15.33 Limits on judicial review have been justified on a number of grounds, including the need for certainty and efficiency. Professor Simon Young has written that privative clauses
have been employed by parliaments over many years for many reasons—a desire for finality or certainty, a concern about sensitivity or controversy, a wish to avoid delay and expense, or a perception that a matter requires specialist expertise and/or awareness of executive context.
15.34 However, stakeholders expressed concerns about current restrictions on access to the courts. They emphasised that restrictions should only be imposed in exceptional circumstances.
15.35 The Refugee Advice and Casework Service submitted that restrictions on access to judicial review should require ‘a heavy burden of proof to justify encroachment upon a principle so central to the rule of law’. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre suggested that any limits on judicial review should be ‘strict, limited and exceptional, closely tied to legitimate purpose and justifiable on public interest grounds’. The Human Rights Law Centre submitted that where ‘powers are invasive or infringe upon rights and freedoms, there should be a proportionate availability of judicial review’.