to what extent is there conflict between the judiciary and the executive


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To what extent is there conflict between the judiciary and the executive in the UK? (25)
There are three main reasons why there has been conflict between the judiciary and the
executive in the UK, the increase in judicial reviews, the introduction of the Human Rights Act (HRA)
and the trend for government to expand powers. These have caused grievances between the
government and the judges, and below are to what extent they have conflicted.
There has been an increase in judicial review which has meant a conflict between the judiciary
and the executive. Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are
subject to review by the judges/judiciary. The number of judicial review claims has increased quite
dramatically each year since the procedures for going to court were simplified in the 1980's. People
were finding getting judicial review easier, so the more it happened. Now a days, it seems that
judicial review has a more systematic and persuasive influence over the content of government
policy and the procedures adopted to implement it. The number of judicial review cases has risen
from 600 in 1981 to more than 6,000 in 2007, that's a rise of more than 5,400 cases! An example of
judicial review is the S and Marper V UK 2008 case where they fought for the DNA samples to be
scrapped of those who were arrested and then the charges dropped. Judicial review can cause
conflict because judges cannot overturn Acts of Parliament due to parliamentary sovereignty; so this
could mean that the government `wins' so to speak. The judges have no or little power over
parliament, so that's obviously going to cause conflict on the judge's behalf, because it means that
it's restricting them in the decisions that they make. The government doesn't seem to mind that it's
limiting the power that the judges have, because the executive believes that the majority of power
should remain within the executive. This is to quite a far extent causing conflict because of
parliamentary sovereignty; parliament has the legitimacy to make the decisions, and what parliament
says goes in effect. Another reason for conflict is the fact that judges are classed as inferior as they
are unelected and therefore unaccountable. This then means that the judges don't have the
legitimacy to make decisions really, because even though the judges have the authority to make
decisions, they don't have the `popular acceptance of a governing law' because they weren't
elected, so they couldn't have been chosen by the electorate. This causes conflict because the
judges would argue that they have the same rights to decision making as the executive, and that it
shouldn't matter whether they are appointed or elected. This is to quite a high extent of a conflict
because it is a constant debate between the judges and the executive, and it can't really be
resolved; unless parliament gives more power to the judiciary.
There has been an introduction of the HRA which has meant a conflict between the judiciary
and the executive. The HRA is a part of the constitution, where it is meant to establish and safeguard
the rights of UK citizens. Everyone who lives in the UK will have these rights, but sometimes these
rights are violated and so we have to check upon the HRA. Some examples of the rights included in
the HRA are: The right to a fair trial, the right to education, the right of freedom of assembly etc. The
reason why there would be conflict between the judiciary and the executive is because of
parliamentary sovereignty vs. the rule of law (ROL). The ROL is very similar to the HRA; ROL is
concerned with the proper exercise of authority and power by the state. It stipulates the
appropriate values and substantive standards for governance (such as transparency and
accountability). This could cause conflict because parliament (prlt) knows that it is sovereign and so
when a judge makes a decision which may be very much in line with the HRA and the ROL, the
executive can change this decision and make their decision final, even if it doesn't exactly comply
with the ROL or the HRA. You would think that the rule of law would be final; any decision made that
fits in line with the ROL would be accepted, but because parliament is sovereign and has a mandate
from the electorates, they have the authority to make and break the decisions made. If prlt says that
the judiciary has made an unfair decision, prlt will change it without any hesitation; this is the conflict
between the judiciary and the executive, because they both think they know best. The judiciary
thinks that they should have the final say because they have been trained as judges, and so prlt

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This is a conflict which happens not to
a huge extent but big enough, because the majority of the decisions made will have some kind of
input from the executive.
There has been an issue on sentencing which has meant a conflict between the judiciary and
the executive. Ministers believe they should have more control over sentencing in serious crimes.
But the judges opposed this; they believe that the judiciary should retain this right.…read more

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In conclusion, there are conflicts to quite a big extent but not huge. The issues on their own
are big, but overall there mustn't be conflict to a huge extent because the judiciary still sides with
govt in the majority so meaning no real conflict. There are underlying problems between the
judiciary and the executive but overall they both seem to get over it and resolve the problems to get
their jobs done and decisions made.…read more


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