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'The Human Rights Act 1998 was no doubt intended to strengthen the rule of law but not to inaugurate the rule of lawyers.' (R(Alconbury Developments Ltd) v. Secretary of state for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (2001) Lord Hoffmann. Discuss.

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  • Essay length: 1715 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Jurisprudence

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'The Human Rights Act 1998 was no doubt intended to strengthen the rule of law but not to inaugurate the rule of lawyers.' (R(Alconbury Developments Ltd) v. Secretary of state for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (2001) Lord Hoffmann. Discuss. In administrative law, has the act had the effect that Lord Hoffmann suggests it was intended to have?

What lies behind the concept of 'rule of law' is a debatable issue. So how is one to know what precisely was intended to be strengthened by the introduction of the HRA 1998? In the context of Alconbury , Lord Hoffmann was using the 'rule of law' to symbolise the constitutional order and the role of the courts within it. By contrasting the rule of lawyers, he was meaning to say that the courts are aware that the HRA was not intended to allow them to get politically involved and substitute their own decisions for that of public bodies. This idea of courts upholding the rule of law is reminiscent of the modified ultra vires theoretical justification for judicial review (courts are upholding the rule of law, because that is what Parliament intends). Yet, albeit not intended to give

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