Who would be a judge in the current febrile atmosphere where a High Court decision can provoke that organ of moderation The Daily Mail in stating that such judges were “enemies of the people”?
Frankly, even an old cynic like me was shocked by such an outrageous statement.
A very wise lawyer once told me that if you litigate you have to be ready to lose. Brexitiers attacked remainers for being sore losers, but when the boot is on the other foot … well??
Unlike some of the critics of the first so called Brexit judgment I actually read that judgment, which in my view was very balanced and logical. After all, the judges had simply concluded that parliament is sovereign and leaving the EC should be sanctioned by parliament not by a government using powers emanating from the Crown prerogative. Hardly revolutionary thinking by any standard, but admittedly inconvenient to the government.
The same issue is now being considered by 11 Supreme Court judges. The press and others are calling for the Supreme Court to reach a judgment that the ordinary man in the street can understand. The subtext behind this I guess is that judges should do nothing to foil the government’s efforts in triggering Article 50 via the Crown prerogative in order to facilitate the will of the people in voting to leave the EC.
Frankly, and many commentators now appear to agree on this, the referendum legislation was a complete dogs dinner which highlights how poorly drafted legislation can cause serious problems. With appropriate parliamentary legislation all these issues could have been avoided including the litigation that is now proceeding in the Supreme Court.
Judges must be independent and they must ignore press and political pressure. Their job is to consider the law and to rule on what is legal and what is not without fear or favour.
When loud voices seek to dictate judges’ decisions then that is mob rule not the rule of law.