Is the government disrespecting the rule of law? Lord Falconer’s lecture at Queens’ College, Cambridge

Lord Falconer speaking at the Queens' Distinguished Lecture in Law

Lord Falconer delivering the Queens’ Distinguished Lecture in Law

Speaking at this week’s Queens’ Distinguished Law Lecture, Lord Falconer attacked his successors’ and the government’s commitment to maintaining judicial independence. In his lecture on the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, of which he was the principal architect, the former Lord Chancellor said Theresa May broke the law by appointing Liz Truss – who was not properly qualified for the job.

 

L-R: Stephen Wiseman (Redress Solutions), Michael Zuckerman (Redress Solutions), Marius Nasta (Redress Solutions), Lord Falconer, Prof. Richard Fentiman (Chair of the Law Faculty and Fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge University) and Michael Sternberg QC.

 

But does this mean that the Act, which states that a non-lawyer can become a Minister for Justice, allowed this to happen? Lord Falconer was quick to defend the Act, saying that it still contributed to a fairer and more robust judiciary – insulating it from political influence.

The lecture was both entertaining and controversial, and, despite the Act coming into force in 2005, extremely current. Lord Falconer spoke about Brexit, the lack of diversity in the judiciary and the challenges in seeking justice for residents of the Grenfell Tower.

The wit and intellect demonstrated by the former Lord Chancellor in his lecture pointed up the inadequacies of two of his successors, Liz Truss and Chris Grayling, whom he called ‘duffers.’ We think it’s highly unlikely that either of them will be invited to deliver the Queens’ Distinguished Law Lecture next year.

We were glad to support this event, which helps to bring the brightest minds in law together to hear a lecture from a leading jurist on a significant point of current law.

Read more about the Queens’ law lecture in our blog post, or leave us a comment with your thoughts on Lord Falconer’s position. Thank you to our guests who attended the lecture and the dinner; we look forward to seeing you next year. We’d also like to thank Ian Olsson Photography for all of the photographs of the evening.

 

Photo credit: Ian Olsson Photography

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