Our court wins in 2021

Earlier this week, Dan Hodges, Commentator at the Mail on Sunday, emailed our press team to ask for a list of our court wins this year, after our director Jo Maugham replied to his tweet about our record to say we’ve had four judgments and four wins in 2021.

This is our response, (which is unamended). ‘Substantive’ means the main hearing in legal proceedings. ‘Procedural’ means a hearing along the way

The following four cases are all of the cases in which we have had substantive, as opposed to procedural, determinations this year – three in the High Court and one in the Court of Appeal. We have also worked on a large number of cases where there is yet to be or will not be a substantive decision, for example, because the Government conceded or because of timing or various other reasons. 

Unpublished Covid-19 contracts

Good Law Project, together with a cross-party group of MPs,  brought legal action against the Government for its persistent and unlawful failure to disclose details of COVID-related contracts. 

In February 2021, the High Court ruled in our favour, saying: “The Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Transparency Policy” and that “there is now no dispute that, in a substantial number of cases, the Secretary of State breached his legal obligation to publish Contract Award Notices within 30 days of the award of contracts.”

More information:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/feb/19/matt-hancock-acted-unlawfully-failing-publish-covid-contracts-high-court
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/fight-for-transparency/

Public First

In June 2021, the High Court ruled the Government acted unlawfully when it awarded a £560,000 contract to a market research agency called Public First, which is run by former colleagues of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings. 

The Government has since appealed the High Court’s ruling that it acted unlawfully in its award of this contract. The hearing took place on 25 November 2021. We are awaiting the judgment, which will take several weeks.

More information:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-57413115
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/a-river-to-my-people/

AB v Tavistock 

The case of AB v Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust was funded by Good Law Project’s Trans Legal Defence Fund. The High Court ruling was released on 26 March 2021, stating that parents are able to give consent on behalf of their children to take puberty blockers, and partly reversed the decision made in the initial Bell v Tavistock case, before the successful appeal. 

More information:
See update of 26 March here. 

Bell v Tavistock

Good Law Project supported an intervention by a group of NGOs in the appeal to overturn the Bell v Tavistock judgment. The appeal was made by Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, the home of England’s only Gender Identity Development Service. This initial High Court ruling in the Bell case said that trans under-16s can’t consent to puberty blockers and should be made to go before a judge to access the medication. 

In September 2021, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment handed down in Bell v Tavistock. The Court of Appeal said that “the [original] claim for judicial review should have been dismissed” outright and points out that it “was inappropriate for the Divisional Court to provide the guidance” in the first place. 

More information:
See update of 17 September
here.


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