Reform of the United Kingdom judicial system

Author:Ovidiu-Horia Maican
Position:ucharest University of Economic Studies, Law Department
Pages:37-44
SUMMARY

The separation of powers in a state is an essential characteristic of every democratic country, a principle present in many constitutions, most notably that of the United States. The concept is imperfectly fulfilled in the United Kingdom, given that the executive (Ministers) form part of the legislature and that part of the judiciary (Law Lords) sit in the legislature. As a result, it was... (see full summary)

 
FREE EXCERPT
Reform of the United Kingdom judicial system
Lecturer PhD Ovidiu-Horia MAICAN
1
Abstract
The separ ation of powers in a state is an essential char acteristic of every
democratic country, a principle present in many constitutions, most notably that of the
United States.
The concept is imperfectly fulfilled in the United Kingdom, given that the executive
(Ministers) form par t of the legislature and that pa rt of the judiciar y (Law Lords) sit in the
legislature.
As a result, it was necessa ry to remove the constitutiona l an omaly that the highest
court of a ppeal in the United Kingdom was situated within one of the chambers of
Par liament.
Keywords: United Kingdom, Supreme Court, House of Lords, Privy Council,
constitutional r eform.
JEL Classification: K33, K40
Introduction
Until 1st of October 2009, United Kingdom didn’ t have a clas sic Supreme
Court of Justice.
These attributions were enforced by a group belonging to House of Lords.
Due to this fact, it was not a separation of powers in the british institutional
system.
Whereas in the USA there are three “separate but equal” branches of
Government, in the United Kingdom, Parliament was its supreme and highest court
in the land seated in the House of Lords.
It was a “weak” separation.
I. General aspects
The functions of the highest courts were divided between two bodies2.
The Appellate Committee of the House of Lords received appeals from the
courts in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and in civil cases from
Scotland.
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council considers questions as to
whether the devolved administrations, the Scottish Parliament, the National
Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly are acting within their
legal powers.
1 Ovidiu-Horia Maican - Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Law Department,
ovidiuszm@yahoo.com
2 Department for Constitutional Affairs Constitutional reform:A Supreme Court for the Unit ed
Kingdom, 2003, p. 10PE

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL