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Justice Secretary Liz Truss: Is she all smiles now, I wonder? [Image: Getty.]

Justice Secretary Liz Truss: Is she all smiles now, I wonder? [Image: Getty.]

It is her constitutional duty.

Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Justice Secretary, who is also the Lord Chancellor, you see, must uphold the independence of the judiciary, must defend that independence, must not seek to influence judicial decisions, must provide support to allow the judiciary to exercise their functions, and must give the public interest proper regard in matters relating to the administration of justice.

Here is the relevant part of the legislation (Part One, s.3):

161105-judicial-independence-cra-2005

In short, when the newspapers scream that judges are “enemies of the people” for upholding the law of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss must – as Justice Secretary – publicly rebuke them.

She would be breaking her Lord Chancellor’s oath if she failed to do so.

Curiously, it is hard to find a reference to any enforcement/penalty clause. Perhaps somebody in the judiciary or the Labour Government of 2001-2005 could help out?

I think her resignation would have been forced out of her if she had not obeyed the letter of the law.

That’s all she did though – the bare minimum. Odd, considering she’s a Remainer.

Is she afraid of the press? Probably? Of the public reaction? Almost certainly. So it was probably too much to ask for passion from her.

At least she can still get het up about cheese:

It might be a disgrace but so was her hesitation over the Brexit ruling.

The Lord Chancellor has backed the independence of the UK’s judiciary but stopped short of condemning attacks on senior judges over the Brexit ruling.

The Bar Council had demanded Liz Truss respond to criticism from some MPs and newspapers over the decision that MPs should vote on triggering Article 50.

The Daily Mail branded judges “Enemies of the people”; the Daily Express said it was “the day democracy died”.

Ms Truss said the “impartiality” of the courts was “respected the world over”.

Source: Brexit ruling: Lord Chancellor backs judiciary amid row – BBC News

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