Until the recent transfer of some judicial review sittings to the Northern Circuit from London, I felt much the same way at having to explain to clients why a wholly North-Western judicial review case could only be heard in London, whereas (for example) a professional negligence action or major criminal case could be heard close to home by a High Court judge sitting on circuit, even though the same judge could hear the judicial review case when sitting in London.
Litigants outside London should be able to get convenient justice in their regions equivalent to that available in London to Londoners. High Court judges sitting on this circuit now hear almost the whole range of work from the Queen's Bench, Family and Chancery Divisions.
High Court judges represent the highest quality pool of judicial expertise available nationally. That whole pool should be available to litigants nationally and not just in the capital.
Mr Scrivener's complaint at having to be dragged to Bristol should be directed at the judge in question, not to the circuit system.
ANDREW GILBART QC