The consultation on changes to the procedure for judicial review has opened and it closes on 24 January 2013. Regular readers will recall that these proposals were said by David Cameron to be part of the Government’s efforts to combat the recession, an effort comparable to Britain’s wartime effort against the Nazis.
The proposed changes are as follows:
- For planning cases – reducing the time after the initial decision that an application for Judicial Review can be lodged from three months to six weeks, to match the time limit for planning appeals
- For procurement cases – reducing the time after the initial decision that an application for Judicial Review can be lodged from three months to 30 days, to match the time limit for procurement appeals
- For cases based on a continuing issue or multiple decisions starting the three month deadline from the time of the first alleged breach
- Scrapping oral renewals (which can be used to challenge a decision to refuse permission to bring a Judicial Review application) for any case which has already had a hearing before a judge on substantially the same matter, for example, at a court, tribunal or statutory inquiry
- Scrapping oral renewals for any case where the application for permission has been ruled to be ‘totally without merit’ by a judge on the papers
- Introducing a new fee for an oral renewal of £215 (but potentially rising to £235 under separate proposals)
- This complements separate proposals for increasing High Court and Court of Appeal fees, under which fees for Judicial Review applications would rise from £60 to £235, and fees to proceed to a hearing would increase from £215 to £235.
The principle changes affecting immigration judicial reviews seem to relate to challenges to ongoing breaches (three month limit runs from first breach), curtailing oral renewals, fees for oral renewals and much higher fees for making a judicial review application in the first place.