In an extraordinary bid to ensure that school children are better educated than parents who “read newspaper headlines describing judges as ‘enemies of the people’”, from today every secondary school in the UK will have access to online classroom resources about the UK’s judges in an initiative led by the Citizenship Foundation supported by the Bar Council.
The resources, developed in the wake of the High Court ruling on Article 50 last year and the subsequent media attacks on the judiciary, explain how judges help citizens to hold Government to account and how the British constitution helps to guard against persecution and the arbitrary exercise of power by the state.
Chairman of the Bar, Andrew Langdon QC said: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some of the claims, made by senior, influential figures in the media were not supported by the facts or even a rudimentary knowledge of our Government and constitution.
“Painting unelected judges as pantomime villains trying to obstruct the will of 17.4 million ‘leave’ voters was an irresistible sleight of hand for many in the press, but it was only possible because our constitutional arrangements are not widely known or understood.
“We all want the next generation to take part in society and to play an active role in the democratic process, and in order to do that they must have a better understanding of how our system of democratic government works.”
The Times, in The Brief roundup of legal news and gossip gives the initiative short shrift, under the heading “Please Sir, do we really have to learn about Article 50?”
If you want to test your knowledge, the resources are available on the Citizenship Foundation website, here www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/article50.