Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Judicial Review Definition:

A process where a court of law is asked to rule on the appropriateness of the decision of an administrative agency or tribunal.

Related Terms: Patently Unreasonable, Certiorari, Appeal, Standard of Review

When a court decision is appealed, it is known as an appeal.

But there are many administrative agencies or tribunals which make decisions or deliver government services of one sort or another, the decisions of which can also be "appealed." In many cases, the "appeal" from administrative agencies is known as "judicial review" which is essentially a process where a court of law is asked to rule on the appropriateness of the administrative agency or tribunal’s decision.

Judicial review is a fundamental principle of administrative law.

A distinctive feature of judicial review is that the "appeal" is not usually limited to errors in law but may be based on alleged errors on the part of the administrative agency on findings of fact.

Judicial review is a "user friendly" term used by many jurisdictions to encompass the more traditionally-named remedies of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and habeas corpus.

For example, Ontario's Judicial Review Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. J.1, §7 (published at canlii.com/on/laws/sta/j-1/20070911/) states that:

"An application for an order in the nature of mandamus, prohibition or certiorari shall be deemed to be an application for judicial review and shall be made, treated and disposed of as if it were an application for judicial review."

French: révision judiciaire.


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