'Powers of unelected judges should be cut'
The power of judges to review ministerial decisions should be diminished, former Tory leader Lord Michael Howard said today.
The ex-home secretary said judges were unelected and unaccountable and should be very reluctant to interfere in decisions made by elected politicians.
His comments came as a group of local authorities were launching a High Court challenge against the Government's controversial decision to axe Labour's multibillion-pound Building Schools for the Future (BSF) secondary school rebuilding scheme.
"In my view, the power of the judges, as opposed to elected politicians, has increased, is increasing and ought to be diminished," Lord Howard told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
"More and more decisions are being made by unelected, unaccountable judges, instead of accountable, elected Members of Parliament who have to answer to the public for what happens."
On the BSF case, Lord Howard said: "If that were to be reinstated (the building programme), which is what the local authorities want, the Government is going to have to decide what else to cut in its place - the judges won't have to decide that.
"I think it's quite wrong for judges to intervene in cases of this kind."
He went on: "Judges are unaccountable and unelected and ought to be very reluctant indeed to set aside decisions of this kind."
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...
£50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...