On rapid constitutional change…

06/13/2003

Beat this Americans… 1,400 years after the post was first created, the role of the Lord Chancellor in the UK has been abolished. And, for the first time in hundreds of years, the political establishment and the judiciary have been forcibly separated from one another. This – obviously – is a tremendous move and almost certainly a positive one. My only anxiety is the speed of the shift and the way it doesn’t really appear to have been the result of any public debate. We will soon have a supreme court. Who knew? [Thanks to Michael for the link]

   Tony Blair revealed a renewed thirst for radical constitutional reform yesterday when he swept aside 1,400 years of history by abolishing the post of lord chancellor and setting up a new US-style supreme court in place of the law lords.
   The prime minister will also set up an independent judicial appointments commission, a reform resisted until very recently by Derry Irvine, who quit the government yesterday after six years.
   The reforms, the product of a long Whitehall battle, bring about the much-demanded separation of powers between the judiciary and politicians.

I’m really interested in a debate about this subject – is it a good thing or a bad thing? Is it being pushed through? Where’s the debate?