David Pannick QC was made a Lord not long ago; and now he’s made his maiden speech, about the relationship between ministers and the judiciary, essentially. I’m glad he agrees with me about Paul Dacre, and I agree with his suggestion that it’s paradoxical, in a time when we seem to be more concerned than before about the separation of powers (a little too tidy-mindedly and abstractly for my taste), that we should look to the Lord Chancellor to defend the independence of the judiciary. But I’m not sure I agree with him about judges speaking up in defence of themselves. I’d have thought it better for judges to treat ill-informed criticism with what George Brown once called “complete ignoral”. I think there is a role for people like him, writing in the Times and now speaking in Parliament, to speak out against the Paul Daces of this world.

2008-11-20T13:00:00+00:00Tags: , |