Junior Doctors and Judicial Review

The plight of junior doctors against their new contracts and Jeremy Hunt were delat a major blow in this High Court case – excellent for both pressure groups (Unit 1) and the judiciary (Unit 2)

Five doctors brought a case against the imposition of the new contract challenging it’s legality. This is helpful in itself the case was brought by these five individuals rather than the pressure group colectively of which they are members (the BMA). This is a useful example of the changing nature of pressure groups (acting individually as opposed to a group action or formal organisation) and of new/different access points being used to achieve change (using the courts rather than Parliament/MPs).

It is also a useful example of judicial review in action – the government made a decision, people objected to it and the courts were asked to review whether the government had acted legally or not. In this case, clearly the government got the outcome it wanted and therefore the decision of the court stands – it would have been an interesting conversation about sovereignty if the court had found against the government!