Tag Archives: judicial review

Government concedes key points on judicial review

As you know, we’ve been following the parliamentary ping pong on the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. Today it comes back before the Commons and, as the Guardian reports, the Government has made concessions on three points:

The first concession, not related to judicial review, was over the introduction of disciplinary powers to be used for confining convicted boys under the age of 15 and women in secure colleges. The Ministry of Justice amendment has accepted that there would have to be a further vote on a statutory instrument before the powers could come into force – a safeguard

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Judicial Review: Parliamentary Ping Pong delayed until New Year

It had been originally thought that the House of Commons would debate the Lords amendments to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill yesterday.

This has now been delayed, probably until the New Year, indicating that there may be some chance of a Government compromise on the points of dispute.

The Lords have now voted twice to give judges some discretion about letting cases proceed even if they fail the “highly likely” test. The Government hasn’t yet given way on this one but you would hope that they would accept Lord Pannick’s amendment passed last week which would allow cases to proceed if it was in the public interest for them to do so.

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Lib Dem Lawyers on Judicial Review

House of Commons at NightThe Criminal Justice and Courts Bill is returning to the Commons today after being ‘batted’ back in ping-pong proceedings between Lords and Commons.

Lib Dem peers working with the crossbenchers are refusing to approve two measures:

1) The Government’s Secure College plans for under 15s.
The Lib Dem Lawyers Association are not the experts in this field, but are concerned that MPs should consider all the risks and issues raised by leading experts. The Lords amendment would exclude under 15s from the Secure College until such time as Parliament agrees that it is safe to send them there.

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Dear Liberal Democrat MPs: Judicial Review restrictions are a messy compromise too far.

Dear Liberal Democrat MPs,

Tomorrow you will be asked for the second time amendments which the House of Lords has made to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. The Government wants you to severely restrict the right of citizens and organisations to use Judicial Review to examine its decisions and those of local authorities. This interferes with a key check on government power.

I don’t think any of you would have come up with this idea on your own. The Liberal Democrats are there to challenge entrenched power and vested interests, after all. This measure is one of those “messy compromises” of coalition.

Anyone who has ever been in any sort of relationship, business or personal, will know you don’t get things your own way the whole time. You have to do things you would rather not do. However, there have been a number of times when we have accepted Conservative measures and had to revise our support for them after they became law because the evidence showed that they were the wrong thing to do.

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MPs to debate curtailing judicial review on Monday as rebel Lib Dem peers face wrath of senior party figures

house of lordsYesterday we told you about the Liberal Democrat rebels in the Lords who voted against the Government’s plans to restrict judicial review and to reject the plans for the new secure college to be open to girls and under 15s. It’s worth adding that the NSPCC are totally opposed to the secure college plans. Penelope Gibbs from the Standing Committee on Youth Justice wrote in an LDV article two weeks ago that young children and girls would be put at risk if this were to go ahead.

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Opinion: Debates, PEBs and Judical Review: A graveyard of lost causes

This week’s announcement of broadcasters’ provisional plans for the 2015 General Election Debates predictably drew complaints and threats of legal action.

The plan is undoubtedly odd in some respects.  Glen Oglaza, who has been a senior political broadcast journalist for as long as I can remember, tweeted that the idea of excluding a party in government (the Liberal Democrats) from one debate was “bizarre.”

Broadcasters will have to review their plans nearer to the election period, taking into account what the polling situation may be at that time, the number of candidates each party is set to field and other election results between now and then.

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Jonathan Marks writes: Criminal Justice and Courts Bill comes to the Lords  

JusticeThe Lib Dems should be proud that under the Coalition Government crime is falling and fast – in 2013 there was a drop in offences overall of 15%, including a drop in violent crime of 12%, continuing a trend that has been continuous for more than five years.  Crime is now at its lowest level for more than 30 years.

This Bill marks the Coalition Government’s commitment to keep the pressure on to drive down crime.  There is much in it that is good.

The Lib Dems have led the way on a number of key issues. The hard work of Paul Burstow, and Lib Dem Care Minister Norman Lamb, has ensured that wilful neglect by care workers will become a new offence. This is a vital step to ensuring that some of the horrific treatment of patients and those in care that we saw at Mid-Staffordshire Hospital and the Winterbourne Care Home never happens again.

Thanks to the Lib Dems the Bill also makes progress in tackling police corruption by ensuring that police officers have special powers and responsibilities and they must not abuse them corruptly or improperly.

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The Independent View: Judicial review changes would advance state powers at expense of individual freedom

In its 2010 Manifesto, the Liberal Democrats pledged to ‘restore and protect hard-won British liberties’.  The Government’s consultation on judicial review, which closed this week, could result in a radical shift of power from individuals to the state. If this happens, the legal system and the people who depend on it for fair treatment will be weaker for it.

Plans from the Ministry of Justice to introduce serious restrictions on access to judicial review will make it much harder for people to challenge the execution of public power on behalf of an individual citizen.

The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has argued that …

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Opinion: a British Bill of Rights should include judicial review of legislation

British people’s attitude to fundamental rights is deteriorating alarmingly. Liberal Democrats in government have a key opportunity to reverse the trend.

When the incoming Labour Government issued ‘Bringing Rights Home’, in the wake of the UK having the worst human rights record in terms of adverse judgments except Turkey, we all applauded.

But the weasel words of the Human Rights act, which explicitly ruled out judicial review of legislation (as happens in Canada under the Charter, and has happeed in the USA since Marbury -v- Madison) has created a climate where the majority of the British people now think that fundamental …

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