The Court has today handed down its decision in Esther Leighton’s Judicial Review of the Lord Chancellor’s decision not to extend the same protection against bringing claims as exists in personal injury cases.
The Judgment is a very thorough and lengthy one and is attached at the link below.
As many know, I have been campaigning on this for some years through the #equaljustice campaign.
Essentially the case fails because the Ministry of Justice says it is still reviewing the position and it currently lacks data as to the number of cases which are not brought because of the current regime. From a legal perspective that means that Court considers that although the current position is unfair, it is entitled to rely upon a defence that the current status quo is a proportionate means of the Lord Chancellor achieving a legitimate aim. The legitimate aim being allowing resolution of disputes on a cost effective basis.
Although this outcome is again disappointing news, what the EHRC, Esther and her legal team have done, together with Inclusion London (who instructed us to intervene pro bono) is ensure that this is now very much higher up the list of priorities than it was before. From evidence provided through this case, the Ministry of Justice has recognised that the issues raised need to be addressed, and I hope that the case really does represent progress despite its outcome.