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Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

In December 2012, the Government published a consultation paper entitled Judicial Review: Proposals for Reform which ran between 13 December and 24 January 2013. The consultation sought views on a package of measures to stem the growth in applications for judicial reviews.

In April 2013, the Government published its response to the consultation, indicating that a number of measures would be introduced. These included:

  • A reduction in the time limits for bringing a claim from three months to six weeks in planning cases and 30 days in procurement cases;
  • The introduction of a new fee for an oral renewal hearing, where the claimant does not accept a refusal of permission on the papers, and asks for the decision to be reconsidered at a hearing (an “oral renewal”); and
  • The removal of the right to an oral renewal where the case is assessed as totally without merit on the papers.

These measures were implemented through changes to the Civil Procedure Rules in July 2013.

Another consultation, Judicial Review: proposals for further reform, was published in September 2013 and ran until November 2013. It sought to find further ways to reduce time and money spent on unmeritorious judicial review claims.

Following this consultation the Government published the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill on 5 February 2014 which brought forward provisions to implement a number of the proposals contained in the consultation.  The Bill gained Royal Assent on 12 February 2015.

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