Religion, Inquiries, Judicial Review

8 January 2013 by

three-fingersWith apologies for the boring title, here are three quick things.

First, the Government’s consultation on Judicial Review changes ends on 24 January 2013, so you have just over two weeks to respond. As with some previous consultations, I will be collating responses on the blog so please feel free to email them to me. My most recent thoughts are here: Quicker, costlier and less appealing: plans for Judicial Review reform revealed

Secondly, the European Court of Human Rights is to rule next Tuesday 15 January on four key cases involving discrimination and religious rights. The full background is here:  Religious freedom in UK to be considered by Strasbourg Court and you can watch the entire hearing here. We will, of course, be covering the judgment in full.

Thirdly, in November 1 Crown Office Row hosted a mock trial on the topic of public inquiries and inquests at which a number of 1COR barristers, including me, spoke. The podcast of the event is now online and you find it here and also below the page break. You can also download the handout, which includes a number of very useful skeleton arguments for the mock trial, here.


  1. ObiterJ says:

    Three “quick” things indeed !!

    The “mock trial” was very well constructed and is immensely interesting to listen to. Well done. Can’t say that I was surprised at the decision.

    Some of the discussion was not clear – perhaps positioning of microphone?

    The European Court’s decision in Silih is certainly an odd one but perhaps they will clarify matters? I wonder whether they were getting at the possibility that some hitherto unknown event comes to light (e.g. a massacre) which, although a long time ago simply cannot be ignored? I’m simply not sure and an English court would probably say that it had considered the case but give some reason to side- step it.

    On a general point, I wonder sometimes whether public inquiries – expensive as they are – might be falling out of favour with politicians except when they want to kick something into the long grass. Finucane is perhaps an example. Here the government appear satisfied with the review and are hardly likely to concede an inquiry. Cameron referred to inquiries in the context of Northern Ireland being problematic (or something like that). In any event, the family appear to reject the idea of an Inquiries Act 2005 inquiry which they see as giving excessive control over the process to Ministers. Whilst some legal commentators – as well as Judge Cory – expressed that view, I have not, so far, noticed an inquiry where a Minister has interfered. This is perhaps because Ministers know that, in the end, they can cherry pick the recommendations or quite simply let the report gather dust on some distant shelf.

  2. JenTheHen says:

    Hello. The handout at for the mock trial mentioned above refers to Practice Area Information Sheets – please could you add a link to these? I tried searching 1cor but although I found Inquests and Inquiries – Rosalind English the link doesn’t work. I know you’re all very busy but I’d like to read the info sheets if possible please – or are they secret?!

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