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The Role of Judges
-To define the meaning of law -`separation of powers'

-judges don't `make' law; simply interpret practice hard to define between `interpreting and
making law'

What they do...
1. Preside over court cases ­ ensure `fair trial'. Provide specialist knowledge. E.g. the judge
presiding over the…

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where judges applied `socialist legality'. Can be `political' by either `external bias' influenced by
other bodies including the executive, or `internal' from the prejudices within judges.

How is it maintained?

1. Appointment Process- Before were appointed by PM and Lord Chancellor, now Judicial
Appointments Committee so decided on merit rather…

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female, Lady Hale who says ' no system of appointments which produces only 1 women can be
considered remotely satisfactory' and only 4 among the 37 judges in the Court of Appeal, no
ethnic minority judges. In 2007 only 73 of 639 circuit judges were female and 78% were

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Judges and Civil Liberties
In the UK basic rights and expression are not given explicit legal expression. Freedoms are permitted
by the common law belief that `everything is permitted that is not prohibited.' so UK citizens had
`residual rights'. Previously only limited ways to seek redress, through MP or councillor,…

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This became an issue when 9 Afghan asylum seekers who had hijacked a plane won a ruling in court
that they could remain in Britain, not be sent back after serving their sentence because they risked
facing torture in their home country. Tony Blair described the ruling as an `abuse…

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Conflicting views of civil liberties
When govts accused of `threatening' some civil rights, defended by protecting other freedoms.
`constitutional democracy' vs `majoritarian democracy'. Critics of strong govt have linked human
rights and civil liberties, so `belong' to the citizen and are `absolute' entitlements. Provide basis for
democracy as guarantee citizens…

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SUPREME COURT- February 2011- ruling was putting sex offenders on the sex offenders register for
life without a right of appeal was `disproportionate', At present anyone sentenced to 30 months or
more is on the register indefinately but declared incompatablie with ECHR in terms of respect to
private life.



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