Barristers and solicitors in Liverpool and Manchester have joined forces to launch the Northern Administrative Law Association (NALA) ahead of the proposed regionalisation of the Administrative Court.
The association, which has received backing from Mr Justices Blake, Irwin, Langstaff and Ryder, will be chaired by Frances Patterson QC, head of North West set Kings Chambers, who also sits as a deputy high court judge.
Patterson said forming NALA was a direct response to the recommendations made by the judicial working party on Justice Outside London, which was headed by Lord Justice May, and the proposal that regional administrative courts should be brought in from next Easter.
“The association is seeking to strengthen the northern bar’s administrative law practices by providing a forum to share knowledge and information in this particular area of law,” she added. “To facilitate this we have Liverpool University and Manchester University on board to assist with a new training programme.”
As TheLawyer.com revealed (14 November 2007), May LJ’s working party proposed there should be four regional centres of the administrative court outside London in Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The proposals will see High Court judges sitting outside London more regularly as the working group felt that having nearly all judicial reviews and other claims in the administrative court in London causes “inconvenience and additional expense”, as well as being discriminatory against those who are not based in the South of England.
May LJ’s group was created after the Judicial Executive Board requested in April 2006 recommendations on how Lord Justices and High Court judges could hear cases outside London.