Magazine article The Spectator

Our Real Supreme Court

Magazine article The Spectator

Our Real Supreme Court

Article excerpt

It is tempting to cheer the European Court of Human Rights's ruling in the case of Kevin Gillan and Pennie Quinton. They have been awarded £30,000 in compensation on the grounds that the powers used by the police to detain them at a protest outside an arms fair in Docklands six years ago were illiberal. It is a depressing little tale of how legislation passed by Parliament to fight terrorism has been hijacked by the police for everyday policing. But also a depressing reminder of where legal sovereignty in Britain now lies.

We have, in Parliament Square, a new building entitled the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. A lawyer looking for a wheeze should consider instigating an action under the Trade Description Act, because supreme it isn't. England is not sovereign over its own law. England's most senior judges are not just wigless; ultimately, they are trouserless too. Any citizen who does not care for their judgment can go off to Strasbourg in search of a more favourable ruling from Britain's real supreme court.

While this magazine cheers the thwarting of the ridiculous anti-terror laws, the overall principle is more menacing. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.