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01/10/2013

JR Reforms: Ministerial oversight

In an article for the Daily Mail, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling called for further restrictions on the right to apply to the High Court for the judicial review of ministerial decisions on planning and infrastructure cases.
 
In an article for the Daily Mail, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling called for further restrictions on the right to apply to the High Court for the judicial review of ministerial decisions on planning and infrastructure cases.
 
Grayling casually remarked that there are now thousands of judicial review applications each year. But he carefully omitted to mention that, as a proportion of all JR applications, planning and infrastructure-related JR applications account for less than 2 per cent of the whole!
 
Most of the 11,200 JR applications in 2011, which ministers are so fond of quoting, were immigration/asylum cases. Even as a proportion of JR applications other than immigration, asylum and criminal cases, planning-related cases account for only about 7-8 per cent.
 
It is not possible to discern any indication that there has been an increase in hopeless applications in this area of the law. The notion that ministers have been peddling that there is a rising tide of hopeless JR applications, made simply as a delaying tactic to frustrate development and infrastructure projects, is clearly nonsense. In most years, at least a third of planning-related JR application were given permission to proceed, which is a much higher proportion than the average for other types of JR application.
 
Martin Goodall is a consultant lawyer with Keystone Law. Read his blog here 
 

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