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THE JUDICIARY

DEFINITION
The branch of government responsible for interpreting the law and deciding legal
disputes

STRUCTURE OF UK COURTS
Top ­ UK Supreme Court since 2009 ­ final court of appeal
2nd Top ­ 2 courts of appeal ­ one criminal one civil cases
2nd Bottom - Crown courts…

Page 2

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IMPACT AND IMPORTANCE OF JUDICARY
Independent from the executive and legislature
Uphold vital principles of the rule of law
Uphold rights and liberties and interpret them into HRA and EU Law
One branch of judicial decides who to prosecute and for what (cash for honours or MPs
and peers expenses)…

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THREATS TO THESE RIGHTS
Became more prominent under Blair and Thatcher (when dealing with terrorist threats)
RIGHT TO SILENCE ­ uncertain whether you had a right to stay silent after arrest
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS ­ Official Secrets Act prevented the press from doing their
`duty' of checking the government.…

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Judiciary made sure legislature and executive remained inside the law
Lord Chancellor used to be in all 3 and PM is in 2

JUDICIAL NEUTRALITY (SEPARATION OF POWERS)
Remain neutral as far as politics and political issues
Judges are not able to get involved in political parties or pressure groups…

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