Chapters

Successful review or reconsideration

The outcome of a successful reconsideration or merits review is the reversal or amendment of the original decision to the satisfaction of the applicant. But the outcomes could be even wider reaching – a decision making process might be amended to make the process more certain for future users. Even if a review is successful, in that the decision is sent back for reconsideration, the decision maker might simply make the decision again with different reasons, such as with the Karen Green case, which is discussed below.

Sometimes a “successful” review will have the same outcome as the initial decision because the review process cannot put in place a new decision, the review may merely send the case back for a decision at a lower level and that decision might be exactly the same as the decision that resulted in the appeal for review.

Appealing an unsuccessful review or reconsideration

There are several options after an unsuccessful review or reconsideration. An obvious one is to give up. However, if you’re the doughty fighting type, and your internal review has been sought, and the review was unsuccessful, the options include:

  • seeking a review by an Ombudsman (although a finding of an Ombudsman is not binding). A second review can be sought of an initial Ombudsman’s decision.
  • If this is unsatisfactory, a person can then seek a merits review or a judicial review of their case, depending on the reason for their appeal – were the merits not given their full weight, or was the decision unlawful?

The Ombudsman is also the cheapest means of seeking a review of the decision. If you have appealed to the Magistrates’ Court and the outcome was not to your satisfaction, the Ombudsman is the next port of call. It is always best to seek legal advice! You yourself might not know what grounds of appeal you have against a decision.

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