Planning & Environment

The Scottish Government consultation paper on civil court reforms includes important proposals for judicial review procedure.

Time limit – introduction of a time limit of 3 months for judicial review claims to be brought. This will remove the current uncertainty about when a planning decision is “safe” from judicial review, caused by the inherent vagueness of the plea of mora, taciturnity and acquiescence. The anomaly will remain that the 6 week time limit will apply to decisions which are subject to statutory rights of appeal to the Court of Session, such as reporters’ decisions on planning permission appeals.

Seeking leave – A new requirement to seek leave from the Court of Session before a judicial review can be brought, providing a mechanism to sift out applications which have no realistic prospect of success. The consultation paper notes that in England and Wales this permission stage results in a relatively high percentage of cases being refused leave to proceed to a full hearing.

Responses are sought by 24 May 2013.

Neil Collar

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