Downing Street Plans To Empower Ministers To Strike Out Unfavourable Judicial Rulings

Downing Street Plans To Empower Ministers To Strike Out Unfavourable Judicial Rulings

By Ashley Young-

Downing Street  is planning to give  ministers  powers to throw out legal rulings they disagree with, according to a report.

The report has sparked concerns that the prime minister’s office is acting in response to a series of unfavourable judgements in the past, most notably  two Brexit-related government defeats in the supreme court on whether ministers or parliament had the right to trigger Brexit and the prorogation of parliament. The Conservative election manifesto subsequently pledged to end “abuse” of judicial review

An ally of the prime minister told the Times that the judicial review and courts bill going through parliament “doesn’t go far enough” for the prime minister, adding that a ne woption an option, drawn up by the lord chancellor, Dominic Raab, and the attorney general, Suella Braverman, which wouldd enable it to strike out findings from judicial reviews with which the government does not agree, was being considered.

Critics say  government plans to  allow ministers overrule judges will make the Uk government unaccountable to the courts, and undermine the independence of judges.

The timing of the revelation is particularly interesting after it was the revealed that traces of  cocaine were found in all but 1 of the toilets near parliament,  making it obvious that several ministers indulge in class A drugs. Their judgement in overruling judges cannot be trusted.

Joanna Cherry QC, a senior lawyer and SNP MP, tweeted: “So now we know why Robert Buckland got the push for Dominic Raab. ⁦Clearly [Buckland’s] approach to judicial review and human rights ‘reform’ was too vanilla. These proposals are an affront to democracy and the rule of law.”

Adam Wagner, a leading human rights lawyer, tweeted: “The fact that a judgment has political ramifications doesn’t mean judges engage in politics. Inevitably, if the govt messes up and acts outside the law, a judgment concluding that will inevitably have political impact. That doesn’t justify messing with separation of powers.”

Last month, in a speech to the Public Law Project conference, Braverman claimed there had been a “huge increase in political litigation” and said judges should not be asked “to answer inherently political questions”.

Speaking on Times Radio on Sunday, Raab also outlined plans to reform the Human Rights Act to “correct” the balance between freedom of speech and privacy.

In the wake of the Mail on Sunday’s failed appeal over its publication of a letter written by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to her estranged father, Raab said he wanted to rectify “the drift towards continental-style privacy laws, innovated in the courtroom, not by elected lawmakers in the House of Commons”.

The Ministry Of Justice said it would not comment on discussions or plans that have not actually been done.


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