Judicial Responsiveness And Accountability Analysis

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When assessing as to whether there are sufficient measures of accountability for the executive, it first must be taken into consideration what a good standard of accountability is. According to Gregory and Hicks, the method of accountability should be mechanistic and not one followed simply by rules and procedures. O’Loughlin on the other hand interjects that there is a need of responsiveness by the government to local needs and demands and the members of the public are customers that enforce their sanctions through political processes. Mulgan states that responsiveness and accountability have two different meanings and should therefore not be linked; a government being more responsive does not mean they should be more accountable.
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The main principle to remember when understanding what judicial review is about, is that it is a mechanism to scrutinize the legality of the decisions made by public bodies as opposed to the merits of the actual decision . This process of keeping public bodies in line to avoid abuse is a very positive one and can only be good for society as a whole. However, as with anything of this nature, the process does have its fair share of issues. The need for judicial review is understandably set at a standard and there are elements that must be satisfied before judicial review becomes the appropriate course of action. However the eligibility for judicial review can at times be confusing. For example, if a public body were to issue a general statement or policy that a person disagreed with, but it had not affected said person, usually they cannot apply for judicial review. This demonstrated in the case of R v Secretary of State for Education of Skills where a challenge to the lawfulness of a general statement issued by the Department of Education and Skills was rejected due to there being nothing unlawful in the toolkit that affected the claimants. Nevertheless in R v GMC the claimant’s care for his degenerative condition was withdrawn due to him not needing assistance at that time, however it was inevitable that he would have needed care eventually. His application for judicial review was allowed but it was noted by the Court of Appeal that this was a very rare. With this condition being set on judicial review to only apply to people actually affected by such decisions, it begs the question as to whether this is a sufficient and effective control on the bodies making these policies and general statements. Arguably it is not, as seen with R v GMC that there are circumstances in which directly affecting someone is too limiting in scope and can have detrimental effects on

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