Governmental response on proposed reforms to judicial review

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In response to concerns about the growing number of judicial review cases, and fears that these are slowing down the realisation of important infrastructure projects, the government has recently consulted on proposals for further reforms to judicial review proceedings. The consultation closed in November 2013, and a government response has now been issued. This sets out the package of reforms that the government intends to take forward and builds on recent reforms to judicial review that were implemented from July 2013 as a result of an earlier consultation.

The reforms are aimed at drastically reducing the overall number of judicial review cases. In his ministerial foreword to the response, lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice Chris Grayling specifically states that judicial review is ‘too often…pursued as a campaigning tool’ or ‘simply to delay legitimate proposals’. He further elaborates that judicial review should not be abused in such a way as to ‘act as a brake on growth’. This all makes worrying reading for NGOs, for whom judicial review is an important tool used to challenge the policies or decisions of public authorities, to further their objectives and campaigns or to intervene in important court cases that raise public interest issues…

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