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Judicial Independence

Wednesday, February 09, 2011
by Louise Gibbard

Since the 2005 Constitutional Reform Act and the creation of the Supreme Court, I have been teaching my students that judicial independence has been enhanced due to the greater separation of powers. Yesterday however, President of the Supreme Court Lord Phillips argued that this was not the case.

In a speech made at the launch of a research project on the politics of judicial independence at the University College London (UCL) constitution unit, Lord Phillips said that funding arrangements meant that the Ministry of Justice had tried to annex the Supreme Court as “an outlying part of its empire”. This is a very serious accusation suggesting that the key constitutional principle of judicial independence is under threat. It has been dismissed by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.

The BBC has a good overview of the story here

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