Permission granted for JR review of Secretary of State’s decision to partly fund the ‘Promotion of Basic Services Programme’


Re: O, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for International Development [2014] EWHC 2371 (Admin)

The claimant, an Ethiopian farmer, sought permission to apply for judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision to partly fund the ‘Promotion of Basic Services Programme’.

The claimant alleges that the defendant has failed to put in place sufficient processes to assess the extent to which money from the programme was being used to fund human rights abuses, which is contrary to the defendant’s policy as set out in her document ‘Partnerships for Poverty Reduction: Rethinking Conditionality’. The defendant sought to resist the application on two grounds; that the claimant lacked standing and the claim had no merit.

The Court granted permission for the claim to proceed. The Court, relying on AXA General Insurance Ltd & Ors v The Lord Advocate & Ors [2011] UKSC 46 and Walton v Scottish Ministers [2012] UKSC 44, found that the claimant had standing to bring the application, noting that he had demonstrated that he had been personally and directly affected by the programme. The Court further noted that it was at least arguable that the defendant had failed to follow her policy as set out in her document.

Jessica Simor QC was involved in this case.