On appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 859 and [2010] EWHC 3558 (Admin) respectively.

Considers the scope for judicial review by the High Court of unappealable decisions of the Upper Tribunal established under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

Held: the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeals; judicial review of the Upper Tribunal was not limited to exceptional circumstances. Permission for judicial review should instead only be granted where the criteria for a ‘second-tier appeal’ apply – ie where there is an important point of principle or some other compelling reason to review the case. The adoption of the second-tier appeals criteria would be a rational and proportionate restriction upon the availability of judicial review of the refusal by the Upper Tribunal of permission to appeal to itself. It would recognise that the new and in many ways enhanced tribunal structure deserves a more restrained approach to judicial review than has previously been the case, while ensuring that important errors can still be corrected. It is capable of encompassing both the important point of principle affecting large numbers of similar claims and the compelling reasons presented by the extremity of the consequences for the individual.

For judgment, please download: [2011] UKSC 28
For the Court’s press summary, please download: Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII