Liz Truss responds to The Bar Council's calls for condemnation of media attacks on judiciary

Helen Cahill
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The body representing barristers wants Liz Truss to make a statement (Source: Getty)

The Bar Council has called on Lord Chancellor Liz Truss to condemn "serious and unjustified attacks on the judiciary" following the High Court decision over Article 50.

She responded this afternoon, saying that the judiciary was "the foundation upon which our rule of law is built."

The High Court judges who ruled that Article 50 must go before parliament have been slammed in the media. The Daily Mail described the three judges as "enemies of the people". The Daily Express said the day of the ruling was "the day democracy died".

The Sun had the headline "Who do EU think you are?" and said the "loaded foreign elite defy will of Brit voters".

But now there is pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to calm the anger against the judiciary.

The Guardian reported that Dominic Grieve, Conservative former attorney general, said the reports “started to make one think that one was living in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe … I think there’s a danger of a sort of mob psyche developing – and mature democracies should take sensible steps to avoid that”.

Conservative MP Anna Soubry also called out the coverage, saying that it was "inciting hatred" and that foreign secretary Boris Johnson had to step up and speak out against it.

Read more: Ministers are planning for an early election after the Article 50 verdict

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, said that the ruling was "of major significance for the future of this country".

Some have argued that the decision by the High Court is part of a plan to delay or stop Brexit.

The Article 50 action has been led by investment manager Gina Miller, who has maintained that the case is about process, not politics.

She said: "It was the right decision because we were dealing with the sovereignty of parliament. It was not about winning or losing. It was about what was right. Now we can move forward with legal clarity."

However, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he was worried that "a betrayal may be near at hand", and questioned the independence of the judges involved.

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