Falconer: judicial independence is guaranteed

Constitutional Affairs secretary Lord Falconer today unveiled the Constitutional Reform Bill which will shake up the justice system.

The Bill, which has been widely trailed, establishes an independent Supreme Court with its own appointment system, staff, budget and building.

The current Law Lords will become the first 12 justices of the Supreme Court and will no longer be allowed to sit as members of the House of Lords. Lord Bingham will become President of the Supreme Court.

The Bill also proposes a new system of appointing judges, through a Judicial Appointments Commission.

Lord Falconer said: “Limiting the power of patronage and severely curtailing the ability of ministers to appoint and discipline judges are important safeguards to judicial independence.”

“It is right that politicians should not seek to influence the smooth running of the judicial system. The duty to uphold judicial independence further underlines that.”

“In a modern democracy, judges have no place in Parliament and politicians no place in the courtroom.