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Just how successful are we?

29th November 2022

Our impact across all the cases we have ever brought.

In this post we set out how we use litigation to make change happen. We are now pleased to publish an updated table showing our impact across all the cases we have ever brought.

Our most recent statistics are broadly in-line with our historical statistics. But both the general data (in the Supreme Court and the High Court) and anecdote suggests it is getting much harder to win judicial reviews. In the face of attacks from Ministers, including the Prime Minister, and dark-money-funded projects like the Judicial Power Project, the judiciary (at least in England and Wales) is retreating from scrutiny of Ministerial governance. It is becoming much more difficult to bring cases of this type.

We anticipated this would happen back in April – and it has.

We are adjusting to this new world by setting up an office in Scotland whose judges are constitutionally and politically insulated from attacks. And we will alter, somewhat, the mix of cases away from those to which judges have become particularly hostile.

We regret that, at a moment when democratic norms are under grave threat from the Government, and the rule of law is especially important, our ability to deliver accountability through these sorts of cases is diminished. But we will of course continue to challenge abuses of power in the courts where we sensibly can.

Our assessment of legal outcomes (where we think we can say) is that 45% are wins, 20% are mixed, and 35% are losses. And our assessment of campaigning outcomes is that 45% are wins and 20% have delivered some real campaigning advantages. Of 47 cases where we think we can give a legal or campaigning outcome, 68% (32) are successes and only 9% (4) are losses.
There are no direct comparables. But, as a baseline, according to statistics published by the Government, the proportion of judicial review claimants over the last six years who had judgments in their favour in Court was at its highest 5.2% (in 2019) and at its lowest 2.2% (in 2021).

However you assess it, and despite choosing impactful cases over easy ones, our success rate compares very favourably with that baseline.

Good Law Project only exists thanks to donations from people across the UK. If you’re in a position to support our work, you can do so here.