Woolf warns Government over judicial review
Saturday 15 December 2012
Government plans to curb the right to judicial review risk
endangering a vital legal safeguard, a former lord chief justice warned
David Cameron argued last month that reform of the judicial review system in England and Wales is essential to prevent "spurious" legal challenges holding up important projects which benefit communities and business.
Ministers want to cut the time limit in which a claim for judicial review can be lodged from three months to six weeks.
However Lord Woolf accused the Ministry of Justice of showing a "remarkable lack of concern for the precision of the facts" in putting forward its proposals for change.
"In our system, without its written constitution embedded in our law so it can't be changed, judicial review is critical," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
"This marks a departure. If we want to change procedures, normally we do that through our very experienced Civil Procedure Rules Committee backed up by the Civil Justice Council which are both bodies who have got expertise in these matters which the Ministry of Justice have not got.
"They would be very well not to get involved in this area (and) leave it to the specialist committees."
He said legislation was already going through Parliament to remove immigration cases - which account for around 70 per cent of the total and have been the main growth area - from the judicial review system and transfer them to a specialist tribunal.
However Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said that action was still needed to prevent abuses of the system which were proving costly to both business and government.
"What I want to do is to create some hurdles which say to people that this is not a procedure which you can use in a trivial way. The truth is that it is often used in a trivial way," he told the Today programme.
"I have certainly experienced in my government role judicial review being used for PR purposes. You can launch a case against government - it creates a nice story.
"You are five times more likely to be refused leave for a judicial review because your case is spurious than you are to have it granted. That is overwhelmingly evidence that this is a process that is not being used for the purpose it was intended."
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Colin Farrell reveals ‘affair’ with Elizabeth Taylor: 'She was my last romantic relationship'
Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Business Analyst - Banking...
£21999 - £27001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have exten...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£42000 - £51000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Are You Receiving...