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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This has been posted in the goverment section but as it is a right or power more closely associated with the Judiciary I thought it worth posting here too. Judicial review is a power of the High Court to review how a given decision by the state was made to confirm that it was done so properly and in accordance with the law. Important to note the following are beyond the Scope of Judicial review:   Proceedings in Parliment National Security decisions Any Court above the High Court...

Andrew Cullyer
by Andrew Cullyer
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 6
Andrew Cullyer

The idea is simply this:  Should the UK Supreme Court have the power to strike down legislation for being unconstitutional?  A legal problem any law student will be familiar with. Clearly in the US this is the case and certainly the Supreme Court can override Parliment in regards to rules that breach its commitments under the EU famously decided in the 1980's.  Pros - Provides a guarantor for citizens Human and constitutional rights - Is a check on Legislative and Executive power...

Andrew Cullyer
by Andrew Cullyer
22 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 72
Andrew Cullyer

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

There has been an amount of discussion surrounding the need to clarify the position of the UK Supreme Court, given the binding nature of decisions made at a European level. While I agree that this is something that should be made explicitly clear, I wonder why it is so often discussed (particularly in the media) as if the binding nature of European decisions is a bad thing. Shouldn't we consider it a good thing that if any government within the EU, including our own, infringes upon human...

Emma McNulty
by Emma McNulty
14 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 16
Emma McNulty

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
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Comments 10
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

Separation of powers is a fundamental principle of our democracy. Power is divided between the legislature (parliament), the executive (government) and the judiciary. How should our judges be appointed? By Parliament? By Government? By popular election? By an Independent Commission set up under the Constitution?  

ConstitutionUK
by ConstitutionUK
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 21
ConstitutionUK

Suggested wording: Legal aid shall be available to all persons who do not have the resources to fund their own representation in all cases, either civil or criminal. Original idea: The Constitution should outline that legal aid is a requirement for a functioning legal system and stipulate that there should always be a legal aid system that is somewhat protected from budget cuts.  It can't be too prescriptive, as it needs to be able to adapt to future circumstances, but it should...

Emma McNulty
by Emma McNulty
19 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 33
Emma McNulty

VERSION 1: Separation of powers is a fundamental principle of our democracy. Power is divided between the legislature (parliament), the executive (government) and the judiciary. What rules should govern the appointment of judges? Should we set a minimum age for appointment to judicial office? Should we set a minimum level of experience for appointment to judicial office? Should those who are appointed to judicial office be required, under the constitution, to have formal legal...

ConstitutionUK
by ConstitutionUK
4 Votes
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Comments 31
ConstitutionUK

Suggested clause: Courts will be free at the point of use, paid for by Government, for all matters that are not considered vexatious. Original wording: At the moment poorer people must get legal aid, richer people have access to manipulative lawyers and justice gets lost somewhere in the middle. So I think we need two changes to support a fairer system: 1. No cost at point of use for the courts. If you want to go to court, it should be free so long as your case is not shown to be...

Gavin Ayling
by Gavin Ayling
1 Votes
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Comments 16
Gavin Ayling
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