29 October 2014

Lawyers call for the Lords to change the judicial review bill to protect charities

Concern has been raised that the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill raises an automatic expectation that charities intervening in judicial review cases will pay the costs of other parties that are attributable to their intervention.

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill was introduced to the House of Commons in February 2014. It is shortly expected before the House of Lords, where Lord Pannick, Lord Woolf, Lord Carlile and Lord Beecham have tabled amendments to Part 4 of the Bill that will leave the matter of costs to the discretion of a judge.

The Bar Council, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and the Law Society have urged all Lords to support the amendment.

In its current form, the Bill raises an expectation that certain organisations, including charities, which intervene in judicial review proceedings, are automatically expected to pay costs of the other parties that are attributable to their intervention.

Supporters of the amendment have raised concerns that Part 4 of the bill places a ‘price on justice’, which would, without amendment, restrict the ability of organisations with a legitimate interest in a matter to continue their important work in policing the power of the government and public decision makers.

The Criminal justice and Courts Bill is expected to reach the House of Lords in the week beginning 27 October 2014.

Category: Article