Judicial Review

" If the Government will not listen in Parliament,
then ministers will find they have to listen in the courts."

Justine Greening
MP ( then... )

Judicial Review is a procedure for challenging the legality of government decisions in the courts. An outline of what is involved may be found here.

Appeal results - July 2013

See News Item here

Outcome - March 2013

See a review of the Judgements, and an account of the court proceedings here

Update - 26th July 2012

Legal battle commences - see press release from HS2AA

Update - 06-May

In total, there are five cases currently being brought in connection with the Secretary of State's announcement on 10 January concerning HS2. Alongside the two HS2AA JRs, there are JRs being brought by 51m (the group of local authorities opposed to HS2), Heathrow Hub Limited (the company formed to push for a different route for HS2 via Heathrow) and Aylesbury Park Golf Club.
The Government has responded with its outline grounds of defence and its suggested directions on how the courts should deal with these five cases. It is clear from this response that the Government is seeking to do two things:

HS2AA is in discussions with its lawyers on these issues.  In particular HS2AA believes it would be more appropriate for the compensation case to be heard separately and is working with its legal team to achieve this goal.
In terms of timing, the Government proposes that a hearing take place in the autumn. HS2AA is reviewing the  options on timing with its legal teams and the lawyers working on the other cases.

Hilary Wharf


The 51m group ( of local authorities ) have requested a review of the public consultation, on the grounds that it was unfair and inadequate - see press release

Environmental Assessment

HS2 Action alliance have requested a review of the Environmental Assessment conducted prior to the consultation, which does not comply with the relevant regulations - see press release. This review is funded by the action groups ( i.e. Us )

Hardship / Compensation

An additional review of the hardship and compensation scheme will be undertaken, if funds permit

Should either review succeed then the government will have to review its decisions, and may be obliged to repeat the consultation, or the environmental assessment. All delays are welcome, since the economic case for HS2 grows steadily worse, and the prospects for the Hybrid bill diminish, as the next election approaches in the current economic climate.

The Hybrid Bill

This is a device to avoid scrutiny by local planning authorities, relying instead on a vote of both houses of parliament to pass legislation, in this case to authorise construction of HS2. The procedure is explained here.

Note that all MP's and peers can vote, so it is important to raise awareness in constituencies far from the route, who will pay for HS2 but receive no benefit.