A blog by Mark Elliott draws attention to a recent statute which gravely undermines the rights of citizens. Section 84 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 states that the High Court
(a) must refuse to grant relief on an application for judicial review, and
(b) may not make an award … on such an application,
if it appears to the court to be highly likely that the outcome for the applicant would not have been substantially different if the conduct complained of had not occurred.
That means, Elliott suggests, that there will be no effective remedy for breaches of procedure, such as the failure to give reasons for a decision. I’d be concerned that it also reduces the already limited rights of benefit claimants to processes that are transparent, accountable and fair.
The 2015 Act applies throughout the UK, but the specific provision only applies to England and Wales, because the precise wording is an amendment of a section in the 1981 Act which has that restriction. This could imply a parting of the ways for judicial review in England and Scotland.