The Independent Review of Administrative Law provoked much criticism and concern when it was announced by the government, but its final report was less radical than many predicted. In the last of our series of posts from speakers at our June conference on the government’s reform agenda, Lord Faulks speaks of the work of the review panel, which he chaired, and the government bill that resulted, which went further than the review recommended in terms of limiting judicial review.
The government has now published the Judicial Review and Courts Bill, which has had its first reading in the House of Commons and will proceed through its remaining parliamentary stages in the autumn.
The Independent Review of Administrative Law, which I had the privilege of chairing, will now be a footnote in the development of the law in relation to judicial review. The panel no longer exists and its members have returned to their normal pursuits
I would like to think, however, that we made a useful contribution to the debate. There were some commentators who thought the setting up of the review was ‘sinister’ and that our conclusions would inevitably lead to the radical reform of judicial review. I can assure those who said this that the review was genuinely independent, in the sense that we reached our conclusions entirely free from any interference by government. We were, however, influenced by the many high quality submissions that we received. Whatever our preliminary views might have been, we approached our task in an open way and without any predetermined conclusions.
The response by the government was at least initially, that it wanted to go further and it set in motion a further consultation. That was a course, it seemed to me, that it was entirely open to it.Continue reading