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Government Departments: Judicial Review

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Solicitor-General how many judicial reviews there were involving Government departments according to records held by the (a) Treasury Solicitor and (b) Administrative Court Office in each of the last three years; and how many such reviews were upheld in whole or in part in each such year. (318344)

The Treasury Solicitor's Department was instructed in the following number of applications for judicial reviews in each of the last three years:

2007: 4,756

2008: 4,823

2009: 6,293.

Specific data on how many such reviews were upheld in whole or in part in each such year are not maintained by the Treasury Solicitor's Department. The information requested can therefore be provided but only at disproportionate cost.

The Administrative Court Office does not retain the information sought in this question. However, it is able to produce information on cases in which a Government Department is shown as first defendant. Where a Government Department is named as a subsequent defendant this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The figures the Administrative Court Office has for cases where a central Government Department was named as first defendant over the last three years are as follows:

2007: 4,614

2008: 4,877

2009: 6,886.

With regard to the number of these cases where the application was upheld, in whole or in part, this information is not held and, again, could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the Administrative Court Office's case management system can identify the number of cases each year where Government Departments were named as first defendant and where the judicial review was granted following a substantive hearing. These figures are as follows:

2007: 13

2008: 12

2009: 4.

These figures should be treated with considerable caution, since they relate only to the outcome of substantive hearings (not to the outcome of applications at permission stage). A number of cases settle either when permission to apply for judicial review is granted or shortly before the matter is heard substantively.