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Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015: implications for planning and environmental law

24 March 2015

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill received royal assent on 12 February and is now the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (CJC Act). Part 4 of the CJC Act makes major changes to judicial review, including:

  • A court must not permit a judicial review if it appears 'highly likely' that the decision or action by the public body would not have been substantially different if the conduct complained of had not occurred (section 84).
  • The court must be given information about the financial resources above a certain (as yet undefined) level - that are available to the party wishing to bring the judicial review (section 85). The court must take this into account and consider making a cost order against any party identified in that information as providing financial support for the proceedings) (section 86).
  • Third-party interveners in judicial reviews may have to pay other parties' costs if certain conditions are met. These conditions include 'unreasonable behaviour' by the intervener and if the intervener's actions 'have not been of significant assistance to the court' (section 87).
  • Cost-capping orders will only be available after permission for a judicial review is granted, rather than before (sections 88 to 90). The Lord Chancellor may make regulations so that these provisions do not apply to judicial review for environmental cases.
  • Schedule 16 makes amendments to the procedures for planning challenges under certain legislation, including the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Read the full act

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