The Prime Minister may be right to raise this issue given the burgeoning number of applications for judicial review: in 1975, there were 160 but by 2011 this had increased to more than 11,000 but three quarters of these were in immigration and asylum cases anyway. The critical question is whether this increase in judicial review has contributed to the government being ‘too slow in getting stuff done’ whether he is right that ‘Consultations, impact assessments, audits, reviews, stakeholder management, securing professional buy-in, complying with EU procurement rules, assessing sector feedback--this is not how we became one of the most powerful, prosperous nations on earth’ . There is an important balance in a democratic society between the need for any government to govern and the right of people to object to the policies that the government is pursuing and the Prime Minister is suggesting that the balance has shifted too far towards the right to object.
It would be much easier if Britain was not a democracy. The government could decide policy and implement it whether people agreed or not. But then we would not be a democratic society in which the right to be heard and to object to policies you disagree with is fundamental. Democracy can be annoying, often inefficient and certainly from the political classes’ point of view frustrating but that’s the point of it!