HALT the Government Power-Grab
HALT the Government Power-Grab
Why this petition matters
WATCH THE VIDEO:
The Times has reported that the UK Government, led by Boris Johnson, seeks to implement a new law that allows it to overrule and reverse the decisions of the Judiciary that it doesn't like by way of an "annual review" of the courts' decisions - the "Interpretation Bill".
This cannot be right, and must not be permitted to happen.
(please watch my video explainer, too)
I am a Barrister of England and Wales - please allow me to explain why this would be so wrong:
The UK has 3 branches of Government:
(1) The Legislature (makes laws - made up of Parliament: the Crown, the House of Commons and the House of Lords)
(2) The Executive (puts laws into effect - the Crown and Government, including the PM and the Cabinet ministers)
(3) The Judiciary (administers justice by interpreting the law and legal deciding disputes - comprises of judges and courts of law, including tribunals and magistrates)
ALL OF WHICH are separate and should act separately – you may have heard this referred to as the "separation of powers"
Why is this important?
The separation of powers is critical to safeguard citizens' rights and liberties and guard against tyranny.
The Supreme Court explains further:
One of the earliest and clearest statements of the separation of powers was given by French social commentator and political thinker Montesquieu in 1748:
‘When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty... there is no liberty if the powers of judging is not separated from the legislative and executive... there would be an end to everything, if the same man or the same body... were to exercise those three powers.’
According to a strict interpretation of the separation of powers, none of the three branches may exercise the power of the other, nor should any person be a member of
any two of the branches. By creating separate institutions it is possible to have a system of checks and balances between them.
But the United Kingdom does not have a classic separation of powers that, for example, applies in the United States.
Quoting the Times:
Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project, which brought a series of legal challenges over Brexit, said: “It is clear to me that the real aim of this government is a more compliant judiciary. It’s very important the government doesn’t do anything more to weaken the delicate constitutional balance we have. This executive can and does bully its MPs to get what it wants . . . All judges do is uphold the will of parliament.”
The bottom line:
If the Government succeeds in this 'annual interpretation' of judicial decisions, together with the power to reverse and/or overrule decisions it does not like, it will, in essence, diminish the authority of the judiciary and give the Government far too much control over the lives of the citizens of the United Kingdom.
I urge you to sign this petition so that the message can be shared far and wide. This erosion of the judiciary's power cannot and must not be permitted.
Thank you for reading and signing.