A former top judge has warned that the “torrent” of Brexit legislation may go unscrutinised.
Delivering the Bingham lecture in London yesterday, former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said that there were already thousands of items of legislation going unread.
He said: “Something like 3,000 typed pages of primary legislation have been produced annually and in addition laws are made by some 12,000 to 13,000 pages of delegated legislation, again annually.
“How much of this lawmaking, whether by primary or delegated legislation, has actually been read, just read, let alone scrutinised, by how many of us in Parliament in advance of the enactment coming into force? Yet legislative scrutiny is an essential ingredient of our parliamentary democracy.”
Lord Judge said the absence of scrutiny was “really rather chilling”, though it was “entirely constitutional”.
He added that the Wales Act 2017 is simply “intended political propaganda”, meant to signify Parliament and government’s commitment to the Welsh Assembly.
“But that is not law-making. It is a legislative provision which is not legislation at all. Legislation is an entirely inappropriate vehicle for government propaganda … the more time spent on propaganda, the less time there is for scrutinising what I might call real legislation,” he said.