PILC has this week submitted evidence to the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL).
The IRAL has been set up by the government ‘to determine how well or effectively judicial review balances the legitimate interest in citizens being able to challenge the lawfulness of executive action with the role of the executive in carrying on the business of government, both locally and centrally.’ The government says it wants to prevent lawyers from ‘conducting politics by other means’.
Our view is that the establishment of the IRAL is itself politically motivated and that its findings are likely to be used to legitimate an attack on judicial review.
PILC’s response to the consultation is informed by the experience of frontline practitioners: solicitors and caseworkers supporting those whose basic rights have been infringed. Twelve years of austerity, punitive immigration policies and regressive changes to an already-strict legal aid system have made it increasingly difficult for working-class, racialised and other dispossessed people to access justice.
As we make clear in our submission, any discussion of changes to the judicial review system needs to be couched in an awareness of this broader context.
Our submission can be read and downloaded here.