What is the Prerogative Writ of Mandamus

Mandamus is a royal prerogative writ involving a petition made to the sovereign, in Canada in the form of her Superior Court Justices, to force a lower court or government official to perform a public duty that is being refused. Because it forces future action, and doesn't retroactively undo decisions that have already been made, it's often used in combination with the writ of certiorari which will vacate an earlier decision prior to mandamus compelling a future action. 

Why Seek Mandamus

Mandamus forces a lower court or official to something that is being refused. 

How to Apply for Mandamus

Only a court of "original inherent jurisdiction" has authority under the common law to grant the writ of mandamus, which in Ontario is the Superior Court of Justice. 

Mandamus is sought by way of notice of application, and supporting affidavit with exhibits. It's possible to appeal a mandamus decision by a Superior Court up to the Court of Appeal. 

Outside the criminal context, mandamus is now usually sought through a Judicial Review of administrative action application to either the Ontario Divisional Court or the Federal Court, depending on whether you are seeking provincial or Federal government action. Be aware that there can be very limitation periods imposed by statute within which to file a Judicial Review. 

You can learn more about the firm's non-criminal judicial review services at (for all provincial judicial reviews and federal judicial reviews other than immigration and citizenship) and (for immigration and citizenship judicial reviews).