Perhaps the most remarkable development in my time in the law has been the growth of public law cases. Fifty years ago there were hardly any.
The principal diet of the House of Lords consisted of commercial and tax cases. Now the Supreme Court is predominantly a court of public law, often performing the role of a Constitutional Court.
The Human Rights Act 1998 is in part responsible for this. Courts for the first time have to rule on the legitimacy, under international law, of Acts of Parliament and to consider areas, such as the conduct of our armed forces in action abroad,
that would once have been held non-justiciable. Sometimes the Court is required to apply a test of proportionality when balancing individual rights and the public interest.
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