Further cuts to judicial review
On 5 February 2014 the Government announced that it would be going ahead with a series of changes to restrict access to judicial review. The changes – which were originally proposed in the November 2013 consultation Judicial review: proposals for further reform – include further cuts to legal aid and amendments to the rules on costs which will make it more difficult for charities and NGOs to intervene in judicial review proceedings.
The legal aid cuts, which are expected in Spring 2014, will restrict the availability of legal aid for judicial review work with the effect that legal aid lawyers undertaking this work will run the risk that they may not be paid at the end of the case. The senior judiciary has warned that this may have a “chilling effect” on firms undertaking work in this area, undermining the ability of individuals to challenge unlawful state acts.