The government is seeking to make yet more radical changes to judicial review, this time in relation to costs for claims involving environmental judicial review.
Writing in UKELA e-law, BLM associate and member of the environment team, Jill Crawford explains the response given by the Environmental Litigation WP, on which she led, to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the matter.
“When preparing our response and analysing the government’s proposed changes it became clear that this was a further tightening of the noose on the ability to bring a claim for judicial review and a further ‘watering down’ of our judicial review system. The latest proposals combined with the previous restrictions on judicial review will have a snowballing effect of deterring claimants. This appears to be the government’s aim.
“The proposed changes are heavily weighted in favour of the defendant. If implemented, the effects will be profound as they seek to exclude NGO’s and Community Groups by changing the definition of a claimant to a member of the public, create uncertainty and make bringing a claim prohibitively expensive by raising the threshold on the current level of costs that an unsuccessful claimant will have to pay to a defendant and restrict when a claimant can be granted a Protected Costs Order to after permission is granted and requires a claimant, including members of NGO’s/Community Groups, to undergo intrusive examination and disclosure of their finances.”
You can read Jill’s article in full on the UKELA e-law website, on page 35 of the newsletter.