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Ministry of Justice to consult on judicial review reforms Published Date: 22/03/2021

The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on giving the courts the power to suspend quashing orders, removing so-called ‘Cart judgments’, and introducing a series of changes to civil procedure rules, following recommendations by the Independent Review of Administrative Law.

Local Government Lawyer reports that under the proposals a court could set conditions and the quashing order would only take effect if these were not met after a certain period of time - allowing time to remedy the defects, the MoJ suggested.

The other immediate recommendation from the IRAL report, which can be viewed here, is for the removal of so-called ‘Cart judgments’ to prevent appeals in the Upper Tribunal being subject to judicial review in the High Court.

The Ministry will also consult on further measures “informed by the panel’s analysis”. These are:

  • Examination of how ‘ouster clauses’ can best be given effect to.
  • The introduction of wider options for remedies. “The proposal would give discretion to judges to order a remedy to be prospective-only in nature, increasing the range of tools available to the courts. This would ensure resources could be focussed on future solutions, rather than spending taxpayer money to fix past errors.”
  • Consideration of defining exactly how and when a use of power is automatically ‘null and void’.
  • The making of procedural reforms. Subject to the consultation, a range of efficiency proposals will be submitted to the Civil Procedure Rule Committee for their consideration. These include: removing the promptness requirement to make space for pre-trial resolutions; allowing parties to agree to extend the time limit for claims being brought; formalising procedure on replying to an Acknowledgement of Service (as suggested by the Review); looking for improvements to the pre-action protocol to encourage pre-trial solutions; plus others which are detailed in the consultation document.