R (Good Law Project Ltd & Anor) v Prime Minister & Anor

Queen’s Bench Division (Divisional Court): Singh LJ and Swift J, [2022] EWHC 298 (Admin),15 February 2022

This decision is most interesting for its approach to standing, in particular that the Good Law Project’s roving approach to JR challenges did not provide it with standing for such challenges. The Court also rejected the claim of the Runnymeade Trust, which it accepted did have standing on a PSED challenge, to standing to challenge as indirectly discriminatory  the many informal appointments to positions of responsibility which characterised the approach of the UK Government’s approach under the pandemic. Such claims were in the Divisional Court’s view properly brought by individual litigants who sought to challenge their own exclusion from consideration rather than by either claimant, and were not the proper subject of judicial review. Having decided that the Runnymede Trust did have standing to challenge the defendant’s compliance with the PSED the court  concluded that the duty had been breached in relation to two of the appointments.

Claimants: Jason Coppel QC and Hannah Slarks, instructed by Rook Irwin Sweeney

Respondent: Sir James Eadie QC, Julian Milford QC, Julian Blake and Jason Pobjoy, instructed by the Treasury Solicitor

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