Wednesday, 17 July 2013

One Barnet Judicial Review - The Barnet Eye quick guide

For those of you who are not entirely familiar with the One Barnet program or the background to the judicial review here is a quick potted guide to where we are.

What happened yesterday? The two sides finished presenting their cases. The three judges will now deliberate. Due to the "judicial terms" (like school terms) they are unlikely to finish by the end of the month, so they announced that the judgement should be made by 30th September.

What are the possible outcomes of the Judicial review? If the judges find in favour of the council, then the One Barnet contract with Capita can proceed. If they find in favour of Maria Nash, then they can recommend a remedy. This could be to tell off the council or to strike out the process as illegal and make the whole thing start again.

What is the basis for Maria Nash's claim? That the Council failed to consult the people of Barnet and that the process will interfere with her rights and quality of life. She claims the lower court failed to properly take account of case law as to when the decision was made (December 2012)

What is the basis for the councils defence? That the claim has been brought out of time (ie too late) as the original decision was taken in March 2011. The judge in the lower court already found that the Council had breached its duty.

Can the decision be appealed by either side? The Judges can give leave to appeal to the Supreme court.

What is the One Barnet Program and how does it interfere with Maria Nash? The One Barnet Program is a program of mass outsourcing. Capita have won the two major contracts in the scheme. The net value to Capita is approx £1 billion. As Maria Nash is disabled and reliant on Council services, any degradation of service levels affect her disproportionately. This is the substansive argument of her case. As she was not consulted, the program has discriminated against her rights. Capita have a record of botched outsourcing projects as outlined in the Barnet Eye Capita Week series of blogs.

Hope this helps.

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