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Brexit sentences judges to confusion

There are in existence two proposed outcomes of Brexit; the first is that put forward by the Brexiteers, the second is insisted upon by Remainers.  Brexiteers promise a United Kingdom independent and self-sustaining, Remainers swear that the world will end and Voldermort will return (this may be an exaggeration).

Whichever camp you find yourself in the truth is simple, no one knows. There is no precedent, no history, no guidelines for the path the British people have chosen to tread. If anyone turns to you on the street and says, “I know what’s going to happen” they are lying to you, even if it’s your own mother.

In such uncertain times, a significant portion of the burden of guiding us through falls on the Judges in the country.

Since its inception, the United Kingdom has submitted itself to the provisions laid down by the European Union (EU), not absolutely, but a considerable portion of EU law is incorporated into UK legislation.

The UK judiciary has also, pre-Brexit, submitted itself to the decisions laid down by the European Court of Justice. The highest court in the UK is the Supreme Court, if your case goes all the way up to the Supreme Court, that is the highest in the land. The Supreme Court, however, is bound by another, the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The Supreme Court listens to the decisions of the ECJ and applies them to the UK. The phrase “there’s always a bigger fish” regularly springs to mind when describing international court structure.

Now, this is not the case. The British Government has stated that as part of Brexit, the UK will be shrugging off the ECJ and taking itself out of its jurisdiction. This leaves Judges very much in the dark about how to apply the law and where they should go to find the law.

Lord Neuberger the, soon to be retired, President of the Supreme Court has spoken his thoughts on the assistance that must be provided to Judges during the aftermath of Brexit. It is his view that Parliament must be abundantly clear when passing its Repeal Bill what it wants of Judges. Otherwise Judges will not know what to do, and believe me, indecisiveness is not good in Judges.

The pressure on Judges is so heavy; Lord Neuberger insists that Parliament must spell out in legislation how it wants Judges to interpret the law and which law is the most important.

Currently, it is unclear whether the UK court system will mimic the decisions of the ECJ or depart and instigate its own line of legal interpretation, all this hinges on the law to be passed by Parliament.

It is worth bearing in mind, given the uncertainty that will come with Brexit, that Judges are people too. To blame and badger them via the media or any other medium because you disagree with their decision is unpleasant and inconsiderate. If you disagree with a Judge’s ruling, tough, become a Judge, then we’ll listen.

To blame Judge’s in the aftermath of Brexit where the law is uncertain would ultimately be unfair and it is an important message to everyone to treat the people burdened with managing Brexit with respect.

For more information on the impact of Brexit on your business please call us on 01254 828300.

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