Friday, 25 July 2008

Book of the Week - The Politics of the Judiciary

This was on my "Required Reading" list, given me prior to the first year of my Law degree. Good old John Griffiths!

In a remarkable passage Lord Denning MR seemed to accept that the courts had no part to play [in the balancing of interests between state and individual] because the government never erred. He said:

There is a conflict between the interests of national security on the one hand and the freedom of the individual on the other. The balance between these two is not for a court of law. It is for the Home Secretary. He is the person entrusted by Parliament with the task. In some parts of the world national security has on occasion been used as an excuse for all sorts of infringements of individual liberty. But not in England [LOL]. Both during the wars and after them successive ministers have discharged their duties to the complete satisfaction of the people at large. They have set up advisory committees to help them, usually with a chairman who has done everything he can to ensure that justice is done. They have never interfered with the liberty or the freedom of movement of any individual except where it is absolutely necessary for the safety of the state.

Perhaps we should remind ourselves that the state is a collegiate entity. I'm not sure that one person (the Home Secretary), has the right to say where the interest of the other 60 million people (in the case of GB), lies.

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