Government Legal Department
Printable version

"The Judge Over Your Shoulder"

The guidance for working with government lawyers has been updated.

Today the 6th edition of “the Judge Over Your Shoulder”, or JOYS for short, has been released. Since first publication in 1987 it is still a pivotal piece of guidance for civil servants on what to expect when working with government lawyers, allowing for effective collaboration and lowering the risk of legal challenge.

JOYS focusses on Administrative Law – the branch of law that governs the relationship between the government and citizens, and how it is applied. It is highly regarded across the legal profession and is an important resource for civil servants advising Ministers and supporting government decision making.

Last published in 2016, the new guidance has been modernised, updated and discusses the significant legal changes of recent years, including the Judicial Review and Courts Act 2022. The cases considered reflect current legal positions as of May 2022, with insight provided by government lawyers. It also considers legal concepts, including consultation, proportionality and justiciability.

We encourage you to share the document with your Civil Service colleagues.


Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Government Legal Department

The Golden Thread: A study of the contribution of the project profession to the UK’s economy