What are judicial review proceedings Harry wants to bring against Home Office?

The Duke of Sussex aims to challenge the decision not to allow him to personally pay for UK police protection.

Sophie Wingate
Saturday 15 January 2022 23:33
The Duke of Sussex (PA Archive)
The Duke of Sussex (PA Archive)

The Duke of Sussex has filed a claim for a judicial review against a Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family while in the UK.

Harry wants to bring his children to visit from the US, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, according to a legal representative for the duke.

“He sought a judicial review in September 2021 to challenge the decision-making behind the security procedures, in the hopes that this could be re-evaluated for the obvious and necessary protection required,” the legal representative said in a statement to the PA news agency.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah Winfrey (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions)

– What is a judicial review?

It is a type of court case in which a claimant challenges the lawfulness of a decision made by a public body or government department, such as the Home Office, according to the Judiciary UK website.

A judge reviews the way in which a decision has been made.

The court is not really concerned with the conclusions of that process and whether they were right or wrong, as long as the right procedures have been followed.

The court will not re-make the decision.

If the claimant wins, the decision can be declared unlawful, or quashed.

That will usually mean the decision has to be taken again. While the public body could reach the same decision again, it may follow a proper procedure that leads to a different decision result.

The Duke of Sussex wants to bring his family home to meet the Queen (Steve Parsons/PA)

– At what stage is Harry’s claim?

Legal representatives for Harry applied for permission to bring judicial review proceedings against Home Secretary Priti Patel on September 20, according to a spokesperson.

Judicial review claims have a threshold test before they can proceed.

The court will consider whether there is an arguable case for a judicial review, a decision that typically will be made without a hearing.

If permission is granted, the claim would proceed to a substantive hearing.

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