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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 can use our powers of inquiry to hold public bodies to account.  

We may conduct an inquiry for one of three reasons:  

  • as a result of a complaint or series of complaints
  • as a result of our own monitoring and intelligence gathering
  • following a request from a Secretary of State (SoS), Scottish Minister, Welsh Minister or Executive Office in Northern Ireland

We will look for systemic failings to ensure the fair treatment of EU, EEA and EFTA citizens and their family members.  

We will not carry out an inquiry unless we have reasonable grounds to conclude that a failure has or is about to occur.  

We will set out our concerns to the relevant public body with regards to the way they have interpreted or implemented legal requirements.   

Following an inquiry, we will publish reports which set out our conclusions and any recommendations for the public body to address the issue raised.  The public body will be expected to confirm what actions they will be taking to each recommendation.  

Legal proceedings

We will be able to bring judicial review proceedings against a public body that has failed to implement or apply 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.