Faulks panel issues call for evidence

Does judicial review strike the right balance?

The Independent Review of Administrative Law panel, chaired by Lord Faulks QC (pictured), is seeking evidence on “how well or effectively judicial review balances the legitimate interest in citizens being able to challenge the lawfulness of executive action with the role of the executive in carrying on the business of government, both locally and centrally”.

The panel says it is particularly interested in “any notable trends in judicial review over the last thirty to forty years. Specifically, the panel is interested in understanding whether the balance struck is the same now as it was before, and whether it should be struck differently going forward.”

I wrote about this review at some length last month and will certainly be writing about it again in the future.

The review panel does not appear to have a website. But it has a secretariat and an email address — IRAL@justice.gov.uk — from which copies of a questionnaire may be obtained and to which responses should be sent by 19 October.

The inquiry will be looking at these areas in particular: 

  • Whether the amenability of public law decisions to judicial review by the courts and the grounds of public law illegality should be codified in statute. 

  • Whether the legal principle of non-justiciability requires clarification and, if so, the identity of subjects/areas where the issue of the justiciability/non-justiciability of the exercise of a public law power and/or function could be considered by the Government. 

  • Whether, where the exercise of a public law power should be justiciable: (i) on which grounds the courts should be able to find a decision to be unlawful; (ii) whether those grounds should depend on the nature and subject matter of the power and (iii) the remedies available in respect of the various grounds on which a decision may be declared unlawful. 

  • Whether procedural reforms to judicial review are necessary, in general to “streamline the process”, and, in particular: (a) on the burden and effect of disclosure in particular in relation to “policy decisions” in Government; (b) in relation to the duty of candour, particularly as it affects Government; (c) on possible amendments to the law of standing; (d) on time limits for bringing claims, (e) on the principles on which relief is granted in claims for judicial review, (f) on rights of appeal, including on the issue of permission to bring judicial review proceedings and; (g) on costs and interveners. 

Update 8 September: a reader has kindly alerted me to a website that provides some details about the review. It does not include the call for evidence or the questionnaire. But it does say that the review will be reporting jointly to the lord chancellor (Robert Buckland) and the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Michael Gove).

Much later on 8 September: the call for evidence has now been added to the website.