Changed Conditions, Old Truths: Judicial Review in a Regulatory Laboratory

Richard Rawlings

in The Regulatory State

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199593170
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595660 | DOI:
Changed Conditions, Old Truths: Judicial Review in a Regulatory Laboratory

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This chapter demonstrates how, starting from a low base, domestic judges have become more involved in regulating the regulators. This development reflects and reinforces key trends in UK regulatory reform and is in line with general jurisprudential development, which encompasses expansionary elements of common law, EU law, and Convention rights. It is argued, however, that for good reason the judicial contribution remains determinedly modest. Constitutional and institutional limitations on the courts' role, commonly expressed today in the language of ‘deference’, point firmly in this direction — or away from so-called ‘hard look review’. Examination of the dynamics of the litigation also reveals several sets of tensions that generate further pressures for change. Prominent among these is the challenge presented to judicial review and the ordinary courts by competition law and high-powered specialist tribunals, and the practice of both weak substantive review and increasingly assertive procedural supervision.

Keywords: regulation; domestic judges; UK regulatory reform; courts; litigation

Chapter.  11928 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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