Standing and Civic Virtue

Law Quarterly Review (Forthcoming)

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper

22 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2017 Last revised: 14 Feb 2018

Farrah Ahmed

Melbourne Law School

Adam Perry

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 23, 2017


Some people who seek leave to apply for judicial review do not have a private interest in the matter to which their application relates; instead, they seek “public interest standing”. To be entitled to public interest standing, a claimant must bring the right sort of case. She must also be the right sort of person: she must have the right motive, the right background, the right knowledge and understanding, the right reputation, and so on. The relevance of a claimant’s case to public interest standing is obvious, but the identity of the claimant is not. Here we provide a rational reconstruction of the test for public interest standing, according to which civic virtue is essential for a claimant to obtain leave in the public interest. Our account explains the bulk of the case law on public interest standing, on the one hand, and goes some way towards justifying it, on the other.

Keywords: judicial review, standing, civic virtue, republicanism, public interest standing

Suggested Citation

Ahmed, Farrah and Perry, Adam, Standing and Civic Virtue (January 23, 2017). Law Quarterly Review (Forthcoming); U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN:

Farrah Ahmed (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010


Adam Perry

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St Cross Building
St Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UL
United Kingdom

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