The Administrative Court (part of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court) hears all applications for judicial review and also some statutory appeals and applications (including applications for habeas corpus and some planning appeals/applications). It is by way of the Administrative Court that a person may challenge the act or omission of a public body.
On the 21st April 2009 the Administrative Court opened offices outside of the Royal Courts of Justice for the first time. These ‘regional’ offices were established in Cardiff, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester and allowed litigants to lodge Administrative Court cases in the regional offices and have their cases determined in a Court on their local circuit.
These regional offices have been successful. They allow greater access to justice, swift consideration of cases, and good customer service. This achievement has even been recognised by the editors of The White Book at paragraph 188.8.131.52.
Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and Her Majesty’s Judiciary have remained dedicated to bringing this greater access to justice to the Western Circuit whilst adhering to the public duty to reduce spending. As such it has been decided that as of the 5th November 2012 an Administrative Court hearing centre will operate from Bristol Civil Justice Centre. The staff of the Administrative Court Office in Wales (based in the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre) will be responsible for dealing with the issuing and day to day administration of the cases, but as a result of this initiative parties will be able to have their cases heard in Bristol Civil Justice Centre.
There will be an official opening of the hearing centre in November. In the meantime, if you have any queries about what is proposed, we would invite you to contact either Rebecca Logar (the manager of the Administrative Court Office in Wales) or David Gardner (the Administrative Court Office lawyer for Wales) in Cardiff on 02920 376460 or Jerry Fowler (Delivery Manager – Bristol), at the Bristol Civil Justice Centre on 0117 3664821. There will also be an informal drop in session where you can ask any questions that you may have about the workings of the new hearing centre. David, Rebecca, and Jerry will all be in attendance to assist with your queries and to generally introduce themselves. The drop in session will take place in the conference room on the fourth floor in the Bristol Civil Justice Centre from 4pm until 5.30pm on the 19th July 2012. In the event that you cannot attend below are some answers to anticipated questions which will hopefully assist in understanding the workings of the new hearing centre
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Is the hearing centre in Bristol Civil Justice Centre being run on a trial basis?
No. The new hearing centre will open on the 5th November 2012 and will operate thereafter.
Where can I lodge a cases to arrange for any hearings to be listed in Bristol?
The only Administrative Court Office that will be listing hearings in Bristol is the Administrative Court Office in Wales. Claims and correspondence should be sent to:
Administrative Court Office
Cardiff Civil Justice Centre
2 Park Street
DX 99500 Cardiff
Alternatively, claims can be lodged at the counter in the Cardiff Civil Jsutice Centre at any time between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
Can I lodge Administrative Court cases in Bristol?
No. CPR PD 54D paragraph 2.1 does not allow Bristol Civil Justice Centre to accept Administrative Court claims. They must be lodged directly with Cardiff and any request for a hearing in Bristol should be made when issuing.
Who will deal with any queries about my Administrative Court cases?
All queries about the case should be directed to the Administrative Court Office in Wales who will have conduct of the file.
Will High Court Judges or Deputy High Court Judges hear cases in the Administrative Court in Bristol?
As is the case with all regional Administrative Courts and the Administrative Court sitting in the Royal Courts of Justice, both High Court Judges and Deputy High Court Judges will hear cases in Bristol.
How can I obtain a hearing in Bristol for my pre-existing case?
If your case has already been lodged with the Administrative Court Office in Wales then you simply have to contact us and request any hearings be listed in Bristol.
If your claim has been lodged in any other Administrative Court Office then, unless a Judge has issued a minded to transfer order, you will need to apply to that Administrative Court Office for transfer to the Administrative Court Office in Wales. This can be done by lodging form N464 with that office or by lodging a consent order to transfer the claim. There is a fee of £80.00 and £45.00 respectively for these applications.