The Judiciary can be a silent spectator or can choose to play a more pro-active role to ensure that of the constitution is upheld in letter and spirit. It is in this context that Lord Steyn's statement that, "..it is the democratic and constitutional duty of judges to stand up where necessary for individuals against the government" (2003), assumes significance.
In the United States, the aspect of separation of powers is clearly stated in the US Constitution. The President (Executive), Congress (Legislature) and the Supreme Court (Judiciary) are separate and distinct entities. The same is not the case in the United Kingdom, where the Prime Minister (Executive) is also a Member of Parliament (Legislature) as are all other members of the Cabinet. Similarly, the Lord Chancellor and the Law Lords are members of the Executive and Legislature respectively, while also forming part of the Judiciary. This duality results in a situation where the Executive is in de-facto control of the Legislature, as also enjoying the sympathy of the Judiciary. ...Show more