What Is The Pre-Action Protocol?

The Pre-Action Protocol letter is a letter sent to your opponent(s) in a set form provided under the Court Practice Rules. The Protocol sets out a Code of good practice designed to avoid unnecessary litigation and wasted legal costs. Parties should generally follow the steps set out in the Protocol. The Letter is in effect a Letter before Action giving an opportunity to resolve matters without the necessity of incurring unnecessary legal expenditure.

  • The issues in dispute;
  • Whether and on what terms litigation can be avoided;
  • The date and details of the decision, act or omission being challenged;
  • A summary of the relevant facts

The Letter should ideally give 14 days’ Notice to the other party (“The Defendant(s)” Wherever possible, this letter should be sent, and you should wait for the response, if any, before bringing your Claim. However, you still need to bring your claim promptly and, where it is urgent, you may have to take the decision to dispense with the Letter. It might also be inappropriate where a Defendant does not have the legal power to change the decision in any event which is being challenged. Your Claim for Judicial Review must indicate whether or not the Protocol has indeed been complied with. If not, you need to state why.

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