Judicial Review and Courts Bill, Lords Amendment

On Tuesday 26 April 2022, the Judicial Review and Courts Bill returned to the Commons to allow us to vote on amendments made by the Lords. 

I am pleased that the Government conceded to a Lords Amendment removing the presumption towards using new suspended or prospective quashing orders unless a good reason exists not to do so. SQOs would mean that even if a court judges a public body’s original decision to have been wrong, the decision will only be overturned after a certain date; PQOs would halt the future effect of the decision, but treat the original decision as if it was valid up to the point the Order is made. These powers risk denying redress to litigants who have been subject to an unlawful decision by the state, and the presumption would have interfered with judicial discretion. I voted to amend the Bill in this way in the Commons on 25 January.

Motion to disagree with Lords Amendment 11.  This amendment would require the Government to provide public funding for bereaved families at inquests into disasters where the state is represented. It is wrong that state bodies have unlimited access to public funding to support their case at such inquests, but bereaved families are often forced to pay large sums towards legal costs, resorting to crowdfunding, or risk representing themselves. I voted against this motion, which passed, Ayes:299 and Noes:168.