Judicial Review

December 1st, 2020

There is increasing concern about the need for appropriate procedural rigour in judicial review cases. In R (Dolan) v SoS for Health (2020) EWCA Civ 1605 the Court of Appeal says, at para 117 that procedural rigour is important for justice to be done and for fairness to all concerned.

At para 118 the Court deprecates the trend towards a “ rolling “ approach to judicial review, in which fresh decisions which have arisen after the original challenge are sought to be added by way of amendment.

The Court, at paragraphs 119/120, expressed particular concern about grounds of challenge being lengthy and complex. A culture has developed for there to be excessive prolixity and complexity. Grounds for judicial review should be concise.

The case was about Coronavirus Regulations. Many such are made not pursuant to the Coronavirus Act 2020, but rather, as here, pursuant to Part 2A of the Public Health ( Control of Disease Act 1984 as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2008. This enables an effective public health response to a widespread pandemic. The Court of Appeal rejected a vires challenge.

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