Genuiness as an Element of Sufficient Interest

John Mcgarry

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As is well known, in claims for judicial review, the sufficient interest requirement has been interpreted liberally by the courts. Generally, a claim that raises an issue of public importance will not be blocked on sufficient interest grounds. The rationale of this expansive approach is to protect the rule of law by ensuring that, where a prima facie case of government illegality is raised, the courts are prepared to hear it regardless of the personal interest of the claimant. One element in the development of this expansive approach to standing has been to recognise the genuineness of the claimant’s interest. For instance, in Rees-Mogg [1994] 1 All ER 457, the court accepted that the claimant had standing to bring the claim, noting his ‘sincere concern for constitutional issues.’ In Greenpeace (No 2) [1994] 4 All ER 329, the court acknowledged Greenpeace’s ‘genuine concern for the environment’. Yet, the genuineness of the claimant’s interest may also be used to deny standing to a claimant. In Walton [2012] UKSC 44, Lord Hope stated that a claimant should be permitted to bring a claim on environmental grounds, even though not personally affected, provided they can ‘demonstrate that they have a genuine interest in the aspects of the environment that they seek to protect …’ In Chandler [2009] EWCA Civ 1011, the claimant was denied sufficient interest to challenge the establishment of an academy school on the grounds that it breached public procurement rules because her real motive was a political objection to academy schools. In this paper, I examine the potential conflict between the requirement of genuineness in the assessment of a claimant’s standing and the underlying rationale of the expansive approach adopted by the courts: adherence to the rule of law.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2016
EventSocio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference - Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Apr 20167 Apr 2016


ConferenceSocio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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