The president of the UK Supreme Court has said that media coverage of judges during the Brexit legal challenge was unfair.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Lord Neuberger said that unjustified attacks on the judiciary undermined the rule of law. Although he did not target any specific publication or publication, one headline which stood out was The Daily Mail’s ‘enemies of the people’ in relation to three of the country’s most senior judges after the government lost the Article 50 case in November 2016.
Judges do not generally feel that they can or should respond to this type of criticism publicly and the story led to criticism of politicians for not standing up for the UK’s independent judiciary. Lord Neuberger claimed that politicians could have been ‘quicker and clearer’ to defend the judges following November’s High Court hearing.
Lord Neuberger stated that judges were the ‘ultimate guardians’ of the rule of law and that ‘if, without good reason, the media or anyone else undermines the judiciary that risks undermining our society’.
The Supreme Court begins taking applications for new justices today.