Standing and Civic Virtue
Law Quarterly Review (Forthcoming)
22 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2017 Last revised: 14 Feb 2018
Date Written: January 23, 2017
Some people who seek leave to apply for judicial review do not have a private interest in the matter to which their application relates; instead, they seek “public interest standing”. To be entitled to public interest standing, a claimant must bring the right sort of case. She must also be the right sort of person: she must have the right motive, the right background, the right knowledge and understanding, the right reputation, and so on. The relevance of a claimant’s case to public interest standing is obvious, but the identity of the claimant is not. Here we provide a rational reconstruction of the test for public interest standing, according to which civic virtue is essential for a claimant to obtain leave in the public interest. Our account explains the bulk of the case law on public interest standing, on the one hand, and goes some way towards justifying it, on the other.
Keywords: judicial review, standing, civic virtue, republicanism, public interest standing
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