Administrative Review

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

Scrutinising how internal review processes are carried out. This project has not started yet.

The problem

Administrative review allows an individual to challenge a decision about them made by a public body. It is carried out by the public body, at their discretion.

In some cases, requesting a review is a prerequisite to appealing to a tribunal.

Administrative review decisions determine the outcome of at least as many cases as appeals, probably more. Yet have received a fraction of the analysis or academic attention given to other aspects of administrative justice.

Effective internal review procedures reduce the number of appeals and promote confidence in administrative decision-making.

However, recent independent reports have cast doubt on the efficacy of some of the review procedures presently in place.

The project

This project came out of our 13th Programme of Law Reform.

This law reform project will aim to promote correct decisions, cheaper correction mechanisms, and public confidence in decision making.

We will consider and assess the merits of the different procedures that are in place and make recommendations with a view to identifying best practice and generally improving them.

This would include considering the frequency of legal challenge and identifying any items of concern from the point of view of the judiciary and legal practitioners.

Once started it is expected to take between 18-24 months.

Next steps

This project will start as and when resources allow.

Project details

Area of law

Public law


Sir David Bean