Professor John Finnis on how the Supreme Court misread the ECA
Judging the Public Interest examines the Supreme Court’s quashing of the Attorney General’s decision to block disclosure of the Prince of Wales’ correspondence with ministers. The report argues that, in doing so, the judiciary confused the rule of law with the rule of courts and overstepped its constitutional limits. It recommends that Parliament act swiftly to overturn this wayward judgment, reaffirming the rule of law and Parliamentary authority.
Professors Ekins and Gee argue that the public and politicians should be free to debate the role of the courts in our constitution, welcoming the willingness of some in the political class to restate the limits on judicial power and emphasising the primacy of an elected Parliament as the safeguard against injustice and the disadvantages of remaking the law by judicial process.
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP introduced a lecture on the past, present and future of judicial power by Professor Finnis, one of the foremost legal and political thinkers of our age, for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project. Lord Justice Elias, himself a former distinguished legal academic, delivered the Vote of Thanks.
The Supreme Court has today used vague provisions in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to disapply an Act of Parliament. This outcome is impossible under ordinary human rights law and confirms the danger the Charter poses to parliamentary democracy. The Court passed up the opportunity to consider limits on the Charter’s application and the case confirms the need to end the Charter’s place in domestic law after the UK leaves the EU.
In a new paper published by the Judicial Power Project, Professor Carol Harlow QC (Hon) reflects on the ‘judicialisation’ of administrative justice in the UK. The paper is prompted by the UK Supreme Court’s recent decision in Poshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The case raises important constitutional issues at both the international and domestic levels. Professor Harlow offers a measured defence of the Supreme Court’s approach. She explains how, at the international level, the Supreme Court in Poshteh rebuffs attempts by the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’) to further intrude into domestic administrative justice and confirms that domestic courts do not need to follow every decision of the ECtHR.