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Public Law and Judicial Review
Public law applies to decisions taken by public bodies such as government departments, local authorities and regulatory bodies and also to quasi public bodies exercising public functions. It can be distinguished from private law which governs relationships between individuals and private companies.
Public law controls public bodies which usually derive their authority to make decisions from Parliament in the form of legislation.
Decisions made by public bodies often have a significant commercial impact on companies that operate in the geographical area or regulatory industry overseen by the public body in question.
Unless the public body has the legal authority to make the decision in question, or to act in the way it did, it will be acting outside its powers, which is unlawful. The legal authority may either be a power that it can exercise in certain circumstances, or it may impose a duty that the public body must fulfil.
If a decision or an action is authorised by legislation, it will also be unlawful if it breaches certain other public law principles relating broadly to the way in which decisions should be made.
If your company has suffered as a result of an unlawful decision or act of a public body, our team can advise you on challenging the action of the public body. We can guide you through the decision-makers own appeal mechanism and apply for judicial review of the decision, if necessary.