The legal system is a crucial feature of the UK constitution.
It has recently become a subject of controversy. The current government was re-elected in December 2019 on a commitment to inquire into the role of the courts in reviewing the actions of the executive. It has since established an Independent Review of Administrative Law to investigate the subject. Some within the government and Conservative Party take the view that the courts have come to exceed their proper role by interfering in political matters. They regard the judiciary as sometimes usurping the authority of democratically elected office-holders. Others hold that present government policy might represent an improper bid by the executive to constrain the courts in their ability to subject it to the rule of law.
Sir Thomas Legg, former Permanent Secretary of the Lord Chancellor’s Department and Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, a member of the Constitution Society Advisory Board, has written a paper for the Policy Reform Group that considers related matters.
This publication presents the personal views of the author and not those of The Constitution Society, which publishes it as a contribution to debate on this important subject.