Are judges enemies of the people?
24 January 2017
Students will learn about why judges are involved in the Article
50 Brexit process this week, when they pilot new Citizenship
lessons developed by the Bar Council and Citizenship Foundation
that explain the role of the judiciary in the democratic
Sam Mercer, Head of Policy for CSR at the Bar
"We heard that a number of schools had struggled to find ways of
talking to their students about the High Court ruling on Article 50
last year, when judges were branded in the press as 'enemies of the
"How do you explain to a teenager that there is an argument for
unelected judges in a democracy? Constitutional politics is not
always easy to understand, but it is vital that our children
properly understand how our government and judiciary work, and we
are delighted to be working with the Citizenship Foundation on this
"These lessons will help students to understand why judges are
involved in deciding questions such as who should trigger Article
50. Not everybody will agree with their ruling, but young people
should be able to think critically about Government and the
judiciary, and we want to give them the right tools and information
so that they can do it properly.
"A lot of young people will be following President Trump's first
week in office and they may be interested to learn that he has a
big influence over appointing judges to the United States Supreme
Court. They might also be interested to learn that the UK does
Tom Franklin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship
"The Citizenship Foundation is pleased to be working with the
Bar Council to help young people understand the importance of
the rule of law in upholding democracy in the UK by discussing
a real-life and significant event.
"It is so important that we educate the next generation about
the way our system works, specifically the way our
constitution separates powers between the government, the
legislature, and the judiciary so that they can be prepared to
be active and engaged citizens as adults."
Notes to Editors
Further information is available from the Bar Council Press
Office on 020 7222 2525 and Press@BarCouncil.org.uk.
The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It
The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory
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
Foundation is a charity that was set up in 1989. We
inspire people to take part in society as equal members of it. We
help them learn how to do this effectively by teaching them
citizenship skills. In particular, we help young people to
understand how the law, politics and public life affect
How do we do this?
We promote civic participation;
We help teachers, schools and colleges to deliver citizenship
We work with young people on issues that concern them.
For more information, please contact: Ruth Dwight -
Programme Director - Citizenship Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org,
020 7566 4151, www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk