Have they cowed the Judges? The Economist has just issued its Democracy Index and I have had another go at scoring the UK. It asks questions about redress and petition which took me to Judicial Review which clearly by observation is failing and more dramatically but less visibly away from the corridors of power. In this review, I stated that Judges are appointed by, promoted by and paid by Governments. These views or at least those that question the committent of the courts to the rule of law, it seems are shared by Jo Maughn who makes his point in a tweet thread, which I have gathered into one place using threadreaderapp and copied here using a rather neat wordpress tool.

Jo says, “They think their immigration plans will be blessed by English courts but fear they will be overturned in international courts – and the real question is why. Is it because international courts don’t apply the law – or because English courts don’t apply the law?”

Judicial review success rates have collapsed in England – in all courts including the Supreme Court. This can be seen in the data – and it is attributable to a change in judicial attitudes after years of attacks. Rishi Sunak himself threatened ‘recivdivist’ judges.

We have a proper rule of law crisis in England. English judges are now much more pro Government. Our rule of law crisis looks different to those in Poland or Hungary or Israel. But it is real just the same.

And they have not just been knocked into shape by any Government. They have become pro a Government that is (as one official put it) “fucking breaking international law like it’s one of our five a day.”

Of course, the judiciary is not a monolith; different judges do different things. But the notion that the change I describe is not real defies data, informed anecdote and alternative explanation.

Originally tweeted by Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) on 5th February 2023.

While considering the ECHR, it seems they have asked the Government to provide evidence around the suppression of the Russia Report and Russia’s alleged interference with the Brexit referendum.

Ruling through fear
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