Constitutional Reform Act Essay

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As was discussed in previous chapters, the UK does not have a pure separation of powers and the courts’ role in statutory interpretation helps guard against the abuse of power.

It helps to prevent any particular branch of government from holding excess power (in this case theoretically Parliament, but in practise it is often a safety valve on the power exercised by the Executive).

Courts act as the adjudicators in cases that involve public law.

They are frequently asked to determine a case where a public body has infringed the rights of a private individual and are required to rule on the legality of a decision made by a public body.

This hierarchy of courts is important in ensuring the administration of justice functions effectively within the court system and in particular in relation to public law.

It acts as an important limitation on the abuse of the powers of the Executive and Legislative branches of government.Parliament is not the only body that makes laws, since administrative bodies pass a wide range of secondary legislation.The courts do; however, also contribute to the law-making enterprise in two ways: Are these functions of judicial law making compatible with the separation of powers doctrine which states that the legislative and hence law-making function rests with Parliament.[1995] Cr App R 136, [1995] UKHL 15, [1996] AC 1 This legal change came in the form of section 34 Crime and Disorder Act 1998.The courts deferred to the law-making power of Parliament recognising that to have abolished such a rule within common law would have been to act outside of their own law-making capacity. The Judiciary The Executive is responsible for the judicial appointments in the UK.Hence, it is clear that there are often conflicts, which arise between private individuals and the state in the form of public bodies due to their decision-making powers and the ways in which these impact upon the rights and interests of individuals or private companies.Particularly since the introduction of the HRA, the courts have had a growing role in acting as watchdog to protect the constitution, particularly in the light of the peculiarly powerful position of the Executive branch within the UK.The role of the court system is to decide cases, including a determination of the relevant facts, then the determination of the relevant law and the application of the relevant facts to the relevant law.The courts must ascertain what the relevant facts are; this may require a court to resolve a dispute about the facts.It is exceptional that a person is appointed to a senior judicial position than through promotion through the other judicial positions. Judicial Appointments Commission The widespread criticism of the lack of transparency in the judicial appointments process was the impetus for the passage of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) was established by an Order in Council in April 2006 to review judicial appointments.


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