Judicial Review – can it happen to anyone?
This is a list of organisations that have had to appear in the High Court to defend their public consultations just this year so far. Win or lose, they have incurred considerable costs and delays. On occasions they have been embarrassed by bad publicity and some have had their decisions quashed.
This is the tip of the iceberg. For every case that proceeds to Court, another three are settled on reasonable terms or withdrawn after dialogue with the relevant public bodies. It has been estimated that every working day, somewhere in the UK, a ‘letter before claim’ alleging unlawful consultation arrives on the desk of a public organisation.
And consultations do not have to be poorly run to attract legal challenge. If a decision is controversial, someone somewhere will search for the most vulnerable part of the decision-making process and put it under the microscope. This is why anyone running a consultation these days needs to be fully clued-up about the rapidly-developing Law of Consultation
The Institute offers a well-established, comprehensive one-day training course that is always up-to-the-minute so that attendees can be sure they know the latest legal position and can work with in-house legal advisers to ensure that they follow best practice as well as minimise the risk of losing a legal challenge.
For those who require a more in-depth understanding, and appreciate the opportunity to discuss and debate the implications of landmark cases with fellow-professionals from the world of public engagement, the Institute welcomes participants to its two-day Law of Consultation Masterclass.