Thursday, 5 December 2013

"Sovereignty should not be exported"

The former Lord Chief Justice is not a man who uses words carelessly. English law is still made from the judgements of the judges of our senior courts, whose remarks are divided into the rationes decidendi - the legal basis of the decision - and the obiter dicta, remarks made in passing but which nonetheless have the power of great and senior thought. Last night in a speech at University College London Lord Judge delivered some very carefully crafted sentences with all the weight of the most critical obiter dicta he ever delivered in court.

Judges who make law, like our own, should be absolutely opposed to the idea that this gives them any precedence over the country's democratic process; they make or interpret law in the absence of a specific provision made by Parliament and they don't presume to try to over-rule what Parliament has decided. This is ingrained in Lord Judge's fundamental tenets, but not so in the judicially-unqualified administrators appointed to the ECHR. In the particular case of 'votes for cons' Europe's interference is intolerable.
"My personal belief is that sovereignty on these issues should not be exported, and we should be wary of the danger of even an indirect importation of the slightest obligation on Parliament to comply with the orders and directions of any court, let alone a foreign court.

Ultimately this is a political, not a judicial, question

My profound concern about the long-term impact of these issues on our constitutional affairs is the democratic deficit

Are we – are they – prepared to contemplate the gradual emergence of a court with the equivalent jurisdiction throughout Europe of that enjoyed by the Supreme Court in the USA? Thomas Jefferson would have strongly advised us against it."
Europe has produced too many Roland Freislers for us ever to cede judicial authority to other than our own Supreme Court. 
Euro-Clerks get the key to the Dressing-Up Box

1 comment:

Budgie said...

Well spotted, Raedwald, and thank you for that thoughtful piece. With comments like that of Lord Judge, I almost feel that we have won the intellectual argument about the benefits of the UK's exit from the EU.

That does not mean we have won. Far from it. We could easily lose the political fight. We are (speaking generally) too complacent, too lazy, too prone to squabble over arcane issues, and too coldly intellectual, lacking in emotion (vide Edward Spalton's apposite remarks about the latest europhile debating tactics).