On 13 December 2012, the Ministry of Justice published Judicial Review: proposals for reform (CP25/2012) for consultation. Its publication followed statements in late November by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Justice to the effect that judicial review – particularly in connection with planning decisions – was ripe for reform to deal with cases which were “time-wasting”.
The Government proposes to reduce the time-limit for judicial review, to increase the cost of claims and to reduce access to oral permission hearings. The consultation closed in January 2013.
JUSTICE regrets the Government’s decision to consult on restricting access to judicial review. We raise serious concerns about the impact of the Government’s proposals on the rule of law. The consultation has been issued with little evidence to support the Government’s case for change. The Government’s proposals ignore the essential constitutional function of judicial review and its importance in promoting good government, transparency and accountability.