Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Who makes our U.K. Laws?

In my youth, I was taught about Parliamentary Supremacy and that only Parliament could make laws. I know that since that time we have signed up to the EU, and that they are now making laws, but even these do not become effective until a British version has been voted on and passed by Parliament.

As far as I know this has not changed and is still the situation.

However, reading the news lately, it would appear that our judges are now making their own laws, with or without the consent of Parliament.

This week we have the news that a special tribunal has ruled that Abu Hamza cannot be striped of his British passport because it would make him stateless. So the elected government can't do what they want (and which no doubt would have the support of a large majority of the electorate) because some non-elected Judges say so.

Now there are lots of stateless people in the world, why should the hate preacher be any different? The fact that the Egyptian Government (presumably his country of birth) have refused to issue him with a passport wouldn't make him stateless, it would merely make it impossible for him to travel. Because our government refuses to issue passports to football hooligans, this doesn't make them stateless.

This follows hot on the heals of some other judges ruling that the government control orders are illegal, and that unwanted non-British citizens who for various reasons can't be deported, can neither be kept under lock and key in prison, or even kept under some form of restraint outside, regardless of the possible danger tht they might present.

Why? The government has made it very clear that these people are free to leave the country any time they like without restraint, so as far as I can see, this is nothing like being detained without trial where they would have no such option.

The judges are right to take action if the government breaks the law, but the government is not doing this. The previous parliament passed the law but the judges are in now saying "You can't make a law to do that because we disagree". It is surely irrelevant that this law may go against a previous law, as it was always the case that the most recent legislation took precedence. Thus, if Control Orders go against the individual's Human Rights, there is thus no problem. If the latest law did not take precedence, you could have, at some future date, a judge ruling that the government cannot amend the Human Rights Legislation because to do so might infringe some individual's human rights. This is effectively what judges have done in their latest rulings, and if the government doesn't take action soon to restrict Judges to what most people would accept as their proper role, it will be regretted by governments for years to come.

Additonally, it is surely time Parliament and the public had more say in the appointment of judges, rather than leaving it to the secretive Judicial Appointments Committee. In the United States they have Confirmation Hearings which are held by the US Senate to gather information on whether to approve or reject candidates for high federal office, including those appointed to posts equivalent to our government ministers. When are we going to start doing the same?

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