Today the Government published the 200 page report of the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) and at the same time launched a consultation on the reform of judicial review. 

Public Law Project is analysing the report in detail and looking at how we can support others who wish to respond to the consultation. 

Jo Hickman, Director of PLP said: “Reforms that affect the carefully balanced system for judicial review could make it harder for people to hold governments to account and should not be undertaken lightly. 

“The stakes are high and the evidence threshold for change should reflect that. 

“It is striking that the overwhelming majority of respondents to the IRAL’s call for evidence support either no or only gradual reform.

“It is also clear that the Panel’s recommendations were relatively modest, having gone to great lengths to weigh up a huge volume of evidence, including from 14 Government departments. 

“There is a contrast between the substance of the Panel’s report and the tone struck by Government as the Lord Chancellor spoke of the need to ‘restore a proper balance between the institutions’ and ‘preserve the integrity of Judicial Review’.” 

The Independent Review of Administrative Law said: ‘[T]he government and Parliament can be confident that the courts will respect institutional boundaries in exercising their inherent powers to review the legality of government action. Politicians should, in turn, afford the judiciary the respect which it is undoubtedly due when it exercises these powers.’

Jo Hickman said: “The relationship between the institutions of the state are indeed finely balanced. The evidence – and it appears that the Government’s independent panel agrees – is that the appropriate democratic balance has already been struck. It is of concern that the Government continues to suggest differently.”