The case against a snap election

Unless Her Majesty throws us all a curveball, Liz Truss will be the next prime minister. So let’s knock something on the head here and now: she is under no obligation to call an election before January 2025. The replacement of one prime minister with another in the middle of a parliamentary term is not a democratic deficiency. It is parliamentary democracy in action. The prime minister and their cabinet colleagues are the Queen’s ministers and when one ministry replaces another, power does not transfer directly but through the sovereign. It is the Queen who issues an invitation to form a government in her name and she does so on

Parliament, not judges, should decide our laws

The British commentariat has not covered itself in glory in its reaction to Dominic Raab’s proposed reforms to judicial review. The Times reported yesterday that the government is planning to introduce a novel legislative tactic, the ‘Interpretation Bill’, to try to shift the balance of power back towards parliament. To be clear: there is no prospect of ministers being given the power to strike down court judgments they dislike. In fact, the core of the proposal is perfectly orthodox. The proper way for parliament to change the law is through legislation, and an Interpretation Bill is legislation. It would need to be passed in the normal way, and MPs would

Raab’s law reforms are ridiculous

What should we make of the Times story yesterday, which appeared under the headline ‘Boris Johnson Plans To Let Ministers Throw Out Legal Rulings’? The impression given is that ministers will somehow be handed powers by the Prime Minister simply to ignore court rulings that they do not like. That would lead to an extraordinary constitutional crisis, involving either the arrest and imprisonment of ministers for contempt of court, or the arrest and imprisonment of judges with the government exercising Erdogan-style despotism. Nobody can seriously believe that this is what is intended, and the rest of the Times story makes clear that it is not. Instead, the idea which is