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Guidance to licensing authorities

The Gambling Commission's guidance for licensing authorities.


5 - Judicial review

12.34. Any party to a decision may apply for judicial review if they believe that the decision taken by the licensing authority is:

  • illegal – that is beyond the powers available to the licensing authority
  • subject to procedural impropriety or unfairness – which is a failure in the process of reaching the decision, such as not observing the rules of natural justice
  • irrational – where a decision is so unreasonable that no sensible person could have reached it (in effect, ‘perverse’ or ‘Wednesbury’ unreasonable).

12.35. For an application to succeed, the application must show that:

  • the applicant has sufficient standing to make that claim
  • the actions of the reviewed licensing authority give grounds for review.

However, the remedy is a discretionary one and the Court may decline judicial review if, for example, it considers that the applicant has an alternative remedy which is more appropriate to pursue, such as a right of appeal, or has a private law claim against the defendant.

12.36. The applicant can ask the Court to grant a number of orders. A mandatory order compels the reviewed body to do something; a prohibitory order compels it to refrain from doing something; a ‘declaration’ sets out the court’s view on the legality of a particular course of action; and a quashing order nullifies a decision and remits it for reconsideration. In addition, the applicant can seek an injunction (interdict in Scotland) which is, in practice, similar to a mandatory or a prohibitory order.

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