Politics and the Law

Constitutional balance or institutional confusion?

Professor Jeffery Jowell QC recognised how the relative roles of government, Parliament and the judiciary had shifted in recent times:

We have moved with rapid speed to a constitution which now supplements the values of representative democracy with a high concern for the rule of law, and which limits the opportunity for political intrusion on fundamental rights and liberties.

However, his response to those who mourned a loss of Parliamentary sovereignty is clear:

Is democracy diluted as a result? Is our hard-won representative democracy seriously threatened by legal hegemony, the over-reaching of unelected judges and an indulgent and selfish human rights culture? The answer in my view is clearly no, but myths to that effect abound.

Tom Sargant was JUSTICE’s Secretary from the organisation’s foundation in 1957 to his retirement in 1982.


Politics and the Law