#WithoutPrejudice 21: Civil disobedience and the rule of law – Sumption v Sedley – Leveson – Abolition of rank of QC

Did the News of the World seek to undermine a murder investigation? This astonishing issue is but one of the topics being discussed tonight.  We’ll also be looking at the latest developments in Leveson, the issue of Civil disobedience and the Rule of law,  the Sedley v Sumption debate and finally,  whether the rank of Queen’s Counsel should be abolished.
On the panel tonight – Gary Slapper, Director of New York University in London,  former government lawyer Carl Gardner, author of the Head of Legal Blog and David Allen Green, who practises as a solicitor and writes for The New Statesman, The Lawyer and his own Jack of Kent blog.

Listen to the podcast |Subscribe through iTunes.

Useful reading:

***

In association with The Lawyer

I’d like to thank Lawtel, WestlawCassons For Counsel, City University Law School David Phillips & Partners Solicitors, Inksters SolicitorsIken, LBC Wise Counsel, Carrs Solicitors,  JMW Solicitors – Manchester, Pannone and Cellmark for sponsoring the podcast  – and the free student materials on Insite Law – appreciated.

7 thoughts on “#WithoutPrejudice 21: Civil disobedience and the rule of law – Sumption v Sedley – Leveson – Abolition of rank of QC

  1. Pingback: Without Prejudice | Head of Legal

  2. Interesting that Daniel Morgan murder case is discussed after the one about the moral and legal implications of secret service operations?

  3. I struggled with the point Sedley (and this panel) was making with regard to Sumption & Scalia.

    Perhaps it’s a misunderstanding of the US Constitution – which is not a “living” document al la the ECHR.

    If the US public want to change the constitution, the mechanism for them to do so is via a constitutional amendment. Hence, the amendments re the franchise etc.

    In the US, SCOTUS’s correct remit is to interpert and apply the constitution as written. The constitution is the supreme law of the land.

    In the UK, the constitution is whatever Parliament says it is and Parliament is supreme. Unlike SCOTUS, UKSC has no power to judicially review legislation for constitutional compliance.

    The US has a “hard” separation of powers – unlike the UK’s “soft” separation. The three branches in the US are “separate but equal”.

    In the UK, there is no real separation between the Executive and Legislature – and the only way the Judiciary can flex its muscle by way of s2 HRA. Isn’t that what Sumption is complaining about? All the back-door Euro law?

    There is no back door law in the US, IMHO. The constitution trumps all (except as per the 10th Amendment, where powers not reserved to the Federal government are matters for the individual state constitutions and supreme courts).

    In light of this, Sedley’s comparasion of Sumption with Scalia is comparaing apples and oranges.

  4. @kris

    “the US Constitution – which is not a “living” document al la the ECHR.

    In the US, SCOTUS’s correct remit is to interpert and apply the constitution as written. The constitution is the supreme law of the land.”

    So Marshall and SCOTUS got Marbury v. Madison wrong? Judicai review wasn’t in the Constitution…

  5. You are correct that JR of legislation is not explicit in the US Constitution and that Marbury v Madision was the first case to recognise SCOTUS’s inherent power.

    Without that power, Congress could make any law it sees fit.

    Given we’d fought a war to free ourselves from tyrannical rule of Parliament, it’s inconceivable that the Founders intended the US to be a mere duplicate of the Westminster model.

    That SCOTUS exercised its power not to recognise law contrary to the constitution in that case does not give it carte blanche to make law – or to expand Federal powers.

    I will buy you a full-fat latte if SCOTUS upholds Obama-care. It’s got little to do with “politics”. Unless SCOTUS can find provision for health care (and to make citizens buy it) as one of the enumerated powers, it will fail.

    I prefer Costa coffee, two sugars ;-)

  6. Just thinking – given that the Article 3, s2 states that Judicial power extends to *all* cases arising under the US Constitution, and that Marbury v Madison was a case arising under the US Constitution …

    your better argument would have been whether Miranda v Arizona is constitutional. What would Uncle Antonin have to say about that?

    http://wp.me/p27fDf-6I

  7. The civil disobedience law is as old as humanity itself. because there were peopel who wish there could be laws for maintaining harmony in the society as well as people who doesnt think there need to be law for each and everything

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>