Government responds to consultation and The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2014 propose curbs on judicial review (“JR”) – but a European Court decision, finds the UK in breach of EU law on access to environmental justice and will protect environmental JRs.
Key changes proposed include:
- A dedicated fast-track court for environmental and planning claims, with specialist judges.
- No judicial review where the outcome would not have been substantially different had the unlawful conduct not occurred.
- No Protective costs orders before permission.
- Serious costs consequences for interveners in JR proceedings
- A duty to disclose the identity of any financial backers.
- A serious costs risk for oral permission hearings.
However, the European Court’s decision in Commission v UK (C-530/11) and its confirmation that JRs about European environmental law must not be prohibitively expensive will curtail the Government’s ability to make significant costs changes in environmental law judicial reviews.http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=147843&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=34589