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Judicial Review and the Crime and Courts Bill

Questions have been raised as to the modifications In Division 130 as to the basis upon which a decision by a public authority can be quashed by judicial review.

The change introduced by the Crime and Court Bill means that apart from a few exceptions if the court is asked to quash a decision because of procedural flaws it is not to do so if the decision if when remade is highly likely to result in a not substantially different outcome.    The few exceptions relate to the "exceptional public interest".

The difficulty is that for decisions that are subject to judicial review (which does not apply to primary legislation of course) the simple fact that judicial review has been applied for can introduce a long period of delay.  That delay in itself can harm the public interest.  Hence to apply a filter at the permission stage which means that applications for judicial review that are unlikely to result in a final change to the decision are rejected at that stage then stops the delay from happening.

The government's final compromise was to allow the judges if they believes that something is in the exceptional public interest to continue to review (and thereby delay the implementation of) a decision even if it appears to be merely on a technicality.


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