High Court upholds decision maker’s broad discretion in relation to impact of emissions of proposed airport expansion

In Bristol Airport Action Network Co-ordinating Committee v Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities [2023] EWHC 171 (Admin), the High Court dismissed a challenge brought primarily on climate change grounds by various local environmental groups and residents to the grant of planning permission for the expansion of Bristol Airport. Key points Planning … Read more

High Court quashes refusal of development consent for energy project

Judgment was handed down in the High Court today by Mrs Justice Lieven in the case of R (on the application of AQUIND Limited) v Secretary of State for BEIS and others [2023] EWHC 98 (Admin). Mrs Justice Lieven found in favour of the Claimant, AQUIND Limited, represented by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. The judgment … Read more


The National Security Bill, currently before the House of Lords on a shortened timetable, raises significant challenges for a wide range of businesses and others with international dimensions or interests, including charities, NGOs, institutions and other friendly international bodies. In essence, the Bill requires all foreign organisations, including companies, LLPs and unincorporated associations, whether businesses, … Read more

Government formally establishes COVID-19 inquiry

The UK Government has published the final terms of reference (“ToR“) for the COVID-19 inquiry (the “Inquiry“), which has now begun work. Unprecedented in its size and significance, the Inquiry will consider over a two-year period the impact of the pandemic on the UK, and how the UK Government, devolved administrations, local government, and many … Read more

The long-awaited Procurement Bill goes before Parliament: 10 key features

The much-anticipated Procurement Bill was laid before the UK Parliament on 11 May and has already received its first reading in the House of Lords.   Once enacted, the Bill will overhaul the existing regulations governing the award of public and utility contracts in the UK (other than Scotland).  These outgoing regulations are based closely on … Read more

Government releases consultation paper on the replacement of the Human Rights Act

The Ministry of Justice has today released a consultation paper outlining proposals for reform of the Human Rights Act 1998. Reform has been anticipated for many years, having been brought to the forefront of public attention upon the release of the Government’s 2019 manifesto. The consultation paper proposes an ‘overhaul‘ of the Act in order … Read more

Public Law Podcast: The Judicial Review and Courts Bill

In the latest episode of our Public Law Podcast, Andrew Lidbetter and Nusrat Zar are once again joined by Vikram Sachdeva QC of 39 Essex. They consider the implications of the Judicial Review and Courts Bill introduced into Parliament in July. This podcast follows on from our episode earlier this year which covered the Government’s … Read more

Government introduces the Judicial Review and Courts Bill into Parliament

On 21 July, the Government introduced the Judicial Review and Courts Bill into Parliament. The Bill was foreshadowed in the Queen’s Speech on 11 May as part of the Government’s aim to ‘restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts’. The Government’s press release states that the Bill will ‘equip judges with the tools to give … Read more

Public Law Podcast: Government Consultation on Judicial Review

In the latest episode of our Public Law Podcast, Andrew Lidbetter, Nusrat Zar and Vikram Sachdeva QC of 39 Essex consider the Government’s recent consultation on judicial review following the Independent Review of Administrative Law submitted in January. Herbert Smith Freehills Podcasts · Public Law Podcast EP8: Government Consultation on Judicial Review You can read … Read more