Documents to download

On 7 February 2022, the second reading of the Judicial Review and Courts Bill is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords.

The bill is a wide-ranging piece of legislation. It would make several changes to judicial review, and introduce new procedural measures across criminal courts, employment tribunals and coroner’s courts, including provisions to streamline court processes and introduce online procedures. The Government has said the bill would strengthen judicial review, modernise the court and tribunal system, and help to address the case backlogs caused by the pandemic.

The bill contains 49 clauses and includes provisions that would:

  • prevent a decision of the Upper Tribunal (to refuse an appeal of a first-tier tribunal decision) being judicially reviewed in the High Court (in England and Wales) and the Scottish Court of Session (for Scotland);
  • enable courts to impose suspended quashing orders, and to remove or limit the retrospective effect of a quashing order;
  • introduce a procedure for certain criminal cases to be dealt with by an automated online procedure;
  • enable the maximum prison sentence that a magistrates’ court can impose for an either-way offence to be varied between six and 12 months; and
  • enable a coroner to discontinue an investigation where the cause of death becomes clear before an inquest has begun.

The bill completed its passage through the House of Commons on 25 January 2022. Government amendments were added to the bill at both committee and report stage. These included a new clause that would enable the sentencing power of magistrates’ courts to be varied. Other government amendments included minor changes to criminal procedure clauses and a related schedule, and corrections of some drafting errors.

Documents to download

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