Reluctant reformers – why tough new time limits on starting judicial reviews for planning cases could backfire
The Government's judicial review reforms came into force on 1 July. The proposals attracted significant controversy during their consultation, but despite opposition the Government has pressed ahead with its plans to protect development projects from what it says are weak, frivolous and unmerited judicial review claims. There are, however, serious questions about whether the reforms will help it achieve its aims. Summary of changes The time limit for issuing proceedings for a judicial review will be cut to six weeks in planning cases, a departure from the previous requirement to submit a claim 'promptly', and in any event not later than three months from the date on which the cause of action arose. The transitional provisions state that the six-week period will not apply where the cause of action arose before 1 July. To accommodate such shortened time limits, the requirement to comply with the Judicial Review Pre-action Protocol in planning cases has been relaxed. Parties should still attempt to comply with the time restriction but the court will not apply normal cost sanctions where it is satisfied that it was impossible to comply because of the shorter time limit.
Claire Dutch and Victoria du Croz warn that tough new time limits on starting judicial reviews for planning cases could backfire and will do little to ease long delays elsewhere in the system
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