Hay Festival Debate to Explore Role of Judiciary in Democracy

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When a small group of High Court judges ruled that MPs should have the final say on Brexit, it sparked one of the most interesting debates in Britain’s legal history - just what role do and should the courts and judiciary have in the Country’s democratic

The fallout, of what became one of the most divided court cases in recent times, sparked headlines such as ‘Enemies of the People’, referring to the judges, and created huge unrest across the UK.

A special debate at this year’s Hay Festival will explore this, and other similar events across the world, including in America, where the exercise of power by the Presidency has also been challenged by the courts.

Featuring former West Mercia Police Chief Constable, David Shaw, retired Hereford judge HH Toby Hooper QC, and legal experts from the University of Worcester’s School of Law and Kingston School of Law, the event will consider the constitutional role of the courts in maintaining a proper balance of power in a modern democracy.

Chris Monaghan, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Worcester, said: “The recent Article 50 litigation and the resulting press headlines have really drawn peoples’ attention to the role of the judiciary in the UK. What exactly is their role? Should the courts give effect to the will of the people?

“Often these questions are confined to academic textbooks and university courses. However, Brexit, the challenge to the Prime Minister’s attempt to trigger Article 50 using her prerogative powers, and the role of the judiciary in the US in placing restrictions on Trump’s use of executive orders, has meant that these issues are now reaching a wider audience. I am very much looking forward to a lively debate at Hay and to explore these issues with the audience.”

Chris will be joined on the panel by Professor Penny Darbyshire, from Kingston School of Law, and the panel will be Chaired by Bill Davies, Head of Law at the University of Worcester.

The panel debate is sponsored by the University of Worcester and takes place on Tuesday, May 30 at 11.30am. The Hay Festival, which is celebrating its 30th year, is widely regarded as one of the world’s top literary festivals, attracting over 250,000 visitors to the small town of Hay-on-Wye.

The debate is part of a series of events being sponsored by the University of Worcester at this year’s Festival. Other talks in the series include:

? Monday, May 29 at 7pm - ‘Using the creative arts to help people with dementia to live well’. Dr Claire Garabedian, a trained music practitioner as well as a researcher within the Association of Dementia Studies (ADS) at the University of Worcester, and Laurence Gardiner, an expert with first-hand experience in living with dementia, will explore ways in which simple use of creative arts approaches can help people and their families to live well with dementia.

? Wednesday, May 31, at 5.30pm – ‘Is teaching still a valued profession?’ A panel discussion around the value of the teaching profession, in light of recent surveys which showed that 73% of new teachers have considered leaving the profession. The panel will feature Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, Jonathan Godfrey, Principal of Hereford Sixth Form College, Sue Gaston, Headteacher of Fairfield High School in Peterchurch, and Taylor Cornes, a University of Worcester Teaching Graduate, and will be Chaired by Ed Dorrell, Head of Content at Times Educational Supplement.

? Sunday, June 4, at 5.30pm - ‘A new vision for our healthcare system’. A panel discussion which will explore whether, in a time of turmoil for the NHS, there is another way to deliver healthcare in the UK, innovating with new professions, like Physician Associates and Nurse Associates. The panel will be made up of Baroness Hollins, former president of the BMA, Professor Veronica Wilkie, GP and Professor of Primary Care, Charlotte Scott Taylor, a Physician Associate Graduate, and Dr Steven Thrush, a Consultant at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. It will be Chaired by Jane Perry, Associate Head of the University of Worcester’s Institute of Health and Society.

For tickets to any of the events please visit the Hay Festival website at