Lord Chancellor's position comes under fire from Action for Justice

DEMONSTRATORS could soon be descending on the Royal Courts of Justice as part of a campaign to get the Lord Chancellor thrown out of the Cabinet.

Action for Justice has launched a national petition campaign aimed at mustering support for its bid to secure a complete separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive.

Earlier this month the group placed an advertisement in The Guardian calling on members of the public to endorse its campaign.

And according to adviser and law researcher Suzon Forscey-Moore, the next step may either be a public debate on the issue or a demonstration outside the High Court.

The group was founded in 1994 and counts on the backing of around 1,000 supporters, including Michael Mansfield QC.

Earlier campaigns have demanded action to make members of Parliament more accountable and called for a halt to rail privatisation.

The group's bid to get the Lord Chancellor out of the Cabinet stems from its belief that the judiciary's role as a watchdog against abuses of power is being compromised by Lord Mackay's executive post.

This is not the first time Lord Mackay's position has come under fire during his lengthy tenure.

In July 1994 he defended his position in a speech to judges when he opposed calls for the handing over of his executive powers to a Secretary of State in the Commons.

“It is moonshine to think that difficulties over pay, budgets and all the other grist that exists between the judicial and executive millstones in the Lord Chancellor's office would disappear if a Commons Secretary of State were appointed,” said Mackay at the time.