Frequently Asked Questions


How can an officer make a complaint?

Letters from officers should be submitted through their Permanent Secretary/Head of Department and copied to the Statutory Authorities Service Commission.

What is a judicial review?

Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a Judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.  Therefore if one is unhappy with the decision of a public body one may be able to challenge the decision by taking judicial review proceedings in the High Court.

Section 5(1) of the Judicial Review Act No.60 of 2000 provides as follows:-

“An application for judicial review of a decision of an inferior court, tribunal, public body, public authority or a person acting in the exercise of a public duty or function in accordance with any law shall be made to the Court in accordance with this Act and in such manner as may be prescribed by rules of court”.

On what grounds can I file/request a judicial review?

Section 5(3) of the Judicial Review Act No.60 of 2000 outlines the grounds upon which a person may apply for judicial review.  The section provides as follows:-

“The grounds upon which the Court may grant relief to a person who filed an application for judicial review includes the following:-

(a)    that the decision was in any way unauthorized or contrary to law;
(b)    excess of jurisdiction;
(c)    failure to satisfy or observe conditions or procedures required by law;
(d)    breach of the principles of natural justice;
(e)    unreasonable, irregular or improper exercise of discretion;
(f)     abuse of power;
(g)    fraud, bad faith, improper purpose or irrelevant consideration;
(h)    acting on instructions from an unauthorized person;
(i)     conflict with the policy of an Act;
(j)     error of law, whether or not apparent on the face of the record;
(k)    absence of evidence on which a finding or assumption of fact could reasonably be based;
(l)     breach of or omission to perform a duty;
(m)   deprivation of a legitimate expectation;
(n)    a defect in form or a technical irregularity resulting in a substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice; or
(o)    an exercise of a power in a manner that is so unreasonable that no reasonable person could have exercised the power.

The natural justice principles referred to in sub section 3(d) are the underlying principles of fairness which guide the process of informed decision making.  The two fundamental rules of fair procedure are –

(1)    a man may not be a judge in his own cause;
(2)    a man’s defence must always be fairly heard.

The principles of natural justice are –

(i)    The right to a fair hearing which includes –
(a)    the right to make representation before a decision is made;
(b)    the right to call witnesses and have their testimony heard;
(ii)    The right to be heard by an unbiased Tribunal;
(iii)    The duty to act fairly;
(iv)   The right to have notice of charges brought against you and to know the particulars of the charges;
(v)    The right to reason for a decision.