Ministers must clarify role of EU court after Brexit, says Neuberger

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Aug 09, 2017
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Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury said that judges could not be blamed for making the law when parliament had not given them enough guidance

Times photographer Richard Pohle

The government must provide more clarity to judges over how British law will be developed after Brexit, the president of the Supreme Court has said (Gabriel Samuels writes).

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, who will step down from his position next month, said the future role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should be more clearly expressed. It would be unfair to blame judges for making the law “when parliament has failed to do so”, he told the BBC yesterday. Government ministers have said that the ECJ’s jurisdiction will end after the UK leaves the union but that courts should continue to interpret European case law on issues including the rights of workers.

“If [the government] doesn’t express clearly what the judges should do about decisions of the ECJ after Brexit, or indeed any other topic after Brexit, then the judges will simply have to do their best,” Lord Neuberger told the broadcaster. “Judges would hope and expect parliament to spell out how the judges would approach that sort of issue after Brexit, and to spell it out in a statute.”

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