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The inexorable rise of judicial review

To ask whether administrative law is working is legitimate, but avoid heavy-handed intervention

By Paul Daly  

The UK Supreme Court. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire/PA Images

There is no doubt that judicial review of decisions by government bodies has increased significantly in breadth and depth over recent decades. Even leaving the politics of our current, extraordinary moment to one side, the establishment by the UK government of an Independent Review of Administrative Law is not altogether surprising.

Already in the mid-1980s Lord Diplock, one of the preeminent judges of the late 20th century, commented that the transformation of administrative law was one of the most…

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