Public Law

We have a dedicated, experienced and committed team, headed by Natalia Garcia, specialising in cases where the rights of the individual are infringed by the state. We represent clients in London, Birmingham, Walsall, Manchester, throughout the West Midlands and abroad who have been affected by Public Law issues.

Public Law covers situations where a decision, action or lack of action by a public body has had an adverse impact on an individual and their rights have been infringed.

Public bodies include:

  • Government ministries and departments
  • Local authorities in all their capacities including local education authorities
  • The police
  • Health service authorities
  • Prisons and detention centres
  • Courts and tribunals
  • Regulatory and supervisory bodies such as Ofsted and Ombudsmen

Public bodies must act within the law, in a reasonable manner and must follow fair and transparent procedures.

If you have been adversely affected by a decision or action by a public body you may be able to challenge this. A failure or delay by a public body to make a decision or take an action may also be able to be challenged.

There are different ways of challenging different decisions and these depend on the body concerned and the issue under challenge but can include:

  • Invoking the complaints procedure
  • Where there is a right of appeal pursuing the appeal
  • Making a complaint to the Ombudsperson
  • Judicial Review
  • Decisions following a complaints procedure and decisions of the Ombudsperson can also be subject to Judicial Review
  • Other court proceedings

The remedies that can be achieved through these challenges differ according to the type of action taken. Complaints procedures and Ombudsman schemes have varying remedies and, having investigated the situation, may be able to obtain an apology and possible resolution of the problem. Judicial Review may result in the court quashing the decision in question, making an order that the public body must or must not carry out a particular action or making a declaration about the relevant legislation. It may also result in an award of damages in some limited cases.

There are time limits for taking action in public law cases and it is important to seek advice and act speedily if you think you have been adversely affected by the action or inaction of a public body.

We have a legal aid contract with the Legal Aid Agency for public law so can offer legal aid to those who qualify.

If you need advice, assistance or representation with any issue concerning Public Law, please contact us on 01922 645 429 and ask to speak to Natalia Garcia or email ngarcia@fountainsolicitors.com.