxsmith, The London Advocate

“The book’s strength is in the clarity of its approach and its structure. It provides guidance to the key principles, procedures, remedies, funding and costs. It deals in detail with applications against the police, the Prison Service, the CPS, magistrate’s court, coroners and the Crown Court.”

“Criminal Judicial Review is likely to become a standard text and it is highly recommended.”

“The book starts with the basic principles of judicial review, and then goes on to deal with specific areas in great detail: Policing, Crown Prosecution Service, Courts, Prisons, Coroners and other statutory bodies. Following that a number of specialist areas are covered, once again in great detail: Children, Young Persons and Juveniles, Mental Health, Extradition and EU law. The book ends with all important commentary on legal aid funding and costs. There is extensive referencing and analysis of case law with all recent authorities covered in full.

The book weighs in at over 700 pages, and unusually few of those are wasted on what is often unnecessary appendix material. Instead the reader is treated to both a scholarly and practical analysis of the underlying principles, a combination that few authors manage to achieve.

This book is an essential addition to any criminal law library. But there is a shocker, the price. A hardback book, 700+ pages of this quality would normally impact heavily on your wallet. Not this one, it is published by Hart Publishing at £65, which represents quite phenomenal value for money. Other publishers should take note. Don’t buy it from a bookshop, order from the publisher, they deserve the commission.” Crimeline.