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.

Judicial review is a growing area of law and challenges are not only made on the traditional ‘Wednesbury’ lines.  Frequently reference is made to longstanding constitutional protections, rights protected under the Human Rights Act 1998, 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 and various tribunals having jurisdiction.  There will be development of the jurisprudence in this practice area following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Members of Compass Chambers 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. They can also advise interested groups on intervention in public law proceedings. A number of members have substantial experience in this area, whether acting for the petitioner/appellant, respondent or intervener.  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 basis in accordance with the Faculty of Advocates’ Direct Access Rules.  We strive to offer a service which is efficient, practical and cost effective.

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  • Compass Chambers
    Parliament House
    EH1 1RF