Back to school for Article 50 attacks on the judiciary

19 February 2017

School students across the UK may soon have a better grasp of the judiciary's role in the Article 50 case than their parents, especially those that read newspaper headlines describing judges as "enemies of the people". 

From today, every secondary school in the UK will have access to classroom resources that explain how judges help citizens to hold Government to account and how the British constitution helps to guard against persecution and the arbitrary exercise of power by the state. 

Produced by the Citizenship Foundation with the support of the Bar Council, the resources were developed in the wake of the High Court ruling on Article 50 last year and the subsequent attacks on the judiciary. 

Chairman of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC said:"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some of the claims, made by senior, influential figures in the media were not supported by the facts or even a rudimentary knowledge of our Government and constitution. 

"Painting unelected judges as pantomime villains trying to obstruct the will of 17.4 million 'leave' voters was an irresistible sleight of hand for many in the press, but it was only possible because our constitutional arrangements are not widely known or understood.

"We all want the next generation to take part in society and to play an active role in the democratic process, and in order to do that they must have a better understanding of how our system of democratic government works." 

Tom Franklin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation: "It is essential that young people understand how the rule of law contributes to our democratic way of life. This set of classroom resources aims to build their  knowledge, skills and confidence so that they can go on to be active citizens - strengthening and safeguarding our society. There has never been a more crucial need for this than in these unprecedented times. We are delighted to work with the Bar Council to enable every school in the UK to receive these resources." 

The resources are available on the Citizenship Foundation website, here www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/article50  

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Notes to Editors

1.      Further information is available from the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.

2.      The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad. 

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board 

The Citizenship Foundation works to ensure that young people can, want to and will make a positive difference to the society in which they live - locally, nationally and globally. We do this by helping them develop knowledge, skills and confidence.  It is good for the individual.  It's also essential for strengthening and safeguarding our society and democratic way of life. For more information, please visit www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk.