How Effectively does the judiciary protect civil liberties

unit 2 past paper question from June 2010

  • Created by: Béatrice
  • Created on: 24-04-13 18:25
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  • How effectively can the judiciary protect civil liberties in Britain ? 40
    • Ways in which the judiciary can protect civil liberties
      • enforcing the rule of law, ensuring all are treated equally
        • E.G Cases such as Belmarsh and the Afghan hijack case demonstrated the power of the judiciary
      • hearing cases of discrimination which might adversely affect the rights of women or minorities
      • upholding the European Convention of Human Rights or common law rights or statutory rights through the process of judicial review
        • ultimately be taken to the ECHR
      • judicial review cases
        • dealing with the ways in which government has acted and reached decisions, ensuring that government does not abuse its powers at the expense of civil liberties
        • E.G Gurkhas and Joanna Lumley 2009
        • became mor e powerfull and regular in the 90's es[ecially after the '98 HRA ACT
      • express views on civil liberties that might influence government and parliament
      • preserving their independence, judges can maintain their ability to protect liberties
      • Supreme Court - constitutional reform act 2005
        • seperation of the 3 branches
        • misistry of justice
        • lord chancellor is no longer a significant role
        • since 2009 law lords don't exsist
    • Limitations on these powers include
      • The Human Rights Act is not binding on parliament, so Parliament remains sovereign
      • Judges cannot be proactive and must wait until appeals are lodged
      • The lack of an entrenched constitution makes the understanding of rights civil liberties difficult and open to interpretation
      • Government still has some influence over the appointment of judges
      • E.G database, ID cards (potentially), changes in mode of trial
      • E.G Many arguments that governments have become less mindful of civil liberties


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