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.

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Latest Publications

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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


Trade War 2: European antitrust authorities take aim at Silicon Valley

Policy Exchange’s Economics Research Fellow, Jan Zeber, looks at the EU Commission’s multi-billion euro fine of Google and asks if it really reflects the best way to protect consumers.


The Brexit White Paper – room for improvement

Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics Warwick Lightfoot – former Special Adviser to three Chancellors – assesses the Government’s Brexit White Paper and finds room for improvement.


Spaceports will transform the UK into a spacefaring nation

Policy Exchange’s senior defence fellow, Gabriel Elefteriu, reflects on the Government’s decision to build a spaceport in Scotland. He argues the decision is an important step on on the UK’s journey to become a leader in space industry.


What Does Chequers Mean for Northern Ireland?

In the first of a series by Policy Exchange experts reflecting on the Chequers Agreement and Brexit White Paper, our Chief Economic Adviser Dr Graham Gudgin reflects on their implications for the Irish border. Dr Gudgin, a former Special Adviser to the Northern Irish First Minister and leading expert on issues around the border, concludes that if the White Paper’s recommendations are implemented, the Northern Irish border ‘problem’ is largely solved.

Prisoner reading

One small step for prison reform

Prisons must be safe before rehabilitation can take place – Policy Exchange’s Director of Research and Strategy looks at the Justice Secretary’s latest place for prison reform.

Flags jigsaw

Dr Graham Gudgin examines the likely options for a future trade relationship between the UK and EU

Policy Exchange’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr Graham Gudgin, outlines the likely proposals to be put before Friday’s Cabinet and explores how they might work.


Policy win for Policy Exchange as the tide ebbs out on the Lagoon

The Government has announced that the proposed tidal lagoon will not go ahead, 18 months after Policy Exchange raised questions. The robust independent analysis of the scheme by Policy Exchange is credited as having provided ballast for government thinking.


Monetary policy after the Great Recession – time for the eurozone to grasp the nettle?

Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics – Warwick Lightfoot – argues that the deepening tensions in the eurozone make it all the more important that an exit strategy is developed for countries that no longer fit the model.


Skills will be the focus for education reformers in the coming years

Policy Exchange’s John Blake – himself a former teacher – says that while school reform will continue, recent announcements suggest that skills policy will be the focus of the Department for Education under its new leadership.

Space dawn

Britain’s industry-led space policy “model” has been a resounding success. But can it survive the fierce competition of the new space race?

The UK has made significant progress developing its approach to space, including the passage of the recent Space Bill and announcement of the Space Strategy, argues Policy Exchange’s Senior Research Fellow for Defence Gabriel Elefteriu. Discussing the event held at Policy Exchange to explore these issues, Gabriel argues that more will be required if the UK is to fully take advantage of the opportunities offered by this new frontier.

Latest Publications

Second-Guessing Policy Choices: The rule of law after the Supreme Court’s UNISON judgment

In the UNISON case, the Supreme Court quashed the Government’s use of its statutory power to impose fees for employment tribunal proceedings. It ruled that the fees were unlawful because the level at which they had been set had the effect in practice of limiting access to justice. The judgment has been widely hailed as a victory for access to justice and another case in which courts have defended the rule of law from the executive. In this new paper for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, former First Parliamentary Counsel Sir Stephen Laws argues that the Supreme Court went badly wrong in the UNISON case, taking over a policy question that was not for it to decide.

Does Political Criticism Of Judges Damage Judicial Independence?

In a new paper for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project the Honourable Dyson Heydon AC QC, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, challenges the conventional wisdom that suggests that criticism of judges by politicians damages judicial independence, and upends the commonplace claim that says that judicial decisions should not be criticized because it is not open to judges to defend themselves.

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Latest Blogs

Latest Supreme Court judgment shows why the EU Charter must be axed.

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.

Brexit Committee questions Ekins and Laws on legal and constitutional aspects

The Head of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, Professor Richard Ekins, gave evidence to the House of Common’s Brexit Select Committee alongside regular JPP contributor, Sir Stephen Laws, former First Parliamentary Counsel. Rebecca Lowe, Policy Exchange’s State & Society and Judicial Power Project (JPP) Fellow, reports on the hearing, which focused initially on the constitutional and legal aspects of the bill, before expanding to the Brexit process more widely, with questions ranging from the future role, if any, of the ECJ, to the provision that could be made for a ‘transition period’.

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Latest News

Paper on judicial independence covered in Australian media

Former Australian High Court judge Dyson Heydon’s paper for Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, Does Political Criticism of Judges Damage Judicial Independence? was covered by Australian media. The Australian, the biggest selling national newspaper in the country, featured an extract from Heydon’s paper and endorsement from Attorney General Christian Porter and incoming High Commissioner in London George Brandis. The Australian Financial Review also covered the paper, referring to it as a ‘blistering critique’ of the Victoria Court of Appeal’s treatment of ministers who criticised them. You can read the original paper by Dyson Heydon here.

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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 @WillHeaven Excellent ⁦piece in ⁦@thesundaytimes⁩ by Dominic Lawson, rightly praising ⁦@Policy_Exchange and its Judicial Power Project: “It’s not for our judges to enact ‘Cliff’s law’” thetimes.co.uk/artic…