Brooke defends judicial review plan

LAWYERS at a conference on judicial review voiced concerns that a Law Commission proposal may make it tougher for people to obtain leave.

Chair of the commission Sir Henry Brooke says this had never been the commission's intention but he was happy to pass on concerns to the Government.

He told the conference, jointly hosted by the Public Law Project and Warwick University, that the new test at the leave stage, proposed by the commission, had not been devised to make it harder for applicants.

“We will not be modifying the report because our role is now over. But I took the view that if people were worried, an alternative formulation would be worth looking at. The commission would be happy to act as a letter box and refer the concerns to government.”

The conference was attended by about 70 delegates including lawyers from local authorities, law centres, private practice, and universities.

It was staged to discuss the recommendations made by the commission in its report on judicial review procedures published in October.

Among the proposals is that applicants should be granted leave if a serious legal issue is being addressed.

Former law commissioner Professor Jack Beatson says the test is used in other areas of the law.