Bar Council: Judiciary must ensure rule of law underpins our democracy
4 November 2016
Chairman of the Bar Council, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, has
today highlighted the vital role of the judiciary in upholding the
rule of law.
She said: "As the judges made very clear in the judgment, this
case was not about the merits of leaving the EU. It was about the
constitutional processes for triggering Article 50. It is the
judiciary's role to ensure the rule of law underpins our democratic
system. Without it fulfilling this vital role, the people would
have very limited scope to hold the Government in power to
"The judiciary of England & Wales is the envy of the world
because it is independent of Government or any other influence.
When we speak to lawyers in other jurisdictions, it is our
judiciary that they particularly praise for its professionalism and
"Publicly criticising individual members of the judiciary over a
particular judgement or suggesting that they are motivated by their
individual views, political or otherwise, is wrong, and serves only
to undermine their vital role in the administration of justice. It
also does no favours to our global reputation.
"None of the parties suggested that the Court did not have
jurisdiction to decide the point at issue. They are simply doing
their job - impartially ruling on a dispute between parties, one of
whom happens to be the Government in this instance. The right to
appeal is there to challenge the Court's decision if a party feels
they have grounds to do so. Whilst acknowledging that this
question is one of potentially significant constitutional
importance, the independent role of the Court should be respected,
particularly by those who disagree with the outcome."