Judicial Review – change on the way
Last December 2012 I drew attention to the consultation on judicial review announced by the Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling. Despite my prediction that these proposals would draw a lot of criticism, the Government has announced that they will go ahead broadly as planned. On 9 May 2013 it was announced that they would:
- Introduce a £215 court fee for anyone seeking a hearing in person after their initial written judicial review application has been turned down.
- Ban people from seeking a hearing in person if their initial written application has been ruled as totally without merit.
- Halve the time limit for applying for a judicial review of a planning decision from three months to six weeks.
- Reducing the time limit for applying for a judicial review of a procurement decision from three months to four week.
In addition that Government is still contemplating separate proposals which would see the fee for a Judicial Review application increase from £60 to £235.
Two consultation proposals are not being taken forward. They were:
- For cases based on a continuing issue or multiple decisions, clarifying the point when the time limit starts, to avoid long delays.
- Scrapping oral renewals for any case which has already had a hearing before a judge on substantially the same matter, for example, at a court, tribunal or statutory inquiry.
These changes do not require legislation, but only changes to court rule
For the full text of the Government’s response see: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/judicial-review-reform
Given the fact that the bulk of delay arises from the huge number of applications in immigration and asylum cases, it is in my view unlikely that these changes will have a significant impact, though the imposition of higher and new fees may deter some applicants. We shall see.