Motion as passed by conference
Defending the Rule of Law
Conference notes that, on 31st July 2020, the Conservative Government announced an Independent Review of Administrative Law to examine judicial review and reportedly plans to establish a future panel to "update" the Human Rights Act, both with the aim of restricting the ability of individuals to challenge the Government in court.
Conference further notes Dominic Cummings' long history of attacking the rule of law, from his complaints about civil servants trying to prevent Michael Gove from acting unlawfully as Education Secretary to his petulant outbursts over recent court rulings against the Government.
Conference is deeply alarmed at Number 10's plans to weaken the courts, limit judicial review and unpick the Human Rights Act, which would allow Ministers to break the law with impunity, enable the Government to violate people's rights and make it harder to secure inquiries or put things right when mistakes are made.
Conference believes that the rule of law is fundamental to our society. When the Government rides roughshod over people's rights, the law is our vehicle for justice.
Conference further believes that threatening to weaken the courts because they sometimes rule against you is the act of dictators and despots, not democrats.
Conference reaffirms the Liberal Democrat commitment to promoting justice and human rights and building a free, fair and open society where everyone's dignity and wellbeing is respected.
Conference affirms that Liberal Democrats will always defend individuals' abilities to challenge the Government in court and uphold their rights.
Conference strongly opposes any proposals to restrict judicial review, weaken the Human Rights Act or undermine the rule of law in any way, and calls on the Government to drop these plans.
This motion was selected for debate from the emergency motion ballot as item F30 at 18:05 on Monday 28 September.