In the UK, judicial law making refers to the process by which judges, through their decisions and interpretations of the law, create new legal principles and rules. This process is also known as common law or judge-made law.
Under the common law system, which is used in the UK and other countries such as the United States, judges have the power to interpret and apply the law in specific cases. Through their decisions, judges can establish new legal principles and rules, which can then be applied in future cases.
In the UK, the process of judicial law making is influenced by several factors, including the doctrine of precedent and the role of the appellate courts. The doctrine of precedent requires lower courts to follow the decisions of higher courts in similar cases, creating a hierarchical system of judicial decisions. The appellate courts, such as the Supreme Court, have the power to overrule previous decisions and establish new legal principles.
Judicial law making in the UK is also influenced by the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. This has given judges an additional tool to interpret and develop the law, particularly in relation to issues of human rights.
While judicial law making is an important aspect of the UK legal system, it is subject to criticism and debate. Some argue that judges are overstepping their role and interfering with the role of the legislature, while others argue that it is an essential component of the legal system that allows for the development of the law in response to changing societal needs and values.
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