Judicial Capture of Political Accountability

 

Judicial Capture of Political Accountability examines the increasing capture of political accountability mechanisms by courts. It focuses upon developments in judicial review of the Ombudsman process, and shows how these developments are emblematic of wider, troubling trends that are plunging judicial review into a legitimacy crisis.

Judicial Power: 50 Problematic Cases

 

With help from colleagues in the academy and legal profession, the Judicial Power Project presents a list of 50 “problematic” cases from UK and European courts.

Judging the Public Interest: The rule of law vs. the rule of courts

 

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.


Latest Blogs


A single bus ride may have saved more than a million lives: what the Government can now do to further boost clinical research

A single bus ride may have saved more than a million lives: what the Government can now do to further boost clinical research

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the difference clinical research can make. The ground-breaking RECOVERY trial was conceived of as two academics – Prof Martin Landray and Sir Jeremy Farrar – rode the Number 18 bus between Euston and Sudbury in early March 2020. Two years later, RECOVERY has recruited 45,000 participants, and led to the identification of two viable now commonly used therapeutics for hospitalised COVID patients. The trial additionally provided definitive conclusions about the efficacy of other debated treatments such as hydroxychloroquine. Coupled with the vaccine rollout, these scientific breakthroughs have helped chart the course out of the pandemic. That single bus ride might have saved more than a million lives.

read more
Uncovering the hidden wiring of Whitehall

Uncovering the hidden wiring of Whitehall

Lord Hennessy spent his entire journalistic career writing about the machinery of government in Britain. His classic 1996 work “The Hidden Wiring: Unearthing The British Constitution” set out how the British Constitution operated in practice and revealed the often obscure nexuses of administrative power.

read more
Not all non-Tory councils have gone woke—Lib Dem-dominated Watford Borough Council adopts Policy Exchange recommendations on street renaming

Not all non-Tory councils have gone woke—Lib Dem-dominated Watford Borough Council adopts Policy Exchange recommendations on street renaming

The post-BLM trend amongst institutions across the country to take action in relation to the public representation of history on a whim, without a thoughtful and considered process, has been deeply troubling to those who care about national heritage. As at Cambridge and Kew Gardens, recent events in Watford suggest that there is reason to have hope. At a Watford Borough Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday (17 Jan), the Mayor Peter Taylor declared that “We’ve got no plans to rename any streets”. This came after suggestions that the council should rename streets such as Imperial Way and Rhodes Way; and contradicted a BBC headline a few days earlier declaring that “Watford plans to scrap slavery-link street signs” (altered a few days later to the more neutral “Watford residents could get vote on slavery street signs”).

read more

Latest Publications


A single bus ride may have saved more than a million lives: what the Government can now do to further boost clinical research

A single bus ride may have saved more than a million lives: what the Government can now do to further boost clinical research

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the difference clinical research can make. The ground-breaking RECOVERY trial was conceived of as two academics – Prof Martin Landray and Sir Jeremy Farrar – rode the Number 18 bus between Euston and Sudbury in early March 2020. Two years later, RECOVERY has recruited 45,000 participants, and led to the identification of two viable now commonly used therapeutics for hospitalised COVID patients. The trial additionally provided definitive conclusions about the efficacy of other debated treatments such as hydroxychloroquine. Coupled with the vaccine rollout, these scientific breakthroughs have helped chart the course out of the pandemic. That single bus ride might have saved more than a million lives.

read more
Uncovering the hidden wiring of Whitehall

Uncovering the hidden wiring of Whitehall

Lord Hennessy spent his entire journalistic career writing about the machinery of government in Britain. His classic 1996 work “The Hidden Wiring: Unearthing The British Constitution” set out how the British Constitution operated in practice and revealed the often obscure nexuses of administrative power.

read more
Not all non-Tory councils have gone woke—Lib Dem-dominated Watford Borough Council adopts Policy Exchange recommendations on street renaming

Not all non-Tory councils have gone woke—Lib Dem-dominated Watford Borough Council adopts Policy Exchange recommendations on street renaming

The post-BLM trend amongst institutions across the country to take action in relation to the public representation of history on a whim, without a thoughtful and considered process, has been deeply troubling to those who care about national heritage. As at Cambridge and Kew Gardens, recent events in Watford suggest that there is reason to have hope. At a Watford Borough Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday (17 Jan), the Mayor Peter Taylor declared that “We’ve got no plans to rename any streets”. This came after suggestions that the council should rename streets such as Imperial Way and Rhodes Way; and contradicted a BBC headline a few days earlier declaring that “Watford plans to scrap slavery-link street signs” (altered a few days later to the more neutral “Watford residents could get vote on slavery street signs”).

read more

Latest Events


“Staying the course: managing challenges to UK energy policy”

Policy Exchange host a discuss on the scale and pace of change needed for the UK to achieve its future decarbonisation goals. read more


Latest Events


Governing Power: Improving the administration of the GB energy industry

Policy Exchange hosts a discussion on how our energy industry are markets are run. read more


Upcoming Event


Rethinking CO2: how can we put it to use?

Policy Exchange hosts the Rt Hon Lord Deben PC and others to discuss the potential of Carbon Capture and Use technologies. read more

Judicial Policy Project

A single bus ride may have saved more than a million lives: what the Government can now do to further boost clinical research

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the difference clinical research can make. The ground-breaking RECOVERY trial was conceived of as two academics – Prof Martin Landray and Sir Jeremy Farrar – rode the Number 18 bus between Euston and Sudbury in early March 2020. Two years later, RECOVERY has recruited 45,000 participants, and led to the identification of two viable now commonly used therapeutics for hospitalised COVID patients. The trial additionally provided definitive conclusions about the efficacy of other debated treatments such as hydroxychloroquine. Coupled with the vaccine rollout, these scientific breakthroughs have helped chart the course out of the pandemic. That single bus ride might have saved more than a million lives.

Uncovering the hidden wiring of Whitehall

Lord Hennessy spent his entire journalistic career writing about the machinery of government in Britain. His classic 1996 work “The Hidden Wiring: Unearthing The British Constitution” set out how the British Constitution operated in practice and revealed the often obscure nexuses of administrative power.

Not all non-Tory councils have gone woke—Lib Dem-dominated Watford Borough Council adopts Policy Exchange recommendations on street renaming

The post-BLM trend amongst institutions across the country to take action in relation to the public representation of history on a whim, without a thoughtful and considered process, has been deeply troubling to those who care about national heritage. As at Cambridge and Kew Gardens, recent events in Watford suggest that there is reason to have hope. At a Watford Borough Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday (17 Jan), the Mayor Peter Taylor declared that “We’ve got no plans to rename any streets”. This came after suggestions that the council should rename streets such as Imperial Way and Rhodes Way; and contradicted a BBC headline a few days earlier declaring that “Watford plans to scrap slavery-link street signs” (altered a few days later to the more neutral “Watford residents could get vote on slavery street signs”).

The MoD’s newly independent ‘net assessment’ capability can make a huge difference

The Ministry of Defence hit a milestone this week with the establishment of the Secretary of State’s Office of Net Assessment and Challenge (SONAC), a little over three years since Policy Exchange first laid out the full case for it in our report, A Question of Power: Towards Better UK Strategy Through Net Assessment.

Kew Gardens’ move to scrap “decolonisation” initiative welcomed, after Policy Exchange report

On Saturday (15 January) Richard Deverell, Director of RBG Kew, announced that Kew would be abandoning the “decolonisation” agenda to which it had committed soon after the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. This welcome announcement comes just a fortnight after the publication of a Policy Exchange report—Politicising Plants: Does “decolonising” the botanical collections at Kew undermine its core mission?—which I co-authored with the celebrated garden historian and writer (and Kew diploma-holder) Ursula Buchan and the Oxford legal scholar Professor Christopher Forsyth QC (Hon.).

“Electric petrol stations” are important, but don’t forget “slow” chargepoints.

Last week (Thursday 13th January), a new electric vehicle charging hub opened in London, replacing an existing petrol station. Ultra-rapid charging hubs like this will be extremely important to support EV drivers who need to charge up quickly on the move.

However, the Government must not overlook the role of “slow” chargepoints (circa 5kW). These chargepoints take several hours to an electric vehicle (EV), but can be installed cheaply in homes and businesses, often without requiring expensive new electricity cables or digging up roads.

Sir Trevor Phillips: A well deserved Knighthood for a journalist willing to challenge old & new establishments

My first encounter with Trevor Phillips was not a pleasant one. He was publicly attacking me as a “nice, genteel, racist” in response to an essay ‘Too Diverse?’ I had written in Prospect magazine (which I then edited) about the tension between solidarity and diversity in liberal democracies.

After a challenging Covid Christmas, could Sajid Javid benefit from a winter of content?

The news this week from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) that people infected with the Omicron variant were between 50 and 70 per cent less likely to be admitted to hospital compared with the Delta strain has created a sense of relief in the Government.

Policy Exchange proposes solution to social care crisis

Social care is once more at the top of the political agenda. Paying big bills to fund your relatives’ social care is becoming what Americans call a ‘third rail’ issue in British politics.
Policy Exchange has done a lot of work on funding social care and our conclusion is clear. 21st Century Social Care, the report I co-authored, set out a clear answer to how it should be paid for, offering what we believe is the only sustainable solution.

Unlicensed law reformer? Lady Hale and the law of surrogacy

The publication of Lady Hale’s memoirs is likely to prompt an assessment of her undeniably impressive judicial career. Given its title, Spider Woman: A Life, attention may focus on what Lady Hale has to say about her role in the Supreme Court prorogation litigation in Cherry/Miller (No 2) [2019] UKSC 4. After all, it is that decision, along with the notorious arachnoid brooch, that made her famous with the general public.

Latest Publications

Crossing the Line?

and

This paper defends the legitimacy of the Attorney General’s decision to offer public remarks on judicial review and rejects the characterisation that they pushed impermissibly at the boundaries of her office. The paper outlines the role and responsibilities of the Attorney General’s office, noting the tension between the political and legal aspects of the role, which provides the critical contextual lens for assessing the propriety of the Attorney General’s recent remarks.

Latest Blogs

Unlicensed law reformer? Lady Hale and the law of surrogacy

The publication of Lady Hale’s memoirs is likely to prompt an assessment of her undeniably impressive judicial career. Given its title, Spider Woman: A Life, attention may focus on what Lady Hale has to say about her role in the Supreme Court prorogation litigation in Cherry/Miller (No 2) [2019] UKSC 4. After all, it is that decision, along with the notorious arachnoid brooch, that made her famous with the general public.

The significance of the Supreme Court’s Begum judgment

In allowing the Home Secretary’s appeal in the Begum case, the Supreme Court has corrected a misconceived Court of Appeal judgment, which had put national security in doubt and undermined the law Parliament made.  The Supreme Court’s judgment is a powerful and welcome, if somewhat overdue, affirmation of constitutional principle and the limits of judicial power.

The difference leaving the House of Lords has made

Nomen omen – but not always. The High Courts and Courts of Appeal in England and Northern Ireland formed part of the Supreme Court of Judicature before the coming into force of the Constitution Reform Act 2005 and, by and large, there was never a widespread sense of these Courts unduly throwing their weight around. Had they done so, no doubt the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords would have restored matters to their proper bounds.

Latest News

New Statesman highlights Policy Exchange work on modernising the United Kingdom

“Some attention has been given post-election to the Conservative plans for a constitutional commission. But less focus has been given to the significant plans being put together for a re-servicing of the Union. The Policy Exchange think-tank has called for ‘a Grand Strategy to modernise the United Kingdom.’ This is an activist Unionism of a kind only glimpsed before.”

Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project submits evidence to Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry on the 20th anniversary of the Human Rights Act 1998

and

Richard Ekins (University of Oxford and Head of the Judicial Power Project) and Graham Gee (University of Sheffield) have submitted written evidence to the inquiry by Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights on 20 Years of the Human Rights Act. Download our submission or read online via Parliament’s website.

Latest Events

Criticism and Accountability in Judging

Nov 28, 2016

This event was held at Policy Exchange on Monday 28 November, and featured Rt Hon Lord Hope of Craighead, Rt Hon Lord Howard of Lympne, Charles Moore, Joshua Rosenberg, and Professor Graham Gee

Brexit and Judicial Power

Jul 21, 2016

Policy Exchange hosts Dr Geoff Raby, former Australian Ambassador to China and to the World Trade Organisation, to discuss how a post-Brexit UK can negotiate trade deals around world.

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