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The Politics of Judicial Independence in the UK's Changing Constitution


  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107066953

£ 72.99

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About the Authors
  • Judicial independence is generally understood as requiring that judges must be insulated from political life. The central claim of this work is that far from standing apart from the political realm, judicial independence is a product of it. It is defined and protected through interactions between judges and politicians. In short, judicial independence is a political achievement. This is the main conclusion of a three-year research project on the major changes introduced by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, and the consequences for judicial independence and accountability. The authors interviewed over 150 judges, politicians, civil servants and practitioners to understand the day-to-day processes of negotiation and interaction between politicians and judges. They conclude that the greatest threat to judicial independence in future may lie not from politicians actively seeking to undermine the courts, but rather from their increasing disengagement from the justice system and the judiciary.

    • The first book-length treatment of relations between the judiciary and the other branches of government since the Constitutional Reform Act 2005
    • Employs both legal and political science methodologies and will be of interest to lawyers, political scientists and those involved in politics and government
    • Relates insider accounts of constitutional relationships to produce a comprehensive and authoritative empirical account of how these relationships now operate
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The book is perhaps most refreshing when adopting its 'political lens' method. It is a subject that frequently might be examined in an overly legalistic manner. Their 'political lens' encourages the authors to locate politics, politicians, and political processes at the heart of the study of independence and accountability, and not merely by examining the discourses of judges. In so doing, independence and accountability are viewed as political achievements.' Jim McConalogue, The Journal of Politics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107066953
    • length: 306 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The politics of judicial independence and accountability
    3. The new Lord Chancellors and the Executive
    4. The courts service, salaries and pensions
    5. Relations between judges and parliament
    6. Judicial leadership and the internal governance of the Judiciary
    7. Judicial appointments
    8. The UK Supreme Court
    9. Scotland and Northern Ireland
    10. Conclusion.

  • Authors

    Graham Gee, University of Birmingham
    Graham Gee is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham.

    Robert Hazell, University College London
    Robert Hazell is Professor of Government and the Constitution and Director of the Constitution Unit at University College London.

    Kate Malleson, Queen Mary University of London
    Kate Malleson is Professor of Law at Queen Mary, University of London.

    Patrick O'Brien, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Patrick O'Brien is a Fellow in Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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