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4 Things to know about judicially reviewing decisions of Correctional Service Canada

Judicial review is one of the the mechanisms that prisoners can use to challenge decisions of Correctional Service Canada. Judicial review can be technical, and it is important to remember:

  1. Judicial review allows a judge to review an administrative decision. For prisoners, this could be a decision related to a penitentiary placement, disciplinary finding, refusal to accommodate a religious practice, file correction, temporary absence application, etc.
  2. Prisoners in federal penitentiaries have to bring a judicial review in the Federal Court. The Federal Court has very specific rules and timelines.
  3. Generally, all internal appeal mechanisms need to be exhausted before bringing a judicial review. This means prisoners will generally need to go through the grievance procedure and get a third-level grievance decision before they’ll be allowed to proceed with a judicial review. This can take time, at least several months.
  4. A judicial review typically needs to be filed within 30 days of the decision. Extensions can be granted, but they can be hard to get. Prisoners who are thinking of a judicial review should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

It can be helpful to seek assistance with drafting grievances to ensure there is a good record for a judicial review. If you’re looking for assistance with drafting a grievance or filing a judicial review, contact us.

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