JUDICIAL REVIEW AND ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES
By Richard Clayton QC
On 15 March 2016 the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in R(Watch Tower) v Charity Commission.
Lord Dyson MR gave important guidance on whether and to what extent a claimant was entitled to take judicial review proceedings (as an alternative to pursing a statutory appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (the FTT)). However, the approach taken by the Court of Appeal is open to question, and the claimants are now seeking permission to appeal from the Supreme Court.
An application for judicial review often regarded as a last resort and a claimant is expected to pursue an alternative remedy, if that option is available to him. This principle may have a particular importance where the claimant has the option of pursing a statutory appeal to the FTT.
The Court of Appeal were asked to determine whether the judicial review should be dismissed by virtue of Watch Tower’s failure to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory) (Charity) (the FTT): on the ground that because either means of redress were “conveniently and effectively available to them”, these ought to have been used before Watch Tower resorted to judicial review: see Lord Bingham in Kay v Lambeth LBC: see  2 AC 465 at para 30.
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