PLP has published its response to the call for evidence issued by the Independent Review of Administrative Law.

Our submission asserts that reform of judicial review is a serious constitutional step and makes the case that judicial review exists to serve:

  • Parliamentary sovereignty
  • Good governance & accountability
  • A well-functioning democracy
  • Quality, lawful decision-making

Evidence: The evidence we have shared with the Panel demonstrates that:

  • There are relatively few judicial reviews
  • Poor cases are filtered early
  • Judicial review identifies unlawful decisions
  • Barriers exist which restrict access to judicial review

Positive reform: Our submission also calls for and suggests positive reforms to ensure that judicial review is accessible to individuals and is effective in practice. These include protecting claimants from adverse costs, increasing access to legal aid, and strengthening the duty of candour.

Constraints: PLP has also published a short statement on constraints to which the Panel is subject, which mean – in our view – that the Review cannot provide a sound basis for reform of judicial review.

These include:

  1. Time: The Panel has not been given enough time to adequately consider the issues raised by the Review.
  2. Evidence: It is impracticable for the Panel to gather adequate evidence on the operation of judicial review in the time available.
  3. Accuracy: The questionnaire that forms part of the Panel’s call for evidence will not provide an accurate picture of judicial review. There does not appear to be any mechanism for ensuring that the questionnaire elicits a representative, balanced view of judicial review.
  4. Transparency: Given the importance of transparency, we strongly urge the Panel to publish all of the responses to the Review, including the questionnaires completed by government departments and other public bodies.

If you would like further information about our submission or to discuss any of the issues raised, please do get in touch: