12:52, December 20 295 0 theguardian.com

2019-12-20 12:52:05
Courts shouldn’t be a political chamber

Might I register what I hope will be a unanimous feeling of gratitude to Lady Hale and her colleagues for establishing the supreme court and the speed at which it is able to work (Retiring Hale defends line dividing law and politics, 19 December)? But might I also, as a politician, sound a note of caution?

The exercise of the prerogative, asking the monarch to call an election, is a political issue. If senior judges are encouraged to make political decisions in their courtrooms, there will naturally be a demand that, as judges act as politicians, elected politicians should have a say in who’s appointed.

If our judiciary is to remain independent and free to hone the best decisions from our greatest legal minds, it has a duty to throw out attempts by politicians who have failed to convince parliament of their wishes, to turn courts into a third political chamber.

Frank Field

MP for Birkenhead, 1979-2019

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