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Monday, July 12, 2021

Judge claims Internal Market Bill risks dictatorship

The New European reports on the views of the former supreme court president, Lord Neuberger, that the government's Brexit strategy threatens to drive the UK down a "very slippery slope" towards "dictatorship" or "tyranny".

Speaking about the government's Internal Market Bill, He told lawyers on Wednesday that "Once you deprive people of the right to go to court to challenge the government, you are in a dictatorship, you are in a tyranny. The right of litigants to go to court to protect their rights and ensure that the government complies with its legal obligation is fundamental to any system … You could be going down a very slippery slope":

The panel, organised by the International Bar Association, included former home secretary and Conservative party leader Michael Howard, the former attorney general Dominic Grieve QC, the SNP justice spokesperson Joanna Cherry QC, Helena Kennedy QC and Jessica Simor QC.

The panellists hoped the bill would be be defeated in parliament, rather than reaching the courts.

Cheery feared Holyrood would sue to the UK government if the bill ended up before the courts.

Lord Neuberger warned the hearing would "put the judges in a position where they are on a collision course with the government or are seen to be craven … [But] you have to sort out problems in court, if you don’t you have a civil war."

Lord Howard said he opposed the controversial elements of the bill that threatened to break international law.

"I hope this bill is defeated in parliament not in the courts," he said.

Grieve, the UK's former attorney general, said the laws contained an "ouster clause which goes to the heart of parliamentary democracy."

Rather than Brexit being “an assertion of sovereignty,” Grieve added, “it constitutes its undermining”.

All rather true to form for Boris Johnson's government unfortunately.
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