Charles Moore Charles Moore

Supreme Court judges want it both ways

The Article 50 case has at last woken people up to the power of the Supreme Court. On Monday, at Policy Exchange, I appeared on a panel which included the former Supreme Court judge Lord Hope. He seems a dear and distinguished man, so I felt for him when he complained that current ‘vicious’ press attacks on the judges had gone ‘far too far’. When judges gave lectures these days, their words were ‘picked over’, their sentences ‘taken out of context’.

Although he is right that judges should be treated courteously, I was stunned by Lord Hope’s failure to realise that the rudeness they have recently encountered is the inevitable result of their new activist stance as opponents of the executive. By departing from their traditional respect for Parliament and government they enter the thieves’ kitchen of politics and then find they can’t stand the heat. The logic of their conduct is that all their views will be scrutinised and all their appointments challenged by elected representatives, as in the United States. It is a dreadful development, but they should have thought of that earlier.

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes. The full article can be found here

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