Cart Challenges, Empirical Methods, and Effectiveness of Judicial Review

Modern Law Review (forthcoming, available online open access)

32 Pages Posted: 7 May 2021 Last revised: 25 Jan 2023

See all articles by Mikolaj Barczentewicz

Mikolaj Barczentewicz

University of Surrey; University of Oxford

Date Written: August 25, 2021


This paper tackles the question of methodological standards in public law scholarship, showing the perils of the current issues with access to relevant data and the promise of what can be achieved with better data and computational methods. It does so by focusing on the question of effectiveness of Cart challenges—the largest group of claims for judicial review in the High Court. Moreover, I discuss how the empirical question of effectiveness of judicial review is linked with the normative question of what counts as ‘success’. I show the perils of inattention to data limitations in the analyses of Cart claims by the Independent Review of Administrative Law and by the Government. I show the promise of better data and computational methods through my unprecedented empirical study of Upper Tribunal decisions that followed Cart judicial reviews. I find that the Government’s claim that Cart challenges are a disproportionate burden on resources lacks adequate empirical basis.

Keywords: UK administrative law, empirical legal studies, judicial review, legal reform

Suggested Citation

Barczentewicz, Mikolaj, Cart Challenges, Empirical Methods, and Effectiveness of Judicial Review (August 25, 2021). Modern Law Review (forthcoming, available online open access), Available at SSRN: or

Mikolaj Barczentewicz (Contact Author)

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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