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


Environmentalist disruption shifts from the west end to the M25

Environmentalist disruption shifts from the west end to the M25

Three times this week sections of the M25 have been closed by activists from the Insulate Britain group, demanding government take responsibility for insulating all social housing by 2025, and re-fitting all houses with low energy heating by 2030. The protests certainly succeeded in provoking a reaction. Video footage of angry motorists scuffling with demonstrators and being ordered back to their trapped cars by police offices soon went viral, as did a recording of an officer telling activists if they felt any discomfort, or needed anything, they only had to ask for assistance. Some columnists have blamed protestors for a crash which occurred in Surrey on Wednesday morning, although that incident remains under investigation.

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Where next for housing reform?

Where next for housing reform?

Nimbys get a bad press. They live in attractive houses in expensive areas but want to deny that chance to others. They are a powerful lobby motivated by selfishness who often behave badly – check out the recent viral video of a local woman hurling abuse, and a chair, at Camden Councillors when a planning decision didn’t go her way. They have climbed up the housing ladder and grown rich on an asset boom that has more to do with Bank of England policy than hard work.

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Latest Publications


Environmentalist disruption shifts from the west end to the M25

Environmentalist disruption shifts from the west end to the M25

Three times this week sections of the M25 have been closed by activists from the Insulate Britain group, demanding government take responsibility for insulating all social housing by 2025, and re-fitting all houses with low energy heating by 2030. The protests certainly succeeded in provoking a reaction. Video footage of angry motorists scuffling with demonstrators and being ordered back to their trapped cars by police offices soon went viral, as did a recording of an officer telling activists if they felt any discomfort, or needed anything, they only had to ask for assistance. Some columnists have blamed protestors for a crash which occurred in Surrey on Wednesday morning, although that incident remains under investigation.

read more
Where next for housing reform?

Where next for housing reform?

Nimbys get a bad press. They live in attractive houses in expensive areas but want to deny that chance to others. They are a powerful lobby motivated by selfishness who often behave badly – check out the recent viral video of a local woman hurling abuse, and a chair, at Camden Councillors when a planning decision didn’t go her way. They have climbed up the housing ladder and grown rich on an asset boom that has more to do with Bank of England policy than hard work.

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

Environmentalist disruption shifts from the west end to the M25

Three times this week sections of the M25 have been closed by activists from the Insulate Britain group, demanding government take responsibility for insulating all social housing by 2025, and re-fitting all houses with low energy heating by 2030. The protests certainly succeeded in provoking a reaction. Video footage of angry motorists scuffling with demonstrators and being ordered back to their trapped cars by police offices soon went viral, as did a recording of an officer telling activists if they felt any discomfort, or needed anything, they only had to ask for assistance. Some columnists have blamed protestors for a crash which occurred in Surrey on Wednesday morning, although that incident remains under investigation.

Where next for housing reform?

Nimbys get a bad press. They live in attractive houses in expensive areas but want to deny that chance to others. They are a powerful lobby motivated by selfishness who often behave badly – check out the recent viral video of a local woman hurling abuse, and a chair, at Camden Councillors when a planning decision didn’t go her way. They have climbed up the housing ladder and grown rich on an asset boom that has more to do with Bank of England policy than hard work.

Islamist terrorism remains a threat to Britain 20 years after 9/11

Related Content  Twenty years after the deadliest terrorist attack in modern history, the terrorist threat from the same motivating ideological force of Salafi-jihadism – one form of Islamism – remains at large in the western world, including the United Kingdom.In...

Social care reform is welcome but must be first step on bigger journey

This week’s announcement of a health and social care levy was hugely significant. Much has been made of the impact on the taxation system: a 1.25 percentage point increase in national insurance contributions across employee earnings and employer wage costs (representing a 2.5% overall increase in the tax rate on earnings). It’s a move that will raise £12-14bn a year, and take this Conservative Government into new territory on exchequer spending at a time the economy remains in a vulnerable position.

A new economist offers the Bank of England an opportunity for fresh ideas

The Bank of England has appointed a new chief economist to succeed Andy Haldane. Huw Pill’s experience should offer the UK central bank a novel intellectual perspective drawn from having worked at both the ECB for many years and as Goldman Sachs chief European economist.

My three fears about Taliban-run Afghanistan

When the Taliban were toppled in Afghanistan in 2001, I had only been a member of Parliament – representing a constituency that has many Muslim, as well as non-Muslim, voters – for a matter of months. But I can remember well the mood of the House in the weeks that followed. No one was under any illusions. This wasn’t going to be easy. The West’s involvement in Afghanistan was likely to continue for years.

The West must not be fooled by the Taliban’s spin doctors

On Thursday the Taliban took to social media to declare that after a 20-year interruption, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was back in business. In a month’s time, when we mark the anniversary of 9/11, they will doubtless again be governing nearly all the country. In the West there are understandable fears that the return of the Taliban means the return of Al-Qaeda, whose presence in Afghanistan provoked the American-led intervention in the first place.

Afghanistan: The risks of a lose-lose situation

Afghan women are once again cast in the role of collateral damage, as Afghanistan’s politics is played out via brutal images of desperate mums throwing babies over barbed wire to American soldiers at Kabul Airport,  interspersed with photos of an Afghan woman shot by a Taliban goon for not covering her hair. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and the collapse of its institutions, was as fast as the Americans’ dash to leave the country at breakneck speed.

Why a statute of limitations on Troubles-related incidents is the right answer

Brandon Lewis, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in the briefest of Commons statements this week, announced a “statute of limitations, to apply equally to all Troubles-related incidents”. To understand how radical this move was, you need only look at his predecessor’s 2014 Stormont House Agreement – and the misguided reaction, yesterday, from Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, who wrongly claimed that the announcement was a breach of the UK’s international obligations.

The UK government and intervention

Should a government provide subsides and intervene in the economy? This is an area of focus and some controversy following the recent decision to provide a government subsidy to Nissan and intervention to aid the steel sector.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the biggest criticism of such government intervention was from those arguing to reduce the size of the state. Government spending is, after all, at high levels, and the tax take, in relation to the size of the economy, at an all-time high. In fact, the biggest criticisms appeared to be from those wishing we were still in the EU, or so it seemed. Notwithstanding that, what is the issue?

Latest Publications

The Future of Equality

A decade on from the enactment of the Equality Act, it is time to consider whether it needs reform to meet the challenges of the new millennium. Discussions about reform should be informed by what has happened during the ten years of the Equality Act, which in some cases is tied up with developments of interpretative trends and approaches that had begun even before the Act. This report aims to contribute to that discussion.

How to Reform Judicial Review

This paper is the text of Policy Exchange’s response to the Government’s Consultation on Judicial Review Reform. It builds on submissions made by Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project to the Independent Review on Administrative Law (one written by me, the other by Sir Stephen Laws), which were quoted in the Panel’s report and in the Government’s Response.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill: myth and reality

This paper examines some of the criticisms offered against part 3 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. It finds, in summary, that most of these are misplaced or overblown. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill can certainly be improved and even if it does not prove, if enacted, to be the boon hoped for, it is certainly not the instrument of repression conjured up to alarm us.

Latest Blogs

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.

The problem of judicial diversity

In Reforming the Supreme Court, Professor Wyatt and Professor Ekins have produced a thoughtful contribution to the ongoing scholarly debate on the correct limits to judicial power; a debate which is, and always has been, driven by political rather than legal priorities. From the 1970s to the 1990s claims of judicial overreach in the UK were made primarily by those on the left such as JAG Griffith, Conor Gearty and Keith Ewing. Their objections to judicial power were underpinned by their views of the judiciary as an instrument of the establishment blocking workers’ rights and undermining civil liberties. After the enactment of the Human Rights Act in 1998, which Ekins rightly identifies as a key moment in changing judicial culture, these critical voices were more muted and concerns about the improper exercise of judicial power were increasingly raised by those on the right. Most recently they have been taken up by the Judicial Power Project.

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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RT @ed_birkett Here’s @AmberRuddUK talking about the need for further electricity market reform during @Policy_Exchange event last week. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/3UsO…