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Case update 28 February 2019

The Good Law Project launches a judicial review over ‘no-deal’ Brexit medical shortages – Newsletter

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Judicial review proceedings launched against the Government over its no-deal planning

In our last newsletter, we told you we had written to the Government over its “Serious Shortage Protocols”. If we have no-deal the experts are pretty clear that there will be serious medical shortages. These protocols allow pharmacists – not doctors – to reduce amounts of medicine or prescribe different medicines. The Government did not properly consult with patient and clinical groups over these protocols, and a number of groups of patients and doctors have serious concerns about their safety. Our director, Jolyon Maugham QC, has written a piece for the Guardian about these protocols.   

Unsatisfied with the Government’s response, on Tuesday we issued formal proceedings. You can read about the proceedings here. The High Court has already considered our application for expedition and the Government now accepts the issue will need to be decided before any no-deal. This is because it may render unlawful a key part of the Government’s no-deal planning. This issue has also been a matter of great concern to the Labour Party and we are hugely grateful to the Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth, for writing about the issue and our judicial review.

Matters are now going to move quickly. We do not think a responsible Government can contemplate no-deal without clarity over the lawfulness of a key plank of its planning. But we urgently need to raise further funding to continue Please do consider supporting this case.

An Uber update

As you may recall, we went to the High Court to get a protective costs order (PCO). We needed a PCO to cap our exposure to Uber’s costs (which could amount to £1m at first instance).  

Unfortunately, the High Court did not grant us a PCO. The Judge found that a PCO could not be obtained in “private law proceedings”, and he also held that the fact that the black cab trade had contributed to the crowdfunding weighed heavily against the granting of a PCO.

We have grave concerns about the implications of the decision. It is an invitation to private corporations to use the threat of costs liability to dodge legal accountability.

Without a protective costs application the litigation cannot continue, but we are seeking permission to appeal in this case and financial support from other public interest actors. We are also urgently exploring an alternative route by which we might ensure HMRC does its job and Uber pays the £1bn in tax and interest we believe it owes. There will be further news very shortly.

For our full statement on this, please click here.

What we have achieved with your help

We feel that the Good Law Project has achieved so much in its short life, and we are very grateful to our supporters. We have published a record of our crowdfunded cases where you can see which stage we’re at with all of them.  

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