In the Media

Cameron announces curbs on judicial reviews

PUBLISHED November 19, 2012

Monday 19 November 2012 by Michael Cross

Tighter time limits and higher charges are among measures to be introduced to cut the number of applications for judicial reviews of planning decisions, the prime minister will announce this morning.

The number of appeals allowed against a decision will be halved from four to two, David Cameron is expected to tell the Confederation of British Industry's conference in London.

The speech identifies the legal right to a judicial review of decisions, including major infrastructure projects, as an obstacle to economic growth. According to Downing Street more than 11,000 applications for judicial review were made in 2011, compared with 160 in 1975.

'We urgently need to get a grip on this,' Cameron is expected to say.

In the second shake-up in planning procedures announced this year, the prime minister will announce that the three-month limit for applications for review will be cut and that fees for applications will rise. 'Instead of giving hopeless cases up to four bites of the cherry to appeal a decision, we will halve that to two.'

In a statement to coincide with the speech, the justice secretary Chris Gayling said that the government intends to seek views on a package of options that will include shortening time limits in certain cases, restricting opportunities for an oral reconsideration of the application for permission in certain circumstances and introducing new fees.

'The purpose of this is not to deny or restrict access to justice, but to provide for a more balanced and practicable approach, ensuring that weak, frivolous and unmeritorious cases are identified early, and that legitimate claims are brought quickly and efficiently to a resolution. In this way, we can ensure that the right balance is struck between reducing the burdens on public services, and protecting access to justice and the rule of law.'