On 6 September 2013 the government launched its consultation “Judicial Review: proposals for further reform”. The proposals suggest that the government intends to implement a much more restrictive test for who is entitled to bring a judicial review claim, which seems to be largely targeted at campaigning not-for-profits.
If the government’s proposals are implemented, then charities and other organisations are likely to find it harder or even impossible to use the law as part of their campaigning. To deny this role to the sector is to undermine one of the checks and balances in our society. Moreover, the line between campaigning and simply holding public authorities to account and requiring them to behave lawfully may become blurred. One of the critical roles of the third sector is to step in and mount a legal challenge essentially on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society – if they are stopped from doing so, simply because of the nature of the organisation, these groups of people will find themselves even less protected.
The roundtable will provide a forum for organisations to share their views, from which we will produce a collaborative response to government arguing against this retrograde step.
The roundtable will be chaired by Melanie Carter, Head of Public and Regulatory at BWB, and Helen Mountfield QC of Matrix Chambers will be speaking.
The consultation will also be discussed at BWB’s annual Public Law Toolkit event on 6 November 2013, which is a detailed training course on how public law can be used to achieve campaigning objectives. For more information on the toolkit event and to book your place, please click here.