Law experts’ fears as Brexiteer MP lashes out at court powers

JOE MURPHY
AP

A senior Brexiteer today caused alarm among legal experts by accusing judges of “supplanting Parliament”.

Suella Braverman claimed courts were guilty of “a chronic and steady encroachment” onto decisions that should be taken by MPs and the Government.

The MP’s attack fuelled fears among legal experts that a review of the Human Rights Act promised by Boris Johnson could lead to reforms that undermine the independence of the judiciary.

Downing Street figures, including the Prime Minister’s aide Dominic Cummings, were furious last year when the Supreme Court declared Mr Johnson’s attempt to prorogue Parliament unlawful.

Suella Braverman (PA)

Tory Ms Braverman, previously a barrister specialising in judicial review, said that was just one example of judges extending their powers. “Today, our courts exercise a form of political power,” she wrote on ConservativeHome.

Simon Davis, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, said the independence of judges was “crucial” to democracy.

“A judge’s ruling is an expression of the law — not of their personal or political opinion. It would be quite wrong to conflate the two,” he said. “An independent judiciary is fundamental to the rule of law and underpins the UK’s reputation for fairness and impartiality.”

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