2005 Constitutional Reform Act up for review – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The government intends to revisit the role of lord chancellor as part of a ‘careful review’ of the Blair administration’s 2005 Constitutional Reform Act, current incumbent Robert Buckland QC MP has revealed.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 14th June 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Plans to restrict judicial review weaken the rule of law, MPs warn – The Guardian

Posted June 3rd, 2021 in bills, consultations, judicial review, judiciary, news, rule of law by sally

‘Proposals to restrict judicial review are an affront to the principles of fairness and government accountability and should be dropped, a cross-party group of MPs and peers has said.’

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The Guardian, 2nd June 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Nicholas Reed Langen: Confronting Climate Change in the Courts – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Talk is cheap. Governments, particularly wealthy, western ones, have been quick to make promises on climate change. They swear blind that they understand the threat the world faces, and that they will implement a policy response commensurate with it. Few nations have adopted this rhetoric as determinedly as the UK, with the British government promising to transform the UK into a net-zero country by 2050, an oath enshrined in law through the passing of the Climate Change Act 2008 (Order 2019) by Parliament in the summer of 2019.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 27th April 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Judges call for probe of discrimination in the judiciary – Litigation Futures

‘A group of serving judges has called on the justice select committee to conduct a “wholly independent audit” of discrimination in the judiciary.’

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Litigation Futures, 26th April 2021

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Tim Sayer: Preserving Judicial Oversight: An Appeal to Self-Interest – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Boris Johnson’s government takes the view that ours is a time of judicial overreach, necessitating redress in terms of the balance of judicial and executive power. This seems to have been driven by a number of high-profile cases, certain vocal thinktanks which appear to have the ear of government, and a wider constitutional prospectus of enhancing executive power to the detriment of the other branches of state. An endless series of projects and proposals have emerged, designed to remedy the perception of an overmighty judiciary. The Independent Review of Administrative Law, established with a view to curbing the perceived excesses of judicial review, reported recently in relatively tame terms, only to be swiftly followed by a further set of proposals. The Independent Human Rights Act Review potentially paves the way for satiation of long-held Conservative fantasies of amending the Human Rights Act. There are also, if leaks are to be believed, proposals to reform the UK Supreme Court.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 21st April 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

UK supreme court gets second female judge as Lady Justice Rose joins – The Guardian

Posted April 20th, 2021 in diversity, judges, judiciary, news, Supreme Court, women by sally

‘Lady Justice Rose has joined the supreme court, doubling the number of female justices in the UK’s highest court in an appointment that has failed to quell concerns about lack of diversity.’

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The Guardian, 19th April 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Joe Tomlinson and Alison Pickup: Putting the Cart before the horse? The Confused Empirical Basis for Reform of Cart Judicial Reviews – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Independent Review of Administrative Law has now reported. For a review process that was unnecessarily quick, the Expert Panel, led by Lord Faulks QC, has produced a substantial and detailed analysis. The Report has rightly drawn broad support from across the political spectrum—even if the Government’s support for the report has been accompanied by a new consultation which departs from the Report’s findings on various important points. No doubt, the focus will now shift to the new consultation. However, in this post we want to respectfully take issue with one of the firm conclusions of the Panel: that Cart judicial reviews ought to be discontinued on the basis they are a disproportionate use of judicial resource.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 29th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Florence Powell and Stephanie Needleman: How radical an instrument is Section 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The operation of the Human Rights Act 1998 (the “HRA”) is currently being reviewed by the Government’s Independent Human Rights Act Review (the “Review”). One of the Review’s key themes is “the impact of the HRA on the relationship between the judiciary, the executive and the legislature”. In respect of this theme, the Terms of Reference ask how s.3 has operated and whether it should be amended or repealed.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 24th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Ministry of Justice to consult on judicial review reforms including power to suspend quashing orders, removal of ‘Cart judgments’, and procedural changes – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on giving the courts the power to suspend quashing orders, removing so-called “Cart judgments”, and introducing a series of changes to civil procedure rules, following recommendations by the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) led by Lord Faulks QC.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 19th March 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Michael Foran: Shamima Begum, the Separation of Powers, and the Common Good – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Supreme Court has come under significant criticism for its handling of the Shamima Begum case, decided on 26 February. Much has already been said in relation to the deference that the court showed to the executive, with some arguing that it was improper or even a complete abdication of the judicial role itself. This post seeks to clarify what precisely the court did and did not do in relation to the exercise of its constitutional duty to review the legality of executive action. It will suggest that the Court did not engage in any strong deference as to the nature of Begum’s rights nor to the balance to be struck between those rights and the common good. Such questions remained wholly within the purview of the Court. While the Court did pay due respect to the executive’s authority to determine and pursue the common good, this was subject to an assessment of lawfulness. Any deference, if it can even be called deference, was to the rule of law, given both the statutory scheme in question and the common law distinction between review and appeal. The determination of the scope of individual rights entails an exercise of judicial interpretation which seeks to strike an appropriate balance between the applicable legal considerations. It is not deference for the court to include constitutional principles such as the separation of powers within those considerations.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 17th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Daniella Lock: The Shamima Begum Case: Difficulties with ‘democratic accountability’ as a justification for judicial deference in the national security context – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘No doubt much will be written on the Supreme Court’s Shamima Begum ruling handed down on 26 February. The ruling has a number of notable features. In particular, a high level of deference was afforded to the executive which seems to contrast with the Supreme Court’s approach in high profile constitutional cases of recent years (such as, for example, in the Miller cases). A key feature of this deference is that it is offered in a national security context, where judicial deference has often played a role. This deference is partly justified by the Court on the grounds that Ministers are democratically accountable for national security decisions. However, as this post argues, the extent to which democratic accountability is a legitimate ground for judicial deference to national security decisions is questionable in light of current UK practice. This post raises three difficulties with relying on democratic accountability as a ground for deference in the UK national security context.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 9th March 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Shamima Begum and The Humpty Dumpty Supreme Court – Oxford Human Rights Hub

‘On 26 February 2021, the Supreme Court refused permission for Shamima Begum to return to the UK. The Supreme Court judgment in the high-profile case of the British woman who left the UK as a 15-year-old girl to travel to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State, however, resulted in the Court effectively washing its hands of the case staying it until a full hearing can occur in future—a remote possibility. In the judgment, Lord Reed held the Court of Appeal was in error by substituting its own view of the balance to be struck between national security and the applicant’s rights. In so doing, the Court of Appeal did not give the Secretary of State’s assessment due respect. In this brief post, I wish to focus on a principal aspect of the Supreme Court’s judgment: the concept of deference.’

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Oxford Human Rights Hub, 8th March 2021

Source: ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk

Buckland raises judicial retirement age to 75 – Litigation Futures

Posted March 10th, 2021 in consultations, judiciary, Ministry of Justice, news, retirement, statistics by sally

‘The mandatory retirement age (MRA) for judges is to be raised from 70 to 75 to deal with shortfalls in judicial recruitment, the government has decided.’

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Litigation Futures, 9th March 2021

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Judges will be allowed to retire at 75 – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted March 9th, 2021 in coroners, judiciary, magistrates, Ministry of Justice, news, retirement by tracey

‘Judges, magistrates and coroners will be allowed to work up until the age of 75, the government announced today. The current standard mandatory retirement age of 70 dates from 1993. The Ministry of Justice said the change seeks to address the fact that people now work later into their lives and the government did not want to lose valued members of the judiciary.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 8th March 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Unhappy judges not as dissatisfied as they were, research shows – Litigation Futures

Posted March 1st, 2021 in government departments, judges, judiciary, news, statistics by tracey

‘Judges are a bit happier in their jobs than they were five years ago but feel seriously undervalued by the government, the latest judicial attitude survey has revealed.’

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Litigation Futures, 1st March 2021

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

“Power of the purse” will bring diversity to Bar – Legal Futures

Posted February 26th, 2021 in barristers, diversity, equality, judiciary, legal profession, news, race discrimination, racism by tracey

“The “power of the purse”, coming not from solicitors but from their clients, will “make the difference” in improving diversity at the Bar, a leading Black QC has said.’

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Legal Futures, 26th February 2021

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Straw backs call for politician to have choice in appointing top judges – Litigation Futures

Posted February 11th, 2021 in judiciary, lord chancellor, news, recruitment, vetting by sally

‘The role of politicians in appointing senior judges should be beefed up, although with the limitation that the Lord Chancellor should choose from shortlist of independently vetted candidates, according to a think tank.’

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Litigation Futures, 11th February 2021

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Parliamentarians hear call for quotas to boost profession’s diversity – Legal Futures

Posted February 5th, 2021 in barristers, diversity, equality, judiciary, legal profession, news by sally

‘There is a “lead ceiling” hampering the advancement of ethnic minority lawyers to the senior ranks of the profession and quotas are needed to bring about change, a leading asylum barrister has told parliamentarians.’

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Legal Futures, 5th February 2021

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

David Feldman: Departing from Retained EU Case law – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted January 12th, 2021 in brexit, EC law, judiciary, news, practice directions, precedent, Supreme Court by sally

‘Following the end of the UK’s transition period for withdrawing from the EU, the status of earlier case law on retained EU law is somewhat complicated. Section 6(3) and (4)(a) and (b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, provides that the Supreme Court and in criminal matters the High Court of Justiciary are not to be bound by any retained EU case law, but other courts and tribunals are to determine issues of retained EU law in accordance with retained EU case law. In relation to certain aspects of competition law, section 60A(7) of the Competition Act 1998, inserted by reg. 23 of the Competition (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 93 of 2019, provides that any court or tribunal, the Competition and Markets Authority, and anyone acting on behalf of the Authority, may depart from retained EU case law. In addition, section 6(5A) of the 2018 Act allows regulations to be made to designate other courts and tribunals as “relevant courts” or “relevant tribunals” which, by virtue of section 6(4)(ba), are not to be bound by retained EU case law to the extent specified in the regulations.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 11th January 2021

Source: ukconstitutionallaw.org

Judges told they should consider previous racial bias before sentencing – The Guardian

‘Judges and magistrates are to be given explicit reminders for the first time in sentencing guidelines of the disparity in punishments being imposed by the courts on white, Asian and black offenders.’

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The Guardian, 9th December 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com