Administrative Court opens for business in Manchester
Court cases challenging decisions by government or public bodies were for the first time heard in Manchester today, as the four devolved Administrative Court centres opened in Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Leeds.
Barristers at public law set Garden Court North Chambers (Manchester) appeared in two of the first cases listed on the day the Manchester Administrative Court centre opened for business, Wednesday 22nd April 2009.
This first case was a Homelessness Judicial Review â challenging a decision by the local authority not to secure accommodation for a homeless person under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996.
Garden Court Northâs senior clerk, Sarah Wright said: âThe issues in this [homelessness judicial review] case typify the reasoning behind the calls for regional centres; the main benefit of devolution is access to justice for claimants, who can now have their case dealt with at the centre they regard as most convenient, instructing lawyers and counsel based in the region. Many public authorities, which are often defendants in such claims, also favour this new convenience of hearings in their local region.â
Two High Court judges, Mr Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Langstaff, will be responsible for liaising with the four new centres, and these liaison judges will also sit in the new courts, as will other nominated High Court and senior circuit judges who have sat in the London court.
Sarah Wright added: âIt is hoped that the reform will ease the hugely overburdened Administrative Court in London. There is sufficient legal and administrative expertise in the region gained from established public law practices in the London court prior to devolution, so this will ensure consistency is maintained and that the new centre in Manchester is fully utilisedâ.
Later the same day (22.4.09) John Hobson also appeared in the Administrative Court in Manchester in a successful without-notice application for an interim injunction regarding a Local Authority's duty to accommodate pending a substantive claim for Judicial Review under the Housing Act 1996.
Barristers from Garden Court North chambers regularly appear in the Administrative Court in public law challenges to administrative decision making in the fields of social housing, prison law, asylum and immigration, community care, crime and social welfare. Pete Weatherby (of Garden Court North) recently appeared in the high profile judicial review of Justice Secretary Jack Strawâs decision on his power to pardon Michael Shields and other members of chambersâ public law team have appeared in a number of important Judicial Reviews in cases concerning asylum support , indeterminate prison sentences and control orders .
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Notes to editors:
1. Garden Court North is recommended for public law in Chambers & Partners 2009 - the leading UK guide to the legal profession: "Garden Court North is still the pre-eminent public law set in the North, drawing plaudits for its expertise across immigration, housing and prison law." (Chambers & Partners 2009) > more
2. Garden Court North Chambers has built a strong reputation for expertise in judicial review across a wide range of fields both civil and criminal. Administrative law remedies inform all areas of Chambers' practice. Members of Chambers are alive to the possibilities for challenge to administrative decision-making, particularly in light of the Human Rights Act 1998. > notable GCN public law cases
> Garden Court North Chambers Public Law Team
> Garden Court North Chambers public law / judicial review reported and notable cases
> Map / Directions to CJC Manchester see: HM Court Service information page for Manchester Civil Justice Centre (select "Manchester County Court" from the drop down list)