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Judicial independence

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While everyone's looking at Trump, Theresa May just suffered two humiliating defeats. Theresa May’s government has suffered two major defeats while everyone watches Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

While everyone's looking at Trump, Theresa May just suffered two humiliating defeats

And she’ll want to keep them very, very quiet. The ‘bedroom tax’: discriminatory The government was defeated twice in the Supreme Court over the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ on Wednesday 9 November. The Spare Room Subsidy has been in force since 1 April 2013. People in the social rented sector deemed to have one spare bedroom have had their housing benefit reduced by 14%. But the Supreme Court has ruled against the government twice, in cases which could set precedents. Jacqueline Carmichael from Southport, Merseyside, has spina bifida and needs a special hospital-type bed in her bedroom with an electronic pressure mattress.

The ‘bedroom tax’: discriminatory. The Rutherfords from Pembrokeshire, care for their severely disabled grandson Warren in a specially-adapted three-bedroom bungalow. The Guardian view on Brexit ruling. The rule of law is the bedrock of a democratic society.

The Guardian view on Brexit ruling

It can check corruption and abuses of power. It permits individuals to order their lives. It allows private corporations, public bodies and the executive to regulate effectively their own activities. If the rule of law is to be upheld, it is vital that there should be an independent judiciary. This fact appears lost on Brexiter rabble-rousers. This is rhetoric that goes beyond character assassination and rightwing posturing into something darker and more dangerous. Liz Truss : We Import Two Thirds of Our Cheese!!! Our top judges have become too powerful - we need to rein them in. So I want to be part of this game.

Our top judges have become too powerful - we need to rein them in

If Lord Kerr and his 11 Supreme Court colleagues are becoming the unacknowledged legislators of mankind, thereby undermining the rights of the politicians whom we, the people, have elected, then we, the people, need to get some power over these judges. Until now, British citizens have had the inestimable benefit of not having to scrutinise who our senior judges are, because we have trusted them to stick to their vital but confined professional task. We have no more needed to know their political views than we have those of great oncologists or brain surgeons. But if they are to decree what is “right”, and to apply slippery concepts like “proportionality”, rather than sticking to strictly legal issues, we need to know their politics.

For example, we might want to know, before appointing them, what Lord Kerr and others think about immigration. Needless to say, I don’t have a chance of getting that appointments job. So please could we stop? Supreme Court independence 'threatened' by funding. The president of the UK's Supreme Court has warned that its independence cannot be properly guaranteed because of the way it is funded by the government.

Supreme Court independence 'threatened' by funding

In a speech in London, Lord Phillips said the court was dependent on what it could persuade the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to give "by way of contribution". He argued that the court's budget should be pre-set and ring fenced. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said it was a "storm in a teapot" and "of course" the judiciary was independent. The Supreme Court was set up in 2009, replacing the Law Lords. Judges must engage in politics to preserve rule of law – lord chief justice. Judges must take “proactive steps” to secure adequate funding for the justice system, which is becoming unaffordable for most people, the lord chief justice has said.

Judges must engage in politics to preserve rule of law – lord chief justice

In a radical intervention encouraging judges to show greater “political engagement”, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd called on the industry to fight for better resources. Delivering a speech on “judicial independence in a changing constitutional landscape”, Thomas proposed an end to judges isolating themselves from political reality. His comments come as funding for the Ministry of Justice has repeatedly been reduced in contrast to the budgets for the NHS or overseas aid, which have been rigorously protected by coalition and Conservative governments. Addressing the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association, he said: “Judicial independence is best served by more, not less, day-to-day engagement with government and parliament.

Magna Carta: The troubled journey to an independent judiciary - UK - News. The creation of Magna Carta in 1215 is all the more remarkable against such a backdrop.

Magna Carta: The troubled journey to an independent judiciary - UK - News

An unpopular king brought to heel by a written agreement sounds much too good to be true – and it was, in the short-term, with peaceable discussions giving way to civil war within a matter of months. Nevertheless, the legacy of the charter signed by King John and the barons at Runnymede 800 years ago has been compelling, both in this country and beyond. The original agreement may not have protected rights and freedoms in the detailed way which modern-day myth occasionally suggests, but it undoubtedly set Britain on a road towards non-autocratic government.

In particular, Magna Carta achieved acceptance for two key principles. The first was that regal authority should be limited by – and separated from – the will of the people. Read more: Vatican ends financial practices 'from Middle Ages'Comment: Dark Ages better than we think Ultimately, then, Magna Carta was a bulwark against tyranny.