This page provides links to our popular introductory guides to public law. Y ou will find these and other guides, for instance on access to legal aid or on more focused areas in public law,  in our resources section.

An introduction to public law

This introductory guide explains what public law is and how public law processes work, with sections on consultations, complaints procedures and ombudsman schemes, statutory appeals and judicial review.








Making an effective complaint to a public body

A short guide to making an effective complaint to a public body , though many of the tips could also be used in making a complaint to a commercial or non-profit body.

Headings include:Getting Started

– Making your complaint

– Tips for gettting results

– After you have made your complaint

Can’t find what you are looking for? Try our resources section.


An introduction to judicial review

(Note this guide is awaiting an imminent update!)
Headings in PLP’s guide to judicial review include:

What is judicial review?
Whose decisions can be challenged by judicial review?
Who can bring a judicial review?
Alternatives to judicial review
Time limits and advice
What are the grounds for judicial review?
The approach of the Administrative Court
What can the court do?
The procedure for applying for judicial review

Making a social security appeal

This guide is intended for individuals who are attending the First-Tier Tribunal for an appeal against a decision taken about a benefit. There is also a short section on appeals in the Upper Tribunal. This guide may be updated from time to time. It is not to be construed as legal advice. This guide is also best read with or alongside Upper Tribunal Judge Edward Jacobs’ guide to ‘The Basics of Tribunal Representation’.  This guide is not intended to replace the advice and expertise of a suitably qualified and experienced representative that you may have. The intention is to provide some broad guidance, in plain language, about appeals in social security cases.  A glossary of terms is at the end.

Commissioning: Understanding and using the law for smaller organisations

Commissioning and procurement is how government and public bodies (whether they be the NHS, a local council or a government department) make contracts with others to provide services. This could be a one-off contract to build a new road, or to provide long-term healthcare for a town, and anything in between. Commissioning has become more and more important in recent years as government bodies get others to provide services and do work on their behalf.

This toolkit is intended to help small organisations:

  •   Understand commissioning law better; and
  •  Give some ideas about how to avoid common commissioning problems

It is part of a project undertaken within the Justice First Fellowship programme, of which Joe Vester is an associate member.


The basics of tribunal representation

Have you ever made an application to a tribunal and failed to get what you wanted? Have you ever wondered why? Have you ever thought about how you could have done better? If you have answered yes to any of those questions , this is for you. Using specific examples and this handy guide will help you to:

Know what the rules say

Know what the rules mean

Know what you have to do

Know how to get what you want

How to apply for legal aid for judicial review

Legal aid remains available for many judicial review cases , subject to conditions.

This guide is intended for practitioners who do not apply for judicial review funding on a regular basis, or who could do with some clarification on aspects of the criteria. It does not cover the ‘legal help’ scheme which is only available through legal aid providers with a contract to do public law work.

This guide also does not cover the practicalities of applying. Most legal aid applications have recently moved from paper forms to the new computerised ‘CCMS’ system. This system may change , and in certain circumstances paper forms may still be required. It therefore relates to the substance of what the application must show , not the way the application must be made.

It is intended as a guide only. It should help you ensure that you have covered all the relevant criteria , considered the relevant issues , and help you find your way to the answer to your question. It is not , and is not intended to be , a definitive statement of what is necessary to obtain legal aid.