Response by Christopher Forsyth in today’s The Times:

Sir, The response of some figures in the legal establishment (letters, Feb 18) to Michael Gove’s moderate and thoughtful criticism of the growth in judicial power (Comment, Feb 17) is astonishing — his criticism is “dangerous” and undermines “the rule of law”.

That great judge Lord Atkin was wiser when he said (in Ambard v Attorney-General for Trinidad and Tobago [1936] AC 322) that “justice is not a cloistered virtue: she must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and respectful … comments of ordinary men”.

Reasonable and moderate criticism of judicial decisions serves the public interest in that it leads to better decisions and builds public confidence in the judicial process. Suffice to say that Michael Gove raises a serious issue worthy of serious consideration.

Christopher Forsyth

Emeritus Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law, University of Cambridge

22 Feb 2017

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