A former High Court judge launched a scathing attack on the reaction to last week’s historic legal ruling on Article 50.
Three of the UK’s most senior judges, including Lord Chief Justice Thomas, ruled that Theresa May must secure parliamentary approval before triggering Britain’s formal departure from the European Union.
Pro-Brexit newspapers like the Mail accused the judges of having a political agenda, while staunch Brexiteer and current UKIP leader Nigel Farage vowed to lead a huge demonstration when the case is revisited by the Supreme Court in early December.
Lord Igor Judge, who served as Lord Chief Justice from 2008 to 2013, criticised Farage and other Brexiteers of trying to subvert the independence of the British judiciary, during an appearance on Monday’s episode of Newsnight.
“People can march as much as they like,” Lord Judge said.”I don’t think it makes any difference to the judicial decision but it does make a difference to public order.”
He added: “Let’s say for the sake of argument the Supreme Court decides the High Court was wrong, it will undoubtedly be conveyed as a victory for the demonstrators.
“It won’t be but that’s what will be conveyed. And if that is conveyed, you’ve undermined the administration of justice.”
He also had some harsh words for Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Liz Truss, who was hesitant to defend the High Court judges when they came under attack from some pro-Brexit politicians and journalists. Fellow Tory MP Anna Soubry said she was “embarrassed and appalled” by Truss’ failure to defend the judiciary.
“That is one of her functions, to defend the judiciary. And it was a little too late and not a lot,” Lord Judge said.
“To say you believe in the independence of judges is fine but it doesn’t actually address why this matters at a particular time.”
Gina Miller, the London-based investment manager who was the lead claimant in the historic case, told the BBC that she has received death and rape threats since the judges ruled in favour of her legal argument. Brexit minister David Davis described the threats as “criminal” during a session of parliament on Monday.
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