This week, Public Law Project is bringing together academics, practitioners, former judges and policy experts in the first in a series of roundtable seminars on evidence-based reform of judicial review.

The seminars will be chaired by Dinah Rose QC, President of Magdalen College, University of Oxford, and Professor Paul Craig, University of Oxford, and will consider what steps ought to be taken in relation to the availability of evidence and data on judicial review.

PLP’s Research Director Dr Joe Tomlinson, told The Law Society Gazette on 8 September:

‘The Government has highlighted the importance of examining data and evidence as part of the reform process. The government has also previously expressed support for evidence-based policy-making in relation to justice reform more generally.

‘In the context of judicial review, such an approach requires detailed consideration of what types of evidence are needed and how any gaps in the evidence base can be addressed. This programme of discussions will help answer these critical questions and provide a pathway to better reform.’

‘At present, the evidence base around the questions at the centre of the current reform process has important holes. For instance, we lack detailed evidence on the operation disclosure and the duty of candour. The absence of good quality evidence is also clear in the context of costs – something that was apparent in the Jackson Review’s consideration of judicial review.’

In addition to discussing the meaning of each of the Terms of Reference and what reform might look like in relation to each, particular emphasis will be placed on the role of evidence in the reform process: what role should ‘evidence and data’ have in relation to each issue and what form should it take? What evidence do we have in relation to the issue in question and what is missing? Ultimately, how should the questions in each of the terms of reference be tackled, in line with government’s commitment to the use of evidence and data?

The roundtable group includes public law academics, experienced practitioners, experts on evidence-based policymaking and former judges.

Its members are:

  • Professor Paul Craig QC (Hon), University of Oxford (Chair)
  • Dinah Rose QC, Blackstone Chambers and Magdalen College, University of Oxford (Chair)
  • Karen Ashton, Central England Law Centre
  • Sir Jack Beatson, Former Lord Justice of Appeal and Law Commissioner
  • Dr Joanna Bell, University of Oxford
  • Kirsty Brimelow QC (Doughty Street)
  • Dr Natalie Byrom, The Legal Education Foundation
  • Melanie Carter, Bates Wells Braithwaite
  • Professor Paul Cairney, University of Stirling
  • Rosa Curling, Leigh Day
  • Lisa Giovanetti QC, 39 Essex Chambers
  • Polly Glynn, Deighton Pierce Glynn
  • Lewis Graham, Public Law Project and University of Cambridge (Rapporteur)
  • Dr Catherine Haddon, Institute for Government
  • Professor Peter John, King’s College London
  • Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC (Hon), Blackstone Chambers
  • Professor Jeff King, University College London
  • Dr Richard Kirkham, University of Sheffield
  • Dr Chris McCorkindale, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor Aileen McHarg, Durham University
  • Professor Richard Moorhead, University of Exeter
  • Professor Tom Mullen, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Sarah Nason, Bangor University
  • Dr Elizabeth O’Loughlin, Durham University
  • Professor Kate O’Regan, Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, University of Oxford and former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
  • Lord Phillips, Former President of the UK Supreme Court
  • Professor Maurice Sunkin QC (Hon), University of Essex
  • Professor Robert Thomas, University of Manchester
  • Dr Joe Tomlinson, University of York and Public Law Project (Rapporteur)
  • Professor Alison Young, University of Cambridge

PLP will submit the result of the discussions in the seminars to the Panel in due course.

Read PLP’s statement in response to publication of the Panel’s terms of reference.