Liz Truss: defending Brexit judges would be attacking free press

The Lord Chancellor Liz Truss has defended herself from criticism after she was attacked for not providing a robust defence of judges in the wake of the ‘Enemies of the People‘ affair late last year.

Enemies of the people?

In November, the Daily Mail published a front page attacking the High Court judges who ruled that Article 50, which would see the process of Britain leaving the EU begin, could not be lawfully be triggered without a vote by Parliament.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Law in Action, Truss said: “Some people have asked me to condemn what was written in the press. I think, as Lord Chancellor, to say what the press should or shouldn’t print is problematic. I think the way we build judicial morale and judicial value is by the judiciary themselves talking about what they do.”

She added: “We’ve got some very talented judges, I think its important that people in society understand what judges do, they understand how they are appointed and I’m very committed as Lord Chancellor to promoting that, but that is not something I’m prepared to do by denigrating the free press.”

Pressed by host Joshua Rozenberg that there was a “crisis” in the judiciary, with not enough quality candidates available to fill all the upcoming judicial vacancies, Truss said that a vast pool of talent remained untapped, with not enough women and members of the solicitors’ profession taking up judicial roles.