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The consultation exercise seeks views on proposals in a number of key areas:
- how the courts deal with minor procedural defects that would have made no difference to the final decision;
- a number of measures to rebalance the system of financial incentives so that those involved have a proportionate interest in the costs of the case. This includes an amended proposal on payment of legal aid providers in judicial review cases, previously included in the Transforming Legal Aid consultation which closed in June.
- speeding up appeals to the Supreme Court in important cases.
- a new specialist “planning chamber” for challenges relating to major developments to be taken only by expert judges using streamlined processes. This builds on the “planning fast-track” process implemented in July 2013;
The consultation exercise also explores the potential for reform in these areas:
- the potential to reform the test for standing (who is able to bring a judicial review);
- local authorities’ abilities to challenge nationally significant infrastructure projects; whether it is appropriate to provide legal aid for certain statutory challenges under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
- the use of JR to resolve disputes relating to the public sector equality duty and whether there are suitable alternatives.