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Judicial review in planning — further changes are afoot

Following recent announcements in the press, including a front page headline in The Times this week, the government published the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill on 5 February 2014. Part 4 of the bill contains a number of important changes to be introduced that seek, in the words of the Lord Chancellor, to prevent judicial review from being a ‘brake on growth’. However, while it has been reported in the national press that the proposals mean that only individuals or groups with a financial interest in a case will be able to bring a challenge, this is inaccurate. The government originally proposed narrowing the test for standing so as to restrict the availability of judicial review to those with a ‘direct interest’, but that proposal has now been dropped.

The aim of reducing judicial review claims is nevertheless still being pursued: the financial measures in the bill are intended to deter would-be claimants by increasing the financial risks on those seeking judicial review. In summary, those measures include the following…

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