Writ of Review Law and Legal Definition

Writ of review is a general form of writ issued from an appellate court for review of records of the lower court proceedings. A writ of certiorari is a form of writ of review.

In Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. City Council for Portland, 20 Ore. App. 234 (Or. Ct. App. 1975), the court observed that “A writ of review is a unique proceeding designed to review the decision of an inferior court, officer or tribunal alleged to have exceeded its jurisdiction by exercising its judicial functions illegally and contrary to the course of procedure applicable to the matter before it or by making an order not supported by substantial evidence, or by improperly construing the applicable law.”

Further the court in Bechtold v. Wilson, 182 Ore. 360 (Or. 1947), observed that “The statutory writ of review is substantially the common-law remedy of certiorari with some modifications as to when the writ may issue and the relief which may be granted. Certiorari was used at common law when there was no remedy by appeal or writ of error for the sole purpose of determining from an inspection of the record whether an inferior tribunal had acted without jurisdiction, or in excess thereof, or having jurisdiction, had proceeded illegally and contrary to the course of the common law. Although, under the statute, the fact that the right of appeal exists is no objection to the issuance of the writ, the statute does not materially enlarge the scope of the writ, or substantially change its character or purpose. The writ of review lies in two classes of cases: first, whenever the inferior court or tribunal has exceeded its jurisdiction; and, second, whenever it has exercised its judicial functions erroneously (that is, illegally and contrary to the course of procedure applicable to the matter before it).”