It’s reported that Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, has spoken out against: “Poorly drafted legislation [that] risks giving more power to the judiciary, which is not necessarily very desirable.”

He was speaking at the annual conference of the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) last week, and went on to suggest that:

“Badly drafted legislation results in the interpretation of statutes, which is the function of the courts, shading into rewriting statutes, which is legislating and not the function of the courts.”

On a similar theme was Lord Phillips’ recent Alexander lecture on statutory interpretation in the era of human rights, which we’ve previously posted on.

Issues around the ‘interpretation’ vs the ‘rewriting’ of legislation are clearly not limited to the UK, given the furore over potential appointments to the US Supreme Court. One just has to look up the definition of “Judicial Activism” on Conservapedia to get a flavour of the political battlelines.

However, it’s difficult not to see these judicial pronouncements as “hints” to the new coalition Government, especially given David Cameron’s apparent desire to ensure that “Britain’s laws can no longer be decided by unaccountable judges.”