Judicial review: email your MP

CILEx asks members to email their MPs to urge them to protect judicial review

26 November 2014

Write to your MPCILEx is encouraging members to email their MPs in the run up to a Commons vote on amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that would protect judicial review.

Judicial review is the mechanism by which individuals can challenge the decisions of public bodies in the courts. Government plans would produce a chilling effect on judicial review and may likely make the Government less accountable to citizens.

A template letter has been prepared below. Members are encouraged to use it as a starting point for their own emails to MPs.

You can find your local MP using http://www.theyworkforyou.com/


Dear [insert constituency MP’s name here]


I am writing in my capacity as a constituent, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx).

Recent amendments to Part 4 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, supported by Peers from all sides of the House of Lords, will be considered by members of the House of Commons on 1 December. I encourage you to approve the Bill in its revised form.

The original Bill attempted to: lower the threshold test in judicial review cases to “highly likely”; create a presumption that “interveners” would be liable for costs; and extend cost liability to those making financial contributions to a judicial review, such as friends and family of the applicant.

Amendments made by the House of Lords would preserve the discretion currently available to judges to apply existing rules in appropriate cases, and not to apply them where it would be wrong to do so. This discretion is best exercised by the judge hearing the case and Parliament should not to constrain them from applying the rules fairly.

The Lords amendments are in the public as well as the national interest. They preserve judicial discretion and enable individuals to hold public authorities to account. They maintain a key feature of our constitutional arrangements, that decision-making by public authorities should be reviewable by the courts in appropriate cases.

I would like to draw your attention to a briefing produced by the three legal bodies, the Bar Council, The Law Society, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, which explains the importance of the Lords amendments in further detail.

I urge you to support amendments 97 through 107 to clauses 64, 65, 66 and 67.

Yours sincerely,