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


5Pillars publishes Hizb ut-Tahrir leader advocating military force and a Caliphate to “liberate Palestine and Kashmir”

5Pillars publishes Hizb ut-Tahrir leader advocating military force and a Caliphate to “liberate Palestine and Kashmir”

The UK Islamist news website 5Pillars has published an opinion piece by Abdul Wahid—chairman of the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain—arguing that Muslim majority countries, and to a lesser degree some Muslims in the UK, are betraying the Palestinian and Kashmiri causes. Titled, Only a united Ummah can liberate Palestine and Kashmir, Wahid advocates the use of military force and the establishment of the Khilafah, or Caliphate, as the only means for achieving this.

read more
Hartlepool is a Wake-Up Call for my Party

Hartlepool is a Wake-Up Call for my Party

The election of a Conservative MP in Hartlepool for the first time in the constituency’s modern history is yet another wake-up call for my party. Peter Mandelson once enjoyed a 17,500 majority here. Now the Tories are deep into what was once safe Labour territory – the industrial heartlands of the North – with a 7,000 majority of their own. In the West Midlands it looks again like Labour will lose out on the mayoral race and more. What has gone wrong for the Labour Party and our wider movement?

read more

Latest Publications


5Pillars publishes Hizb ut-Tahrir leader advocating military force and a Caliphate to “liberate Palestine and Kashmir”

5Pillars publishes Hizb ut-Tahrir leader advocating military force and a Caliphate to “liberate Palestine and Kashmir”

The UK Islamist news website 5Pillars has published an opinion piece by Abdul Wahid—chairman of the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain—arguing that Muslim majority countries, and to a lesser degree some Muslims in the UK, are betraying the Palestinian and Kashmiri causes. Titled, Only a united Ummah can liberate Palestine and Kashmir, Wahid advocates the use of military force and the establishment of the Khilafah, or Caliphate, as the only means for achieving this.

read more
Hartlepool is a Wake-Up Call for my Party

Hartlepool is a Wake-Up Call for my Party

The election of a Conservative MP in Hartlepool for the first time in the constituency’s modern history is yet another wake-up call for my party. Peter Mandelson once enjoyed a 17,500 majority here. Now the Tories are deep into what was once safe Labour territory – the industrial heartlands of the North – with a 7,000 majority of their own. In the West Midlands it looks again like Labour will lose out on the mayoral race and more. What has gone wrong for the Labour Party and our wider movement?

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

In Their Own Words: Previous Finalists on Entering the Wolfson Economics Prize

The Wolfson Economics Prize 2021 asks entrants to show how they would design and plan new hospitals to radically improve patient experiences, clinical outcomes, staff wellbeing and integration with wider health and social care. More information about this year’s Prize is available here.

Hartlepool is a Wake-Up Call for my Party

The election of a Conservative MP in Hartlepool for the first time in the constituency’s modern history is yet another wake-up call for my party. Peter Mandelson once enjoyed a 17,500 majority here. Now the Tories are deep into what was once safe Labour territory – the industrial heartlands of the North – with a 7,000 majority of their own. In the West Midlands it looks again like Labour will lose out on the mayoral race and more. What has gone wrong for the Labour Party and our wider movement?

Any reset of waiting times must put more information in the hands of patients

One in ten people in England are now waiting for a routine procedure in the NHS (often described as elective or planned care). For many of these people, the wait will number several months or years. And the total number of people waiting will grow substantially over the next 12 months, as many of the estimated seven million people who did not seek treatment during the pandemic are referred by general practice.

The inevitability of the Union

Alba’ is – as Al Murray might put it – a beautiful British word. It is certainly much older than Scotland. For millennia now, it has been used to designate the entirety of Great Britain. This was why the earliest Greek geographers, when they wrote about the mysterious land that lay beyond the Ocean, referred to its inhabitants as Albiones; and why Roman encyclopaedists, even after much of the island had been constituted as a province called Britannia, would learnedly note that its name had originally been Albion.

A life of public service: William Shawcross pays tribute to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been a hugely important part of the modern history of our Kingdom and the success of the monarchy.

Princess Elizabeth fell in love with him as a child after meeting him at Dartmouth College in 1939 and never doubted that this handsome, brave and young man with strong views was the only one for her.

Why Sterling is the UK’s silver bullet

In a few weeks’ time, the Scottish electorate will vote a new parliament into Holyrood with all the pundits predicting a majority for the incumbent Scottish National Party led by Nicola Sturgeon. She will campaign on the basis that a majority gives the SNP a mandate for a second Independence Referendum to be held early in the new parliament. This is despite constitutional matters being reserved to the UK Government in Westminster and despite previous SNP assurances that they would respect the democratic result of the 2014 IndyRef1 “for a generation”.

Fight over grants for EVs shows that climate policies need an endgame.

Last month the Government announced a surprise cut to the grants available for buyers of new electric vehicles (EVs) and restricted eligibility to only the cheapest models.[1] The cut is the Government’s response to the growing popularity and falling prices of EVs, which threatens to blow the budget of the UK’s grant programme. The design of the grant programme sets up the Government to fail – to be seen as the climate Scrooge in the same year it hosts COP26, constantly intervening to cut support for EVs just as more drivers look to take the plunge.

Why Muslims like me are worried about the Batley protests

To some, the persecution of a schoolteacher who showed his pupils an offensive cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed may seem like a local quarrel. Does it really matter, many Britons will ask, that a few dozen men gathered at the gates of a school in West Yorkshire? Surely it will blow over before long, goes the thinking.

Community music-making is the jewel in the British crown

Music is a universal language. The style which has enraptured me since my childhood, classical music has always had an international dimension, and has taken me around the world in the decades since. But even in those early boyhood encounters I became aware of music and musicians from many different lands and eras. Apart from the beauty and excitement of the music itself, the art form became an early gateway for me to languages, history, geography, philosophy, theology and much more.

The grand strategy revisited

The United Kingdom needs a Grand Strategy of audacious investment, engaged partnership and renewed confidence. So argued Policy Exchange in its breakthrough paper, Modernising the United Kingdom, in late 2019. That paper was concerned with “unleashing the power of the Union”. Andrew Dunlop’s review of Union capability, prepared in the summer and autumn of 2019 but published only this month, is concerned with much the same thing. 

Latest Publications

Reforming the Lord Chancellor’s Role in Senior Judicial Appointments

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The system for appointing senior judges needs to be reformed. In this paper, we explain what has gone wrong and what should now be done to put it right. We take senior appointments to include the High Court, the Court of Appeal, leadership roles such as the Lord Chief Justice (the Head of the Judiciary in England and Wales) and Heads of Division (Master of the Rolls, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, President of the Family Division, and Chancellor of the High Court) and the Supreme Court. Our focus is therefore only on appointments to senior courts in England and Wales and to the UK Supreme Court, and not to senior judicial offices in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Ten Ways to Improve the Overseas Operations Bill

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This short paper sets out ten ways in which the Overseas Operations Bill could be amended to improve its effectiveness and to minimise the risk of unintended consequences. None of the proposed changes are wrecking amendments. Like many parliamentarians, we share the concern about the way in which the law has been applied to UK forces and about the risks that litigation may pose to the UK’s capacity to defend itself. But legislation to correct these problems must be carefully framed. The ten changes we propose for Parliament’s consideration (the first two of which are alternatives to each other) would, in our view, help to minimise the objections that have been made to the Bill while improving the Bill’s effectiveness as a means to secure the Government’s intended policy.

The Case for Reforming Judicial Review

This paper is the text of a submission made on behalf of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project to the Independent Review of Administrative Law. It complements the related submission made by Sir Stephen Laws. Since its foundation, a little over five years ago, Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project has argued that the inflation of judicial power unsettles the balance of our constitution and threatens to compromise parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, and effective government. While the inflation has in part been a function of human rights law and European integration, the Project has consistently argued that it also arises in the context of “ordinary” judicial review and statutory interpretation – a number of high-profile cases decided between 2015 and 2020 confirm the point.

Latest Blogs

Further thoughts on Supreme Court reform

In our recent paper, Reforming the Supreme Court, Professor Wyatt and I discussed the merits of his proposal to authorise changing panels of Court of Appeal judges to act as the apex appellate court.  I noted that my initial view had been that the proposal was too bold, and that it might undermine an important feature of any legal system, which is a stable appellate hierarchy.  However, there was clearly much to be said for the proposal, and by way of a series of tentative comments and questions I set out to elaborate and test its merits, concluding that it was an attractive and interesting proposal worthy of serious further consideration.  The paper’s publication has generated public discussion, with legal commentators, including Joshua Rozenberg QC (Hon) and Jonathan Fisher QC, for the Society of Conservative Lawyers, addressing its merits in some detail.  The government’s plans for reform, at least as reported, may also owe something to the paper’s reflections. 

Reflections on Reform of the UK Supreme Court

This paper is a sequel to the earlier one published by Policy Exchange entitled “Should the UK Supreme Court be abolished?”[1] A number of commentators, as well as the contributors to this symposium, have discussed my proposal for an extended Final Court of Appeal which would replace the Supreme Court. I thank them all for throwing their caps into the ring, and contributing to a valuable discussion of issues which, as former Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd has said, “need debate.” I thank Professor Ekins, and Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, for providing a forum for a frank exchange of views. I still think reform is needed, and if not this reform, what?

Professor Wyatt’s proposal: a response

The debate about the role of judiciary in our democracy, and in particular of the Supreme Court, will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. At root, there is fundamental disagreement about the legitimate function of the judges under the British constitution. At the risk of over-simplistic characterisation, the traditional view is that the court is the handmaiden of Parliament and whilst it can, with appropriate caution, develop the common law, it should genuinely seek to construe legislation, however unpalatable, so as to give effect to the will of Parliament and never to frustrate it.

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.

Latest Events

Judging the Public Interest: The Rule of Law vs. the Rule of Courts

Dec 3, 2015

Policy Exchange was to host the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Alistair Darling; Lord Hoffmann, former Law Lord; and Lord Justice Bean to discuss Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project’s new report Judging the Public Interest. The discussion was chaired by Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve, and also included the report authors Professor Christopher Forsyth and Professor Richard Ekins.

Latest Tweets

BLOG – What makes a great entry to the Wolfson Economics Prize? Read our interview with former finalists 👇 "If you have a good idea just go for it. The fact I won should be testament to the fact that anyone can succeed" @gergely_raccuja (Winner, 2017)