UK opposition leader urges courts not to interfere with terror laws David Shucosky at 9:45 AM ET
[JURIST] Britain's Conservative Party leader Michael Howard [official website] Wednesday joined an earlier call [JURIST report] by former UK Home Secretary David Blunkett [Wikipedia profile] for the British courts not to interfere with Parliament's efforts to enact new anti-terrorism laws. Prime Minister Tony Blair has made some controversial proposals, including advocating a possible amendment to the Human Rights Act [JURIST report] if it interferes with the new laws. In an opinion piece [full text] in Wednesday's Telegraph, Howard agreed that Parliament, not the courts, should be the ones shaping legislation. Howard wrote:
"The difficulty we now face is that the Government has invited the judges to do precisely what Lord Reid said they couldn't do. The Human Rights Act, for example, gives the judiciary the authority to consider whether an Act of Parliament is proportionate to the objective it is intended to achieve - drawing them directly into political controversy. . . Parliament must be supreme. Aggressive judicial activism will not only undermine the public's confidence in the impartiality of our judiciary, but it could also put our security at risk. . ."
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.