Inquiries and legal proceedings

If we believe there may have been a failure or imminent failure in the way in which a UK authority has implemented the citizens’ rights agreements, we have specific powers to hold public bodies to account.

The two main ways we can take action are:

  • Legal action (review and interventions)
  • Inquiries

Complaints received from the public, as well as our own intelligence monitoring and assurance reviews, help us to determine where issues may be occurring and to decide which action, if any, to take.

An inquiry may lead us to initiate legal proceedings, but any issues identified can be resolved directly with the public authority.

The IMA's Powers

Litigation is the process of taking legal action. Our litigation activities can involve bringing our own judicial review claim (in Scotland an application to the supervisory jurisdiction of the Court of Session) before a judge.

We can bring judicial review proceedings against a public body if we consider this is needed to promote the implementation or application of the citizens’ rights agreements.

This is a type of court proceeding in which a judge will review the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

IMA legal proceedings

IMA court interventions 2024

IMA court interventions 2023

IMA court interventions 2022

IMA court interventions 2021

Want to make us aware of something?

Whilst we are not able to intervene in every case, we are always keen to hear from practitioners, organisations and individuals who are involved in legal proceedings which concern citizens’ rights. We have also secured a new Practice Direction which applies to cases within the civil courts of England & Wales, making it a requirement for those litigating a citizens’ rights claim to tell us about their case. For those required to tell us about their case as a result of this Practice Direction, or for those who want to let us know about their litigation (for example within the tribunals), please let us know by emailing

We've published a report on our first inquiry

The IMA's first inquiry looks at Certificate of Application delays and how this might affect the rights of EU and EEA EFTA citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.