The Judiciary

How do the courts protect our rights and freedoms?

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Thanks to the 2005 Constitutional Reform Act, the judiciary is officially independent of Parliament (the legislature). The Lord Chancellor no longer sits on a giant sack of wool in the House of Lords, in fact his powers have completely changed. The Act transferred his powers to the President of the Courts of England and Wales, the Lord Chief Justice. The Act also established a new UK Supreme Court separate from the House of Lords with its own President.

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Separation of powers is a fundamental principle of our democracy. Power is divided between the legislature (parliament), the executive (government) and the judiciary. What power should judges have vis-a-vis the executive and the legislature?    Should the courts be able to strike down legislation that is incompatible with the constitution? (Judicial Veto) Should the courts, issue a declaration of incompatibility where they believe legislation to be incompatible with the constitution?...

ConstitutionUK
by ConstitutionUK
9 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 31
ConstitutionUK

ALL citizens to have equal access to justice through a "National Justice Service" (NJS) , free at the point of need and paid for through general taxation i.e along the same founding principles as the NHS. A National Justice Service (NJS) would help to develop a far more equal and just society, where the ability to seek and obtain justice via access to solicitors, barristers and the courts would be available to ALL citizens, and not just restricted as it currently is to those citizens...

C Chapman
by C Chapman
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 20
C Chapman

Suggested clause: 'Public prosecutors must be independent of the judiciary and the police and other law enforcement agencies.'  

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
17 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 12
Ian Smith

My suggested clause for the constitution is: 'The powers and responsibilities of the Police Forces and all other public law enforcement agencies must be fixed in law by Parliament.'

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 10
Ian Smith

Suggested constitution clause: 'No individual may be coerced into reporting or giving evidence of the wrongdoing of others unless and to the extent such coercion is imposed in a court of law or is required by international treaties to which the [UK] is a party' Idea behind the clause: The UK's Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 along with other legislation force private individuals to report suspicions they have about others (the penatly for failing to report is prison).  Hundreds of...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
11 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 23
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: 'The rehabilitation of offenders shall be an objective of the state's criminal justice system'

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 11
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: ' Juries in court proceedings must be: - randomly selected  - Independent of the other participants in the court proceedings before them - Free from interference - Required to keep their deliberations confidential '

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
15 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 21
Ian Smith

Suggested clause: All courts should operate a full five day week, year round, with the exception of normal public holidays. Original wording: At present courts sit in sessions which in total amounts to about half a year. This is not justice. The courts needs to function on at least a five day week throughout the year with the exception of normal public holidays. No one should be left on remand because the courts are not in sessionnor is it good use of court facilities to be left unused...

Ian Hodgson
by Ian Hodgson
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 10
Ian Hodgson

Suggested clause for the constitution (in the criminal justice section): 'Courts sentencing powers must be fixed by statutes' Idea behind the draft clause: Just that… they are too important to be left to the common law to develop.  That is not to say that judges should not be granted discretion by legislation

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 11
Ian Smith

The constitution should enshrine the right to trial by jury for offences which are punished only by a prison sentence.

James Doran
by James Doran
14 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 22
James Doran
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