On 27th October 2014, four bishops took part in divisions on the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, on the third day of its Report Stage. Details of the votes can be seen below.
Amendment 146 – Judicial review in the High Court and Upper Tribunal
Crossbench peer Lord Pannick moved amendment 146, which sought to soften the Government’s proposal that the High Court must refuse permission for a Judicial Review if it is ‘highly likely’ that the decision whose legality is being challenged would be unchanged even if the Review were successful.
Four bishops voted ‘content’ to this amendment. They were the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, and the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith. No bishop voted ‘not content’. There were: Contents: 247 | Not Contents: 181 | Result: Government Defeat
“It is disturbing when the Bar Council says that when combined with other recent government measures for changing the law of judicial review, these changes, if enacted in their current form, will immunise government and other public authorities from effective legal challenge” – Bishop of Oxford, 30/6/14
On 30th June 2014, the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, took part in the Second Reading debate on the Government’s Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. During his speech, he focused on two particular areas of concern – the proper care of troubled children and the role of ‘secure colleges’ and the need for a fair and effective system of judicial review and legal aid to be available to all, regardless of their material situation.