Kingsley Napley's Public Law team response to the Government Consultation regarding the Independent Review of Administrative Law

17 May 2021

Kingsley Napley’s Public Law team is pleased to have responded to the Government’s Consultation about judicial review, which is connected to the Independent Review of Administrative Law (the “IRAL”).
The IRAL was launched in July 2020 to consider options for reform to the process of judicial review. We wrote about the IRAL in a blog post here and provided our first set of submissions to the IRAL last year in the IRAL’s Call for Evidence. Our first submissions can be seen here. The IRAL subsequently published its Report in March 2021 at the same time as the Government published its Consultation.
In the Kingsley Napley Public Law team’s Consultation response, we highlight that judicial review is central to the UK’s democracy. It ensures that the rights of individuals are not forfeit to administrative convenience, expediency or excess. At the same time it promotes good governance and administration. Judicial review is also a necessary tool through which to address sometimes ambiguous law drafted by Ministers and Parliament. 
We also observe that judicial review is not ‘broken’ and there is no evidence of systemic judicial activism; the system as a whole works very well in the UK; and the only justifiable reforms would be incremental changes to law and procedure - the case for any wholesale reform is not made.

The IRAL Report has shown that an overwhelming majority of respondents agreed with our first response, opposing ambitious reforms to judicial review. The Independent Panel of the IRAL agreed as well. We urge the Ministry of Justice to retract some of the controversial proposals in the Consultation.
Earlier this month, the Queen’s Speech indicated that the Government’s proposed Judicial Review bill would aim to “restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts”, suggesting that the proposed reforms to judicial review the Government may proceed with could be wide ranging. Kingsley Napley’s Public Law team will continue to comment on and contribute to proposals and updates as they emerge. 
Our team’s response can be read in full here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Kingsley Napley Public Law team.

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