Are the judges too powerful? – Speech by The Rt Hon Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls

Posted March 13th, 2014 in judges, judiciary, speeches by tracey

‘Mr Bentham was no great admirer of the judiciary. He once said “the same fungus, which when green, is made into Bar, is it not, when dry, made into Bench?” He distrusted the judges. When drafting a “New Plan for the organisation of the Judicial Establishment in France” in the 1820s, he was adamant that judges should not be permitted to legislate: “Appointed for the express purpose of enforcing obedience to the laws, their duty is to be foremost in obedience. Any attempt on the part of the judge to frustrate or unnecessarily to retard the efficacy of what he understands to have been the decided meaning of the legislature, shall be punished with forfeiture of his office.” ‘

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Judiciary of England and Wales, 12th March 2014