Conservative Party changes that meant the public were effectively forbidden from questioning government decisions will be scrapped if Labour is elected in May, according to Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan.
David Cameron said an increase in judicial reviews during the current Parliament had delayed planning developments and deportations – ignoring the possibility that they may be justified.
Tory Justice Secretary Chris Grayling accused charities and left-wing campaigners of exploiting it to promote political agendas. He also ignored the possibility that the high number of successful actions brought by the public might indicate that the government had been making unjust choices.
Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Khan explained how the Conservative Party was willing to subvert the rule of law in order to cement unjust decisions in place and inflict their consequences (in terms of planning developments, for example) on people who cannot afford to stop them.
He said: “I’m really worried about the government’s attack on judicial review. When I was a lawyer, I used judicial review to challenge public authorities. When I became a minister, I accepted that judicial review was a pain in the backside; civil servants had to check and double-check. It may have been a nuisance but it’s a very important safeguard.
“So I will reverse all the changes the government has made. It’s important that the executive respects the powers citizens have to hold us to account.”
He said: “We need to give citizens the ability to challenge when they think there have been failings in decisions made by ministers, governments and councils. The new act … insulates power, makes us complacent and think that we can disregard procedural fairness, disregard consultation.
“If you are someone who wants to challenge power, you are now scared to do so. You are worried about your costs as a community group in challenging a public authority decision. That’s not the sort of country I want to live in.”
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
If you have enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
highlighting plans to rectify the abuses inflicted by the Conservatives.
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: