Monday, 2 August 2010

The Undemocratic Threat Of Judicial Activism

Political sovereignty in Britain should lie with the Commons.  It should lie with people we elect and can remove.  The rise of both the quangocracy and judicial activism (not to mention the EU) makes that less the case than it should be.

Dan Hannan has a very good blog today in which he points to the case of the budget being challenged in the courts by the Fawcett Society.  As he queries, how can a budget possibly be a legal rather than a political question.

A budget should be entirely the prerogative of the elected chamber and elected politicians.  That was the clear result of the crisis around the People's Budget that culminated in the 1911 Parliament Act. The Commons, in which the sovereignty of the people resides, should not see its budget decisions overturned by unelected judges.

Judges are not only unelected.  They are thoroughly unrepresentative, representing a small section of British society.  They are not only unelected and unrepresentative - they wield increasing power and they cannot be removed.  Shifting power to the judiciary and the quangocracy only shifts power further away from the people

As Daniel Hannan says in his blog:

"It is worth remembering that we came through a civil war to establish the principle that revenues should be levied and disbursed by the House of Commons. If the Fawcett Society wants a different budget, its members should put themselves up for election and argue their case."

Judicial activism represents a real threat to the democratic tradition.  Change should be achieved through the ballot box, not at the whim of unelected judges or unelected quangos.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Click for