Britain’s most eminent judges have warned politicians that they will fight any move to undermine their independence, after being accused of thwarting moves to fight terrorism. In a stark warning, the country’s senior legal figures warned of a backlash from the courts – and declared that diluting the powers of the judiciary will undermine the basis of democracy. Their uncompromising stance comes after a series of clashes with the Government and opposition MPs. Yesterday, Michael Howard, the Tory leader, accused judges of “aggressive judicial activism” and of blocking the will of MPs over the fight against terrorism. Tony Blair recently warned judges he will renounce part of the European Convention on Human Rights and have “a lot of battles” with courts if they block the deportation of extremists.
The judges reacted angrily to the combined force of politicians’ criticism, calling Mr Howard’s foray into the debate ill-conceived and populist. Lord Ackner, a former law lord, accused Mr Howard of going too far. He added: ” He is jumping on the bandwagon.”