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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  1. Ian Smith
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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

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

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
Voting closed
Comments 31
ConstitutionUK

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

Suggested clause: 'Judges shall be protected from arbitrary dismissal or dismissal on political grounds.  Judges may only be dismissed by reason of gross misconduct.*  The Judiciary shall devise rules and disciplinary procedures under which Judges may be dismissed.' (This would clearly include criminal offending and serious misconduct such as presiding over cases in which a Judge has a personal or conflict of interests)  Original idea: 1. Should judges be liable to be removed from...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
11 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
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

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

No person in Britain is to be exempt from the law, foreign or domestic. This includes removing the privelleges of persons in parliament and foreign nationals who would otherwise have diplomatic immunity (e.g. Pinochet, who was arrested on his visit to Britain).  " CHAPTER 12  Parliamentary Privilege and related matters Privilege of Parliament... "  12.02 freedom from arrest in civil cases; ·  exemption from subpoenas to attend court as a witness;" "  Privilege of peerage...

Kristopher Cussans
by Kristopher Cussans
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 8
Kristopher Cussans

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: 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
Voting closed
Comments 16
Gavin Ayling
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