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MPs back controversial reforms to judicial review

10 December 2014

The government is pressing ahead with its plans to reform the judicial review process despite opposition from the House of Lords.

The reforms would:

  •  limit the freedom of courts to decide which case should proceed to full JR hearings;
  •  force applicants to disclose information about the source of their funds; and
  •  discourage interested parties from intervening in proceedings by making it more likely that they would face costs penalties.

The House of Lords voted against the plans, introducing a number of amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. MPs have now rejected those amendments.

Judicial review is the procedure through which the courts may review the legality of the decisions taken by public bodies. The court’s power to uphold the rule of law is a fundamental part of our unwritten constitution. The government is understandably keen to curb the increasing number of judicial review claims. However – as critics have noted the constitution should not be tampered with to suit a particular political agenda.

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