Judicial Review

Our ability to hold governments to account is crucial – but it’s under threat

Posted on 30 Oct 2020

Since 1934 Liberty has been standing for justice, freedom and respect for everyone in the UK. Our ability to hold governments to account is crucial – but it’s under threat.

The UK has a system of checks and balances to ensure we can seek justice when we’ve been failed by public bodies. This system also ensures whichever party is in government, their actions remain within the law and don’t infringe upon our fundamental rights.

One way is through a type of legal challenge known as ‘judicial review’. Politicians are currently trying to limit our access to judicial review and in doing so put the Government and public bodies beyond the reach of the law.

In August the Government set up a panel charged with examining changes to judicial review, including limits on it. Organisations were asked to submit evidence, you can read Liberty’s written submission in full.

No one should be above the law, especially those in power.

We made clear in our submission that the system of judicial review is not broken – it is a well-established and well-functioning part of our democracy. Any limitations to it waters down our ability to seek justice. Limiting judicial review also undermines values we all hold dear – values of fairness, accountability and the rule of law.

We need to keep justice accessible to everyone and ensure that politicians are held accountable for any mistakes they make. For society to be fair and just, we must strengthen judicial review, not limit it. We have made suggestions on how this could be achieved in our evidence.

No one should be above the law, especially those in power.

Our ability to challenge Governments in court is essential to keep power in check. We must fight to keep that control.

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