MoJ could face judicial review challenge over civil cost reforms

first_imgCharitable group the Public Law Project (PLP) has threatened to launch a legal challenge to the Ministry of Justice’s civil costs and funding reforms. London firm Leigh Day & Co has sent a letter before action to the justice secretary Ken Clark on behalf of the PLP, a national legal charity that aims to improve access to public law remedies for those whose access to justice is restricted. PLP seeks to challenge the way the MoJ plans to implement Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms. In particular, it is challenging the MoJ’s decision to abolish the recoverability of conditional fee agreement success fees, without also introducing other key reforms put forward by Jackson to mitigate the impact on access to justice for those seeking judicial reviews. In personal injury cases, the MoJ has proposed the introduction of costs protection for claimants – so-called qualified one way costs shifting – which means loosing claimants do not face the risk of having to pay the substantial legal costs of defendant bodies. The sums awarded for general damages will also increase. But for judicial review claims, the MoJ has decided not to implement the costs protection measure for claimants, with the result that the government and other state bodies will be able to recover costs from citizens who unsuccessfully challenge them. PLP claims this will deter ordinary citizens from mounting challenges and reduce their ability to obtain access to justice. It also claims that it is not lawful for the MoJ to introduce such radical changes to the system on the basis of ‘perfunctory consultation’ and in the ‘absence of any reasoned justification’. PLP also considers that the proposals are unlawful in view of the UK’s common law and international law obligations to ensure access to justice. Its director Diane Astin said: ‘PLP believes that the MoJ’s decision not to implement Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals on costs protection for most claimants in judicial review claims has not been thought through. ‘The proposed changes are likely to have a seriously detrimental effect on the ability of individuals and groups to challenge unlawful conduct by public bodies.’ Astin said the proposals should have been consulted on properly. She urged the government to withdraw its plans pending a thorough consultation on the likely impact on access to justice. Jamie Beagent, solicitor at Leigh Day & Co, said: ‘Access to justice is a fundamental right. The MoJ’s proposals will seriously hamper that right. ‘To undermine a key means by which the public can access the constitutional court of this country without introducing the balancing reforms recommended by Lord Justice Jackson is unjustifiable.’ A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: ‘The government set out its position on the reform of civil litigation funding and costs on 29 March. ‘This followed careful consideration of the responses received during a full public consultation. We have received a letter from Leigh Day and Co and will respond in due course.’last_img read more

Reds’ Goromaru undergoes shoulder surgery

first_img“There’s not much pain yet at this moment and I slept well last night,” Goromaru wrote on his Twitter account Friday, the day after the procedure. “I’ll rest my body for a while and work hard to return fit as soon as I can.”Goromaru has also been ruled out of Japan’s three test matches in June, an away encounter with Canada and two home matches against Scotland. KEYWORDS Ayumu Goromaru, Queensland Reds GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img CANBERRA – Queensland Reds fullback Ayumu Goromaru has undergone surgery on his right shoulder in Brisbane, Australia, a club source said Friday.Goromaru suffered a separation of the AC joint that connects the collarbone with his right shoulder when attempting to prevent a try during the Reds’ 35-25 win over the Sunwolves on Saturday. He has likely played his last Super Rugby game of his season since he is expected to miss three months following the operation on Thursday. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more