IRAL recommendation in respect of Judicial Review to be brought into force

An important and welcome change to the Civil Procedure Rules in relation to Judicial Review will come into force on 6 April 2024 bringing into effect one of the main procedural recommendations of the government’s Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL).

The IRAL report at paragraphs 4.150 to 4.158 made specific recommendations for there to be formal provision allowing a Claimant to file a Reply to the Defendant’s Acknowledgement of Service (AOS) within seven days of receipt of the AOS.

This amends current procedure which contains no such right prior to permission being determined, which has led to Claimants frequently applying to submit a Reply and additional evidence but without knowing if the material has reached the deciding judge in time and, even if it has, the basis upon which a judge will exercise his discretion to accept it. This was leading to uncertainty and inconsistency.

New CPR Part 54.8A will now allow a Claimant to file a Reply “not more than 7 days after service of the acknowledgment of service” (CPR 54.8A(2)).

Vikram Sachdeva KC and Celina Colquhoun were two of the three barrister members of the IRAL panel which carried out the review, which was published in early 2021.