Is the Judiciary Too Powerful or Not Powerful Enough?

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There is a strong case for both sides of this argument, but I believe that the power level given to judges is the right amount in relation to how important a role they play in supporting British society to work to its full potential through their requirement of upholding the law. Although, there is a strong argument to claim that despite this, they may not be the right people for the role as their independence and neutrality can be questioned, with a view that their power should potentially be limited. One of the strongest arguments, which can be used to defend the power given to the judiciary, is that despite what many believe, they can not over rule government, and government can in fact overrule the judiciary through their sovereignty, and this was backed by Lord Neuberger, head of the Supreme Court who claimed that the thought of parliament not being sovereign is ‘quite simply wrong’, highlighting the fact that the power is ultimately not with the judiciary. The judges do not have the power to repeal any laws despite their opinions on them; their job states that it is obligatory for them to enforce the law despite their personal opinions. However they do have the ability to make suggestions to possibly amend the law through highlighting flaws. The judiciary cannot make judgments past the jurisdiction of the law even in interests of natural justice. A strong example of this was the Belmarsh Case, where judges believed the system of holding foreigners against the will under the anti-terrorism act contradicted with human rights. This law was subsequently changed. This could pose some doubt as to the judges power, as although they can not officially change laws, they clearly have the power to suggest changes with ease, and some could argue that despite Lord Neuberger’s claims, they do indeed undermine parliamentary sovereignty through their suggestion of changes.

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