Judicial Power and the United Kingdom’s Changing Constitution

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I recently finished work on a paper that will be published by the University of Queensland Law Journal in December 2017, in a special issue edited by Richard Ekins and Graham Gee on the topic of ‘Reflections on the Rise of Judicial Power’. In the paper, I begin from the premise that judicial power, in any rule of law-based system, is a given. But that leaves open the hard question: how much judicial power is too much? That question has risen to particular prominence in recent years in the United Kingdom, where the judicial role has changed and expanded in notable ways. As those developments have unfolded, they have attracted strong criticism from some quarters. In particular, charges of overreach have been levelled at the judiciary, and there have been prominent calls — from sections of both the political establishment and the academy — for the clipping of the courts’ wings .

My paper charts the growth of judicial power in the UK and considers how, given the particularities of the UK’s constitutional system, one might go about identifying the proper limits of judicial power. The paper thus begin by addressing the key constitutional parameters by reference to which the notions of judicial power and Image result for Gaveloverreach have traditionally been calibrated in the UK. It then proceeds to trace the many senses in which the exercise of judicial power has grown, and considers the forces that have brought such developments about. Against that background, the paper contends that while the evolution of the judicial role evidences a reconceptualization, as distinct from the repudiation, of relevant fundamental constitutional principles, it should not be assumed that the UK constitution’s famous flexibility is limitless.

In that light, the paper examines the recent and controversial judgments of the UK Supreme Court in the Evans and Miller cases, in which, in different ways, the proper limits of judicial power have been tested. I conclude that some of the criticism that has been levelled at the judiciary in recent years is unwarranted and reactionary. But I also argue that that should not be taken to mean that ‘anything goes’, and that the growth of the judicial role brings with it heavy responsibilities. Key amongst them is an obligation to engage rigorously and transparently with the questions of fundamental constitutional principle that determine the proper relationship between the various branches of the State, and which thus trace the legitimate parameters of judicial power. MORE

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A pre-publication draft of my paper can be downloaded via SSRN.

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By George, I think we’ve got it!

THE SHINBONE STAR

George Papadopoulos, highlighted at left, at a meeting with Donald Trump.

On this monumental Monday in American political history, it seems appropriate to examine the so-called fake news that’s been whipping around the nether since Mr. Trump slithered into the national conscience. Today it bit him on his luxurious, padded behind.

And what a marvelous lesson.

Mr. Trump’s never understood that most journalists, like cops and lawyers and doctors, strive for honesty in their reporting. Their accuracy and integrity is the mantle on which they place their authority to tell the rest of the nation what is true.

Mr. Trump, on the other hand, attracts sleazy little people with no regard for human decency, much less the government they tried to suborn. Such a person is obscure Mr. George Papadopoulos, one of three nefarious characters in Mr. Trump’s cabal of buffoons and scalawags who got gobsmacked after coffee this morning.

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(WORLDWIDE) World Met Org Report: Record surge in atmospheric #CO2 seen in 2016: Last year’s increase was 50% higher than the average of the past 10-years at a level not seen in 800,000 years #AceNewsDesk reports

Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – Oct.30: #CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere jumped to a record high in 2016, says the World Meteorological Organisation: Scientists say this risks making global temperature targets largely unattainable #AceNewsDesk reports

BBCNews Published October 30, 2017: This year’s greenhouse gas bulletin produced by the WMO, is based on measurements taken in 51 countries……….Research stations dotted around the globe measure concentrations of warming gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide……….The figures published by the WMO are what’s left in the atmosphere after significant amounts are absorbed by the Earth’s “sinks”, which include the oceans and the biosphere…….Climate change: a guide2016 saw average concentrations of CO2 hit 403.3 parts per million, up from 400ppm in 2015….” It is the largest increase we have ever seen in the 30 years we have had this network,” Dr Oksana Tarasova, chief of WMO’s global atmosphere watch programme, told BBC…

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“This Could Be Huge”: Royal Bank Of Canada Caught Selling A Fake Royal Canadian Mint Gold Bar

Whiskey Tango Texas

The last time there was a widespread physical gold counterfeiting scare was in thesummer of 2012 when as we reportedthediscovery of a single 10 oz Tungsten-filled gold barin Manhattan’s jewelry district led to a panic among the dealer community, which then resulted in local jewelry outlets discovering at least ten more fake 10-ounce “gold bars” filled with Tungsten. Fast forward to today when a similar instance of gold counterfeiting has been discovered, this time in Canada, and where the fake bar in question had been “certified” by the highest possible authority.

According to CBC, the Royal Canadian Mint is investigating how a sealed, “pure gold” wafer with proper mint stamping has emerged as a fake. According to the Canadian press, the one-ounce gold piece, which was supposed to be 99.99% pure, was purchased by an Ottawa jeweler on Oct. 18 at a Royal Bank of…

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Robert Peston: ‘I don’t appear to be living in the same Britain as much of the rest of the country’

Behind The PayWall

In his new book, WTF, broadcaster Robert Peston begins by writing an open letter to his late father Maurice Peston, a Labour peer and academic who had worked at the Treasury and had been special adviser to Roy Hattersley in the Callaghan years.

Dear Dad

I don’t regret for an instant yours and mum’s ideological commitment to comprehensive education. I am glad that unlike most of your Labour peers, you were not a hypocrite who decided that what was good enough for the country was not good enough for your kids; there was never a thought of sending us to fee-paying schools. And I had the time of my life at Highgate Wood School in Crouch End. The only serious tension in the school was between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, or Bowie fans versus Bolan’s.

My teachers were working-class autodidacts, who did teacher training after national service without the benefit…

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It’s not ‘risk’ that people will ask how long May knew. We’re asking NOW

The SKWAWKBOX

ITV politics editor Robert Peston has posted his analysis of Tory MPs’ fears that the ‘Tory sex pest’ scandal will bring down the government – and it’s anotherexample of the effects of the so-called ‘Westminster bubble’.

Peston’s commentary is interesting and on point – until he reaches a key paragraph in his analysis:

may risk pestonPeston appears to think that there is a risk that the story will ‘move’ to how long Theresa May has known about the sexual harassment allegedly perpetrated by her Cabinet ministers and MPs – and why she hasn’t acted before now.

He appears to be basing that assessment on the fact that, so far, few voices in the ‘MSM’ are asking those question – but it ignores the fact that the vast majority of people not in Westminster or the media are already asking those questions and more.

It’s not a risk. It’s a reality. Right

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