Boris Johnson plan to let ministers throw out legal rulings will lead ‘to tyranny’ says Welsh MP
A Welsh MP has said that Boris Johnson’s plan to allow ministers to throw out legal rulings they don’t like will lead to “tyranny”.
Boris Johnson wants to further curtail the power of the courts after legal clashes over the Brexit process, government sources have told the Times.
He has ordered Dominic Raab, the justice secretary, to curtail judges’ powers to rule on the legality of ministerial decisions.
But Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts said that the change would place the Prime Minister “above the law”.
“The law protects the powerless against the self-interest of the powerful,” the Plaid Cymru MP said.
“The Tory govt wants unfettered power. PM Johnson already acts as though above the law. But this isn’t sleaze: this is tyranny in the making.”
The UK Government however has said that the plans would reinforce the constitutional principle that parliament is sovereign over the unelected judiciary.
Johnson’s wish to curtail judicial review arises from two cases brought by the anti-Brexit activist Gina Miller, his allies told the Times.
In 2016 judges ruled that then PM Theresa May had been wrong to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU without a vote in parliament. In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament for five weeks had been unlawful.
David Gauke, a former Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, told the newspaper: “If the government is contemplating getting parliament to retrospectively change the law as it has been interpreted by judges, then that would be an extremely worrying step and a departure from the rule of law and the traditions of this country.”