Judicial Review : Functions And Objectives

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Introduction Judicial review plays a central role in administrative law. It provides the High Court with a supervisory jurisdiction over inferior courts, tribunals or other public bodies, where it holds the power to scrutinize their actions and decisions. It allows the judicial branch to ensure the executive branch’s compliance to legal principles and rules of ‘public law’. Judicial review can be analyzed at two levels: individual and public and hence its significance can be viewed at two dimensions: narrow and broad. The significance of judicial review needs to be examined alongside with its functions and objectives. The narrow significance that judicial review carries is a favourable outcome for the applicant, however the public – broader significance can carry a contrary outcome to the individual one; the outcome may not be favourable/reversed for the applicant through judicial review but it will police and maintain the rule of law and good governance regardless. Even though the applicant will not have obtained the result he was looking to, the decision may be just and better for the public interest, which is at the heart of judicial review. It will be argued that the significance of judicial review is not overrated, as it fulfils more functions than a mere invitation for the decision-maker to take the decision again and the roles that judicial review plays are inherently significant in themselves and exercise great impact on the administrative law as a whole. First,
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