Judicial Review - 15th March

Judicial Review Results

HS2AA are hugely pleased to say that we have won the compensation JR

The consultation process for the Jan 12 decision on compensation (that settled the principle of the hardship based scheme) was “all in all so unfair as to be unlawful”

As you will see from the press release the judgement is peppered with criticisms of the DfT process. The judge agreed that consultees did not have sufficient information to answer the consultation question; they moved the goalposts in deciding which scheme to select and they never considered our own response properly.  The judge even agreed that Hammond’s words would be reassuring to us (though it did not commit the Government).

The decision means they should have to go back to the drawing board, and re-consult on the scheme, and start listening to what people say.
This will have implications for not just the phase 1 route, but downstream for phase 2 as well - at least some 300,000 households.

So all the hardwork, witness statements, and e-mails to support our case paid off. Thankyou!

HS2AA did not win the environmental case but the basis of the judgement leaves us clear to appeal

The judge ruled that the SEA Regs did not apply, because the decision on HS2 is taken by Parliament (in a Hybrid Bill) and not Government (ie when Justine Greening announced her “decision” in Jan 2012). However the judge found that contrary to what DfT said, their AoS (Assessment of Sustainability) did not meet the requirements of an SEA. So this opens up  the way to an appeal – which we will take. Europe can become involved if the higher courts requests their advice.

So next steps is asking for leave to appeal from the judge (which naturally the Government is opposing!). If we don’t get leave today we will ask the appeal court. One way or another we will need funds to progress this!.  As you know HS2AA have a designated Legal Fund account with all the money given to it used solely to fund litigation.   Further details will follow over the weekend when the position is clearer.

But for today let’s celebrate our win on compensation. It is proof the Government are not (entirely) above the law!

The judgement is some 300 pages and will be available on the website as soon as possible  – meanwhile HS2AA have had a go at distilling the highlights. We have concentrated on our cases but briefly covered all five JRs


  • The Full Monty ( 250 pages, 844 para )
  • HS2AA report
  • Bucks CC assessment
  • Analysis by Bircham,Dyson,Bell ( M'learned friends ) ( if only.. )
  • HS2 / DfT - "High court rejects legal challenges to HS2 in landmark victory for the government"
  • BBC News - "High Court says HS2 compensation unlawful"
  • Daily Telegraph - "Setback for High Speed Rail"
  • The Independent - "HS2 setback for government after court rules consultation was 'so unfair as to be unlawful'"
  • The Grauniad - "HS2: court rules high-speed rail consultation was unlawful"

Follow Up

Amersham meeting - Saturday 16th March in the HS2 shop - report by Mark Ladd