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Judicial Reviews

Generally, a Judicial review is the power of a court to review a law or an official act of a government employee or agent for constitutionality or for the violation of basic principles of justice.

In many jurisdictions, the court has the power to strike down that law, to overturn the executive act, or order a public official to act in a certain manner if it believes the law or act to be unconstitutional or to be contrary to law in a free and democratic society.

In England the power goes further, and it may be possible to strike down a decision simply because it ignored relevant and material facts.

Judicial review in England is provided by virtue of section 31 of the Supreme Court Act 1981. Pursuant to s.31(3) a prospective applicant for judicial review must request permission to apply for judicial review, and permission shall not be granted unless "the High Court considers that the applicant has a sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates".

Courts in England and Wales have the power to strike down an administrative action, but under the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy they do not have authority to strike down a statute or review an action on constitutional grounds.