All that glitters? Remedies, delay, and last resort
- By James Ferguson
The Sam Maguire may be the only thing to glitter in Tyrone for quite some time to come.
Order 53 (rule 4) of the Rules of the Court of Judicature (Northern Ireland) 1980 provides:
An application for leave to apply for judicial review shall be made within three months of the date when grounds for the application first arose unless the Court considers that there is good reason for extending the period within which the application shall be made
In November 2017, Dalradian Gold Limited (‘Dalradian’) applied for planning permission to commence mining activities at Curraghinalt in County Tyrone. The application attracted significant interest, including 40,000 representations.
The Minister for Infrastructure announced, in June 2020, that a public inquiry would “robustly scrutinise the information provided” in considering the evidence and views of all stakeholders and the community.
Application for Leave to apply for Judicial Review
The applicant took issue with the appointment of Golder Associates UK Limited (‘Golder’) by the Department for Infrastructure to review Dalradian’s waste management plan, contending that there was an arguable case that it was irrational on foot of an alleged conflict of interest.
Golder was instructed on 12 May 2020. The judicial review proceedings were initiated 5 ½ months later.
The Court considered the requirements of Order 53 (rule 4).
The application for leave to apply for judicial review is out of time and no good reason having been shown for an extension of time, it is hereby dismissed.
Despite this, the court went on the consider the merits of the application for leave, reasserting the “…well-established principle that judicial review is a remedy of last resort.”
The applicant can seek to undermine the evidence of Golder at the forthcoming public inquiry by arguing that it ought not to be admitted or that little weight should be attached to it. This is the appropriate forum in which to seek to carry out that exercise.
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