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Fluoridation Debate ‘Highlights Importance Of Judicial Reviews’

Judge Rules Over Plans


The debate raging over whether Southampton’s tap water should be subject to fluoridation has highlighted clearly why the system of judicial review exists, according to a public law expert at Irwin Mitchell.

Local campaign groups from the city have opposed the plan, which was put into place by South Central Strategic Health Authority through the use of statutory powers in February 2009.

While the health authority has made the move in an effort to improve dental hygiene in the area, those against it have suggested that the introduction of fluoride could lead to some side-effects.

Their battle has gone all the way to the High Court in London, where a judge ruled the plans were not unlawful.

Yogi Amin, Partner of Irwin Mitchell who specialises in public law issues, said: “Debates of this kind are an example of how the public make use of the legal process in an effort to stand against something they simply do not agree with.

“It is evident from the results of a consultation that many people in the area were not in favour of the fluoridation, so it is understandable why the issue has reached this point.

“However, it is also an example of how efforts to push through decisions against the clear and informed views of local people can be challenged in the Courts by judicial review."