What is a Judicial Review?
A 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, in this instance the City of Edinburgh Council.
How does a Judicial Review proceed?
In our Judicial Review, we understand it falls into five identifiable stages
- Stage 1
- "Lodging petition for Judicial Review" - completed December 2022
- Stage 2
- "Permissions stage" - Late February 2023
- Stage 3
- "Procedural Stage" - Late April 2023
- Stage 4
- "The Final Hearing" - Early Summer 2023
- Stage 5
- "The Decision" - up to three months post the Hearing
The stages explained…
- Stage 2
- The objective is to gain permission for the petition to proceed. If opposed, any respondents will lodge written answers and there will be a hearing with counsel and solicitors. If not opposed, the court decides on the papers and, with permission granted, fix a timetable.
- Stage 3
- The objective is for parties to focus on the issues in dispute and prepare their cases for the final hearing. This stage ends with a Procedural Hearing and typically lasts about six weeks from permission being granted but it can be longer.
- Stage 4
- The objective is for the parties to make oral submissions on the basis of all the written documents and for the judge to decide the case. The Rules say this should be three months from the date permission is granted but it can be longer.
- Stage 5
- The Decision – this will be issued in writing sometime after the final hearing. It should come out within 3 months.
What about planning permission requirements?
We brought this action against the licensing scheme as there was a window of three months to challenge the legislation. That window closed at the end of December 2022. We are fully aware of planning and the petition references planning being a significant issue. Our legal team is up to speed on planning. The planning consultation closed on the 22nd of December 2022 and, as of writing this, the scheme has not been formally adopted and announced. It therefore can’t legally be challenged. There is also strong and encouraging work going on in the background by the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers on planning, so we are covering as many bases as we can. Licensing needed to be challenged because if you can get planning and then no licence, that would be as complicated an issue. Everything that can be done is being done to turn this situation around.
How can I find out details of your campaign and how can I donate?
Please visit our Crowd Justice page.
If I donate and the money is not spent, will I get my donation money back?
Any funds provided to Crowd Justice is treated as a donation. In the event that any funds are unspent or recovered, there is a formal process through Crowd Justice for donations over £1,000 to be refundedBella on a pro-rata basis. Any donation under £1000 that is not used or recovered will go to a nominated charity or to support a similar legal case.
Is this action supported by the Association of Caterers Scotland?
Yes. We are working closely with the ASSC to ensure all work undertaken by the ASSC is factored into our proceedings. The ASSC has also supported this Judicial Review financially and will continue to support the petitioners throughout the process. We are also pleased to be also supported by the Professional Association of Self-caterers UK.
The challenge seems to be focused only in Edinburgh. What about the rest of Scotland?
We are taking this action with all of self-catering across Scotland at the forefront of our minds. Our hope is that any precedent set in this case informs the decision-making of the other Scottish Councils tasked with implementing and managing the systems of control and management of licences in the future.
Is the action being supported by major OTAs such as Airbnb, Booking com, etc?
We are in close contact with many OTAs and will continue to seek their support throughout the campaign process either financially or in other capacities (such as messages to their users to raise awareness).
I want to help with the campaign, how can I do this?
We are always glad to hear of potential volunteers rallying to our cause. If you feel you have something to offer please email us at