Why judges should never rule on politics

posted by
November 9, 2016
by Jon Holbrook  
Posted in Commentary

"On 3 November a legal contest concluded. It took place in court, involved 24 lawyers making legal submissions over three days, and resulted in a legal judgement from three judges. If this contest had been over who should inherit the deceased's estate, or whether the homicide was murder or manslaughter, the judgement would not have been frontpage news, with headlines like 'The judges versus the people' (Daily Telegraph) and 'Enemies of the people' (Daily Mail). But these judges had not just delivered a verdict on the finer points of civil or criminal law. Nor were they merely interpreting a law passed by parliament. In fact, they weren't even giving a judgement on an issue that called for any legal expertise. No, these judges gave a judgement on the highly political issue of withdrawing Britain from the European Union; more specifically, on whether parliament or the government had the right to pull the trigger on Article 50, which starts the Brexit process." (11/08/16)


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