The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord Chancellor's Office

The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord Chancellor's Office

The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord Chancellor's Office

The Independence of the Judiciary: The View from the Lord Chancellor's Office

Synopsis

This modern study of the independence of the judiciary in England utilizes the perceptions of the Lord Chancellor's Office to provide a fresh examination of the importance of this concept in British constitutional law and politics. Working from the records of the Lord Chancellor's Office, the author discusses a number of issues: the appointment of judges and the attempt to remove them; the disciplining of judges; their role in the Courts; their executive responsibilities, and the role of English judges in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. This important work also examines the battles within and around the judiciary in the past thirty years, and places them in the broader context of the separation of powers, the legal system, and the politics of the period.

Excerpt

I am grateful to the many who made this book possible. The research was undertaken over the last decade. Thus I should particularly like to thank those who encouraged me to go on with my research even while engaged in the dubious enterprise of academic administration. John Whitehead and John Jones were successive (and supportive) chairs of the Haverford Board, while I was President of that college. David Gardner, President of the University of California, provided similar support when I was Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as sabbatical support at the end of my term. I am also grateful to the members of Covington and Burling (and in particular to Jonathan Blake and Charles Lister) for allowing me a few months' grace between my time at the University of California and my joining the London Office of that firm, to complete this book. Finally, I have to thank Sir William Goodhart, QC, and the members of the Executive Committee of Justice (the English branch of the International Commission of Jurists) for appointing me, in 1991, as chair of the Committee on the Judiciary, a role that was important in helping to clarify my thoughts. I should also like to thank the members of that committee for joining in this educational process.

I should like too to thank the library staffs at both Haverford College and the University of California, Santa Cruz, for support. I should also like to thank, at both institutions, my assistants (Shelly Weiss and Judi Tessier), without whose firm guidance nothing would have been accomplished, and my secretaries (Rosanne English and Mara van der Plas), who took pity on me for my ignorance of the technological advances, not only of the twentieth century, but also of the nineteenth. At Covington and Burling, Elizabeth Partridge and Gillian Davies organized the final draft. Paula Juntunen made the Table of Office Holders.

The actual writing of the book was done mainly in New Brunswick and Oxford. At the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, I should like to thank Dean Wade MacLauchlin and his colleagues (as well as the library staff) for the warmth of their welcome. Most of all, I should like to thank Donald Harris, Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and his colleagues, who, during two visits to Oxford, took me in and supported me with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of intellectual encouragement. I should also like to thank the members of Keble and Wolfson Colleges for their support, as well as my colleagues at University College, London, where I am currently Visiting Professor of Law.

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