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


Unveiling a truer likeness of John Hume

Unveiling a truer likeness of John Hume

What is best practice when writing about a Nobel Prize winner (John Hume) who shared it with another Northern Ireland leader (David Trimble)?  Surely the best approach, while accepting the humanity and great achievement of John Hume, is not to suppress all serious questions about his career in favour of an actual caricature of the Northern Ireland problem. 

read more
Police forces must undergo a serious change to attract the best and brightest out there

Police forces must undergo a serious change to attract the best and brightest out there

On his first day in office, Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street and committed to recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers by 2023. The commitment was central to the Conservative Party’s manifesto at the 2019 election.

What the government is attempting to achieve is no mean feat. As well as recruiting the additional 20,000 police officers, they must also replace those who leave. That’s an additional 6,500 – or 5 per cent – of the workforce every year. Across the three and a half years of the programme that means recruiting and training 42,500 new police officers.

read more

Latest Publications


Unveiling a truer likeness of John Hume

Unveiling a truer likeness of John Hume

What is best practice when writing about a Nobel Prize winner (John Hume) who shared it with another Northern Ireland leader (David Trimble)?  Surely the best approach, while accepting the humanity and great achievement of John Hume, is not to suppress all serious questions about his career in favour of an actual caricature of the Northern Ireland problem. 

read more
Police forces must undergo a serious change to attract the best and brightest out there

Police forces must undergo a serious change to attract the best and brightest out there

On his first day in office, Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street and committed to recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers by 2023. The commitment was central to the Conservative Party’s manifesto at the 2019 election.

What the government is attempting to achieve is no mean feat. As well as recruiting the additional 20,000 police officers, they must also replace those who leave. That’s an additional 6,500 – or 5 per cent – of the workforce every year. Across the three and a half years of the programme that means recruiting and training 42,500 new police officers.

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

Ayman al-Zawahiri got the death he deserved

At times like this, it’s tempting to channel Bette Davis: only speak good of the dead. Ayman al-Zawahiri’s dead. Good.

Unveiling a truer likeness of John Hume

What is best practice when writing about a Nobel Prize winner (John Hume) who shared it with another Northern Ireland leader (David Trimble)?  Surely the best approach, while accepting the humanity and great achievement of John Hume, is not to suppress all serious questions about his career in favour of an actual caricature of the Northern Ireland problem. 

Police forces must undergo a serious change to attract the best and brightest out there

On his first day in office, Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street and committed to recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers by 2023. The commitment was central to the Conservative Party’s manifesto at the 2019 election.

What the government is attempting to achieve is no mean feat. As well as recruiting the additional 20,000 police officers, they must also replace those who leave. That’s an additional 6,500 – or 5 per cent – of the workforce every year. Across the three and a half years of the programme that means recruiting and training 42,500 new police officers.

Forty-eight hours that proved the UK’s unwritten constitution is fit for purpose

With dreary predictability, constitutional reform enthusiasts have begun calling for a codified constitution right after Boris Johnson’s announcement that he was stepping down from the premiership.

The well-rehearsed arguments all turn around the idea that the events leading up to his removal had constituted some sort of constitutional crisis, the result of the country’s uncodified political constitution, and that all of it could have been avoided had the United Kingdom’s constitution been codified (viz. set out in legally enforceable rules).

Staying Power — How Ukraine can prevail tactically and strategically

At a recent event at Policy Exchange the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, made an eloquent, well-argued and ultimately moral speech on the necessity to stand up to Putin and deny his aggression and his war crimes in Ukraine any legitimising veneer. For all our futures, it was necessary for Russia to be defeated in its aims in Ukraine.  She reminded the audience that Ukraine needed help to resource its fight, and that help must be constant must endure.

Producer Price Inflation shows supply-side reform is urgently needed

This week’s inflation numbers made for grim reading. It is a testament to just how difficult the current inflationary moment is that 9.1% annual CPI is seen as ‘on the lower end of expectations’. Core inflation is still far too high, though it fell slightly from 6.2% to 5.9%.

Policy Exchange

The Treasury Devil and the scandal that never was

A controversy blew up last week about whether the Government had sought, or should have sought, comprehensive advice about the “legality” of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill from Sir James Eadie QC (the First Treasury Counsel (Common Law), informally known as the “Treasury devil”). Sam Coates of Sky News had an “exclusive” reporting that Sir James had not been consulted on whether the Government’s plans for the Bill would breach international law. An urgent question in the Commons asked for a statement on requests to Sir James to  assess the  Government’s proposals. There was speculation, apparently based on unattributed inferences or leaks, about what Sir James’ views on the matter actually were. There was a report that Sir James was “on resignation watch.”

The childcare system is broken: It can be fixed by empowering parents

Few dispute the fact that the UK system of childcare is broken. Although around £5.4 billion on childcare, and £3.8 billion on childcare places, is being spent every year on supporting the sector, it remains financially crippling for parents, inflexible, difficult to navigate and there are insufficient places available for those who could benefit. To give a sense of the scale of the problem, a middle-income household will spend nearly 30% of their after-tax income on childcare but only about 5% of their income on energy after housing costs.

Why the Centre for European Reform is wrong about Brexit

The Centre for European Reform published a report ‘What can we know about the cost of Brexit so far?’ on 9 June 2022. It estimated the impact of Brexit on the UK economy as a 5.2% reduction in GDP, a 13.7% fall in investment, and 13.6% fall in trade, compared to a “modelled ‘doppelgänger’ group of countries. This was given major and uncritical coverage in an ITN television news bulletin and in the Economist magazine. Analysis by Policy Exchange argues that the CER’s doppelgänger methodology is fatally flawed and its conclusion of a large hit to the UK’s economic performance is incorrect. In a direct comparison with G7 countries there is no sign that the UK has lagged behind in growth of GDP.

Policy Exchange

The APPG on Democracy and the Constitution misfires in “the attack on judges”

Judges take an oath “to do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.” If a new report by a group of parliamentarians is to be believed, there are reasons to fear that Justices of the Supreme Court have betrayed their oath, yielding to (indirect) pressure from, and even threats made by, ministers. The report’s assertions are groundless and will no doubt surprise ministers who of course remain constantly exposed to proceedings for judicial review. The significance of the report, the handiwork of the recently founded All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Democracy and the Constitution, is that it reveals the modus operandi of a subset of the legal profession, which is to weaponise judicial independence for political advantage, not only to score points off the government but now also to shame and browbeat the judges themselves.

Latest Publications

Transgenderism and policy capture in the criminal justice system

This report addresses the impact of policies and practices within the criminal justice system in England and Wales which classify and treat suspects, defendants in criminal trials, and convicted offenders on the basis of their ‘gender identity’ rather than their biological sex. In recent years, self-declaration of ‘gender identity’ has been adopted as policy by all of the key criminal justice institutions, despite the fact that this is not aligned with the law. This change appears to have come about largely as the result of policy capture, as it is a widely contested belief and has been adopted without public scrutiny. Current criminal justice policy prioritises the wishes and feelings of those who identify as transgender over the rights of others, and particularly over the sex-based rights of women, such as rights to single-sex facilities. This publication examines the detrimental effects of this approach and makes recommendations about the development of policies which are based on acknowledgment of the significance of biological sex in the field of criminal justice.

Latest Blogs

Forty-eight hours that proved the UK’s unwritten constitution is fit for purpose

With dreary predictability, constitutional reform enthusiasts have begun calling for a codified constitution right after Boris Johnson’s announcement that he was stepping down from the premiership.

The well-rehearsed arguments all turn around the idea that the events leading up to his removal had constituted some sort of constitutional crisis, the result of the country’s uncodified political constitution, and that all of it could have been avoided had the United Kingdom’s constitution been codified (viz. set out in legally enforceable rules).

The Treasury Devil and the scandal that never was

A controversy blew up last week about whether the Government had sought, or should have sought, comprehensive advice about the “legality” of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill from Sir James Eadie QC (the First Treasury Counsel (Common Law), informally known as the “Treasury devil”). Sam Coates of Sky News had an “exclusive” reporting that Sir James had not been consulted on whether the Government’s plans for the Bill would breach international law. An urgent question in the Commons asked for a statement on requests to Sir James to  assess the  Government’s proposals. There was speculation, apparently based on unattributed inferences or leaks, about what Sir James’ views on the matter actually were. There was a report that Sir James was “on resignation watch.”

The Queen’s Speech and Judicial Power: Could the British Bill of Rights make things worse?

The headline measure is the proposed British Bill of Rights, which would supersede the Human Rights Act. A perennial proposal most recently floated under David Cameron, the Bill’s stated aim is to restore “the balance of power between the legislature and the courts”. Among its main provisions are the establishment of the primacy of UK case law over that of the European Court of Human Rights, new limitations on courts’ ability to “read in” provisions that are not present in legislation, and a new burden on the claimant to prove they have suffered “significant disadvantage” before they can bring a human rights claim, with the aim of discouraging frivolous litigation.

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.

Latest Tweets

RT @SuellaBraverman Thank you @Policy_Exchange for hosting me today. And thank you to the excellent audience for thought-provoking questions. twitter.com/attorney…