Dominic Raab ‘considering measures to curb judges’ powers’

The justice minister is reportedly considering introducing changes that could limit ministers’ accountability in judicial reviews.

According to a leaked Department of Justice (MoJ) paper reportedly seen by The Guardian, Dominic Raab is considering a move that would likely make it more difficult for claimants who have concerns about public body decisions to launch successful legal challenges against the government.

The document reportedly said: “You (Mr. Raab) have indicated that you are interested in conferring on further judicial review reforms.”

The paper said the document makes proposals for changes “subject to your initial policy guidance and the outcome of any consultation.”

The government is determined to make it as difficult as possible to bring them to justice and hold them accountable for wrongdoing

The proposed changes in the document reportedly range from specifying the criteria judges must apply in cases to increasing the cost burden when parties are found to have no standing to sue.

A MoJ spokesman said: “We do not comment on leaked documents.”

Charlie Whelton, policy and campaigns officer at rights group Liberty, told The Guardian: “This leaked document suggests the government plans to make it even harder for people to challenge them and less accountable to the public make.

“In recent years we have seen an unprecedented assault on our legal rights, including the Judicial Review and Courts Act and through ongoing proposals to repeal the Human Rights Act. The government is determined to make it as difficult as possible to bring them to justice and hold them accountable for wrongdoing.


The government is reportedly trying to make the UK Supreme Court in London (pictured) the ultimate decision-maker on human rights issues (Aaron Chown/PA)

“Whether by erecting further barriers to the bringing of cases, overturning judgments they don’t like, or blocking ever more lawsuits against appeal, the government’s attempts to avoid accountability are setting a very dangerous precedent for all future governments of all stripes.”

The Government has introduced plans for a Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act, which would mean the UK does not always have to follow Strasbourg jurisprudence and the Supreme Court in London is the final decision-maker on human rights issues.

It comes after the European Court of Human Rights, which interprets the European Convention on Human Rights, blocked plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The government insists the reform would strengthen freedom of expression and bar “trivial” legal claims, but opponents say it would limit citizens’ ability to challenge the state. Dominic Raab ‘considering measures to curb judges’ powers’

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