Next month the Supreme Court will hear the Government’s appeal in the Miller judgment. The backdrop to that hearing is unusually heated: earlier this month, press and politicians reacted strongly to the High Court’s decision. Retired judges, lawyers and political opponents alleged that the Lord Chancellor, the Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, had not defended the judges sufficiently from press criticism. Public comments by Lady Hale of Richmond of the Supreme Court on the forthcoming Article 50 litigation have provoked criticism in turn. Running through these controversies are complex questions about when, how and why it is appropriate to criticise judges and their judgments.
Reflecting on the requirements of judicial independence and the accountability of public power, Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project brought together a panel from the worlds of law, politics and the press to debate these issues.
Joining Professor Graham Gee of the University of Sheffield for the discussion were the Rt Hon Lord Hope of Craighead, former Deputy President of the Supreme Court and previously Lord President of the Court of Session; the Rt Hon Lord Howard of Lympne, former Leader of the Opposition and Home Secretary; Charles Moore, columnist for The Daily Telegraph and authorised biographer of Lady Thatcher; and Joshua Rozenberg, legal commentator and journalist.