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Rule by Judges?: Don’t Shout at the Telly


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From the Supreme Court ruling on triggering article 50 and Brexit to Trump’s ban on migrants to the ‘gay cake case’, judicial interference is in the dock. spiked legal editor Luke Gittos and Oxford lecturer Alan Hudson join WORLDbytes volunteers on the sofa to discuss what’s at stake. The arguments get heated as who we can trust, who we should look to and what being ‘informed’ means gets an airing and so called ‘experts’ are put in their place. A must watch and share.

Related topics: Debates, Democracy-Brexit

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Caroline said:

i found the topic of the video very compelling, and feel as if i have learnt a lot from it’s contents.

Jaskirat said:

I really enjoyed watching the experts and volunteers fully try and get to grips with how democracy could serve them better as citizens.

The discussion showed a diversity of points, which were very well fleshed out, as well as very thought provoking.

James said:

If we want to progress as a society, as a world then we can’t allow for unelected judges to make key decisions that will impact our lives. One of the key aspects of how developed a country is, is shown by their political system. All the developed countries in the world are governed by democratically elected rulers, who pose no threat to tyranny. By being ruled by judges we will just be a regressive backward looking society who cares not for the civil liberties of the population

Amina said:

I don’t usually get engaged by these sort of discussions but I did get interested in this. Having the volunteers there interacting with the interviewees brought it back down to reality and made it more understandable. I automatically thought the judges ruling against the executive order was a good thing before I watched this video – it really made me think about whether judges (who are not democratically elected) should have a say in political issues.
I liked the discussion about Brexit and whether those who voted out where “uninformed.” It is a difficult and confrontational discussion that is much needed.

Stephanie said:

I liked the assessment of the role of judges in the UK, especially learning about the common law and judiciary processes. It was an insightful video, the idea to have a round up, where everyone can share their ideas was a great idea. Another timely video, especially in the age of brexit, its refreshing to hear what young people think.

My favourite comment:
‘We need to stop looking to Judges as change-setters, that is not their role’

Ola said:

I study government and politics for A level so I enjoyed this video. It helps me when studying about the judiciary and civil liberties.

Roshan said:

This video raises really important questions about democracy.

Firstly I thought the perspective that a number of people shared about how we underestimate the ‘public’ was interesting. One of the volunteers commented on how people who voted in favour of Brexit, for instance, actually don’t trust in the media and didn’t necessarily make decisions based on the issue of immigration (having control was cited by someone as the main reason to vote for Brexit). Someone also commented on how people actually take issues like Brexit seriously and talk to friends and peers before making a decision.

I also thought it was interesting how one of the people in the video commented that older people actually make decisions based on what they think will benefit their children and grandchildren (and not just themselves). This is something we may sometimes disccount.

The point mentioned towards the end about how we as citizens need to make the time to directly engage with government is important – a volunteer described how the government currently engages mainly with think tanks and ‘experts’.

Wali Khawaja said:

I actually do feel that the judges have an obligation to make decisions. The law should not follow the government but rather work beside it. The legal side of society is supposed to help us progress and move forward using a strong, influential, official post. To suggest that politics and government are two different sides of the coin in misleading, they are in fact in power to cater to the people and work as a united force. Where one falters, the other must point it. Any other form of governing a society would lead to chaos. I do appreciate this discussion though, and as a government major, I do feel it to be very important that people learn more about democracy and how politics are run in democracies.

Nebeyatt Betre said:

I appreciate the fact that there was insight into how democracies function and how they’re capable of functioning. However, I believe judges should have influence on political decisions. Coming from America, I see judges as neutral and logical, whereas MPs and elected officials act in their own interest. While they may have their own political opinions, I trust them to make rulings based on constitutionality and in society’s interest. In the example of Donald Trump and the Muslim Ban, the Washington judge who blocked it was a Republican appointed by George Bush. The judicial branch is just as powerful as the executive, and to suggest that the judge’s decision was a flaw in American democracy is wrong-it actually shows our strength. I think legality does operate in the interest of the public. There’s a difference between having a conversation between ideas and allowing oppresion to stand. The ‘gay cake case’ is an example of that. This was a matter of discrimination, because sexual orientation is the only reason those customers were denied service. Discrimination should be a matter of law, whether is for jobs or cake. I think life in and of itself is political, and to suggest a separation of the two would be naive.