Judicial review reforms

Since December last year, the government has been seeking to reform the process for bringing a judicial review claim. Judicial review is an important right by which individuals or organisations can challenge decisions made by a public body. There have been fears, however, that the process is being over-utilised, even abused, with figures showing that the number of applications rose from 6,692 in 2007 to 11,359 in 2011, while success rates have remained low with many applications failing at the first hurdle. Even applications that fail can be a costly and time-consuming exercise for those involved and for the public purse.

It is with this in mind that the government announced, at the end of last year, its intentions to reform the process to filter out weak, frivolous and unmeritorious cases at an early stage, while ensuring that arguable claims can proceed to a conclusion without delay.

The responses to that first consultation were published in April 2013. In September 2013 the government then issued a further consultation seeking views on further key areas. This consultation closed on 1 November…

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