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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Phase 2 version: Every officer of the court shall be expected to recognise serious incompatibilities or inconsistencies within the law which they encounter in the course of their duties and shall be obligated to report them to the court. The court shall establish and manage a forum where such reports can be collated and where the problems identified, and possible solutions, can be freely discussed by anyone who wishes to do so [within the constraints of generally acceptable...

Malcolm Ramsay
by Malcolm Ramsay
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 26
Malcolm Ramsay

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 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: 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 constitution clause: 'Ministers and public officers at all levels must exercise the powers conferred on them reasonably, in good faith, for the purpose for which the powers were conferred and without exceeding the limits of such powers.* Any person with sufficient interest may claim in courts to review the lawfulness of - - an enactment; or - a decision, action or failure to act in relation to the exercise of a public function - and upon such review, the Courts...

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

There is no justice when citizens cannot afford it. Legal redress is a right for every citizen to ask for but given the current costs of litigation is beyond the reach of the vast majority of people. Barristers and other legal professionals should be employed by a hands off executive agency and their fees should be set  by law. 

Ian Hodgson
by Ian Hodgson
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 31
Ian Hodgson

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
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