Did we make a difference?

The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society (FLJS) is an independent not-for-profit institution that aims to promote an understanding of the role of law in society. We identify and analyse issues of contemporary interest and importance, disseminating the insights of decision-makers and experts to a global audience through our extensive online resource of free-to-download Policy Briefings, Opinion Pieces, and multimedia podcasts.

We want to keep our content free at the point of use to all. If you value our work and are able to support it, please make a contribution to enable us to fulfil our educational aims into the future.



The Conflict between Government and the Judges

Vernon Bogdanor
Publication date: 
Thu, 28 Jun 2007

Conflict between the judges and government is built into the very concept of the judicial protection of human rights. The Human Rights Act does presuppose a basic consensus on human rights between the judges, on the one hand, and the government, people and Parliament on the other. However, there is clearly no consensus when it comes to the rights of unpopular minorities, particularly concerning controversial issues such as asylum seekers suspected terrorists.

The government argues the need for new measures to tackle these problems, whilst the judges argue against compromising our traditional principles of habeas corpus and the presumption of innocence. 
It is clear that there is a conflict between two constitutional principles; the sovereignty of Parliament and the rule of law. This conflict, if unresolved, could result in constitutional crisis.