Public Law

Public law covers a wide field of challenges to decisions and actions of public bodies, including judicial review and statutory appeals. The range of public bodies which may face challenge to their decisions is extensive - from the Westminster and Holyrood governments, to public authorities, tribunals, and other bodies.

Challenges are not only made on the traditional ‘Wednesbury’ lines; frequently, reference is made to the rights protected under the European Convention on Human Rights, or other European or international instruments. Judicial review is not the only route for challenging decisions - an increasing number of Acts of Parliament provide for statutory appeals, with the Sheriff Court having jurisdiction.

Members of Compass can advise on whether a decision or action is susceptible to challenge, or the lines of defence where a public body’s decision is under challenge. A number of members in Compass have substantial experience in this area, whether acting for the petitioner/appellant or respondent. Members are also happy to give written Opinions on practical issues, such as whether proceedings can be avoided, and if not the prospects of success if litigation is embarked upon.

In this area, as with others, we are happy to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis via the Faculty of Advocates' Direct Access Rules. We aim to offer a service which is efficient, practical and cost effective.

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