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The Human Rights Act

The European Convention on Human Rights has been in existence since 1950, yet had little impact in the UK as
governments did not see it as binding on them. This all changed in 1997 when Labour decided to incorporate the
Convention into British law. This was…

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Dispensing Justice ­ not so much in lower courts, but magistrates, crown and county courts have a vital role in ensuring that
legal justice is delivered. All citizens should be treated equally under the law and it should be applied in a fair way. All parties
should gain a fair…

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There are four ways in which independence is guaranteed in the UK. These are

Security of tenure.

i) This is a key principle says that judges cannot be removed on office on the grounds of the
decisions they make. The only reason a judge can be removed is if they…

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suggest the background of judges did affect their outlook. There were consistent decisions in favour of the
government over trade union rights and policing powers. Many senior judges also had seats in the House of
Lords and this used to be seen as a largely Conservative institution. In addition the…

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Also, senior judges are now appointed independently of government by the Judicial Appointments
Commission. They are more independently minded and are willing to use the media to express their

Why is judicial power controversial?

Some argue that they are beginning to challenge parliamentary sovereignty.
Judges are not elected and…

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The reform of the judiciary

The Labour government that had taken office in 1997 had an aspiration for this change, but political will had been
lacking until then. The reasons for reform were:

The ancient office of Lord Chancellor was a member of all three branches of government. His position…


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