New Attorney General says judges should stay out of politics

Ms Braverman has been a barrister for 10 years

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A barrister who said the courts should stay out of politics has been appointed as Attorney General amid Boris Johnson's growing battle with the judiciary.

Suella Braverman has replaced Geoffrey Cox as the government’s most senior lawyer as the Prime Minister reshuffled his cabinet today.

The 39-year-old has been a barrister for 10 years and has been vocal about her views on the relationship between the Commons and the courts.

In a comment piece on the Conservative Home website last month, Ms Braverman said Parliament must “retrace power ceded to the courts”.

She said: “Prorogation and the triggering of Article 50 were merely the latest examples of a chronic and steady encroachment by the judges.

“For in reality, repatriated powers from the EU will mean precious little if our courts continue to act as political decision-maker, pronouncing on what the law ought to be and supplanting Parliament.

“Traditionally, Parliament made the law and judges applied it. But today, our courts exercise a form of political power.”

The article followed comments she made in December where she said she hoped legal reforms would restore the principle of “judicial deference”, adding: “Which means that our courts and our judges generally stay out of politics.”

Boris Johnson lost a legal battle in the Supreme Court last summer over his controversial plan to suspend Parliament for five weeks, which was ruled unlawful.

Justices in the highest court in the land said that the prorogation had “had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions.”

The decision sparked outrage among some Conservatives but was hailed as victory for democracy by may opposition MPs.

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