How and Why to Constrain Interveners and Depoliticise Our Courts

December 7, 2022

In a new paper for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, Anthony Speaight KC argues for reform of the judicial practice of permitting pressure groups to intervene in litigation.  The paper, which is welcomed by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar KC, recommends legislation to specify when judges may grant permission to interveners, a procedural reform that would help to depoliticise the courts.  The pressure groups most often granted permission to intervene are Liberty, JUSTICE and Amnesty International, who regularly choose cases that advance highly political causes rather than their original objectives (individual liberty, administration of justice, freedom of conscience).  Allowing pressure groups to intervene adds to the time and cost of proceedings, fosters the illusion that the court is the appropriate forum for changing the law, and makes for an uneven playing field.  The legislation the paper proposes would help restore fair balance.

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