/Number 10 steps up revenge plan on judges after humiliating deportation blow

Number 10 steps up revenge plan on judges after humiliating deportation blow

Boris Johnson is set to step up his plan to ‘take revenge’ on judges after suffering another humiliating defeat at the hands of the courts.

It comes after the Court of Appeal ruled against the government, preventing them from deporting 25 foreign offenders scheduled to be on a deportation flight this morning.

The Prime Minister has already announced a “constitution, democracy and rights commission” tasked with ensuring judicial reviews are not “abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays.”

Mr Johnson was left fuming after judges unanimously ruled his plan to shut down parliament and ram his Brexit plan through was unlawful.

Judicial review (JR) is the process where members of the public can take the government to court to rule on whether their actions are lawful.

It’s a crucial power of the court system, and exists to make sure governments – however strong their hold on power – have to operate within the law.

The Conservative manifesto promised to examine the JR process to ensure it is “not abused” for political reasons.

Downing Street said it “bitterly” regretted the Court of Appeal decision and Government sources said the row over the deportation flight showed why an examination of JR was needed.


A dozen separate applications for JR were filed in recent days in relation to the deportation flight, sources said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The legal process for removing these offenders, which has included repeated appeals and judicial reviews, has already cost the British public tens of thousands of pounds.”

Dominic Cummings, one of the Prime Minister’s closest aides, said there must be “urgent action on the farce that judicial review has become” following the Court of Appeal decision, ITV News reported.

The Tories also seized on Labour’s criticism of the flight and claimed it showed they have not learned the lesson of the 2019 electoral drubbing.

A senior Government source said: “The Westminster bubble’s view in trying to halt this flight with repeated JRs makes the case perfectly to the public about why such a review is needed and why certain parts of Westminster still haven’t learned the lesson from the 2019 election.”

Labour has challenged the Government in Parliament about allowing the flight to take off before the findings of the review into the Windrush scandal have been published.

Amanda Pinto QC, chair of the Bar Council, said: “Judicial review is a hugely important tool in a democratic society by which decisions of public authorities, including government, are subject to legal scrutiny.

“Far from being a mark of dysfunction, judicial review is an appropriate check on decision-making, of which a nation should be proud.”

(Image: Jonathan Buckmaster)

She added: “We have not yet seen details of what a ‘review’ of the judicial review process might look like, but anything that seeks to limit the ability of ordinary citizens to challenge decisions of those with power is a red flag.”

Caroline Goodwin QC, of the Criminal Bar Association, said: “Judicial review is a process to keep a check on authorities acting beyond the legal remit that may have been granted to them by the law, thus playing a part to ensure the law applies equally to everyone; this is what the rule of law means. “

Shadow attorney general Baroness Chakrabarti said: “There is no democracy without the rule of law.

“These attacks on journalists and judges are chronic symptoms of an entitled Tory Government that is desperate to avoid scrutiny, and is out of control.”

When the “review” was first mooted last month, Baroness Chakrabarti told the Mirror it was “revenge for losing 11-nil in the Supreme Court.”

She added: “It’s like losing 11-nil in the cup final and coming with a baseball bat for the referee.”

Acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “These Tory attacks on our courts, judicial review and the Human Rights Act are all designed to weaken ordinary people and enable ministers to act with impunity.

“They are the actions of despots, not democrats.”

Read More

Latest UK politics news

The seeds of the Government’s battle with the courts were sown in the Brexit rows, when campaigner Gina Miller successfully challenged the Government over then prime minister Theresa May’s right to trigger Article 50 without a vote in Parliament.

The Supreme Court ruling in 2019 that Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful fuelled Tory suspicions about judicial activism.

Mr Johnson told MPs on February 5: “We must protect judicial review. It is a vital part of our system, but we should also ensure that it is not abused to conduct politics by other means or to create needless delay.”

The Conservative manifesto also promised to “update” the Human Rights Act as part of a constitution, democracy and rights commission.

Downing Street said the review of JR was the aspect of the Government’s constitutional review that it wanted to “progress most quickly”.

Original Source