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7 Jud. Rev. 1 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/judire7 and id is 1 raw text is: [20021 JR

A View From the Bench:
The New Procedures in the
Administrative Court
The Hon Mr Justice Collins
Administrative Court Judge
1. The reforms which came into effect in October 2000 have now been in force for a suffi-
cient time to enable judges and practitioners to identify problems and advantages. The
three most important changes regarding judicial review are: the requirement to serve
the potential respondent when permission is sought; the obligation upon the respon-
dent to file acknowledgement of service; and the provision that all applications be dealt
with initially on the papers. An oral hearing for permission will now only occur if the
judge dealing with the paper application so directs or if an application is to be renewed
following a refusal.
2. I had been opposed to the obligation upon a proposed respondent to include in the
acknowledgement of service any reasons for opposing the claim. It seemed to me that
a respondent should not be required to spend money which might well be irrecover-
able if permission were refused. However, an acknowledgement containing reasons
for opposing a claim can be of enormous assistance to the judge who considers the
application. It is vital if there has been a failure by the applicant to disclose material
matters or to draw attention to facts or law which might be determinative but which
otherwise might not be apparent. It may help the judge to focus on the really impor-
tant issues if the application is not as clear as it should be. It may also in an appropri-
ate case demonstrate that although there may be an arguable error of law, the reality is
that a judge would not exercise discretion to grant relief.
3. I remain of the view that the service of reasons to oppose the claim should be optional.
But I am sure that money spent in so doing will often in the end be a saving. Since many
applicants are funded by the Community Legal Service or are unable to meet costs
incurred by respondents, it is obviously an advantage to avoid the grant of permission.
It is also helpful to the judge to know if there is no argument that can be put against
permission.
4. It is important, when applying for permission, to set out the claim as clearly and suc-
cinctly as possible. The easier it is made for the judge the more likely he is to grant
permission, provided of course that there is a good point. The statement of facts and
the grounds should in many cases be all that needs to be read. Indeed, in due course
this should (subject to dealing with matters raised in the respondent's evidence)
stand as the skeleton argument. There is no excuse for not setting out the relevant
facts and contentions clearly. It is important that essential reading be identified.

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