Latest Issue

How cowed judges could let Boris Johnson break the law

Unchecked, unbalanced and channelling an unsavoury populism, a prime minister that I’ve helped to keep in check in the courts could soon be free to do whatever he pleases

By Jolyon Maugham  

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Gardiner Bros in Hardwicke, while on the General Election campaign trail.

With the new prime minister come threats in battalions. An enormous majority. A distracted and divided Opposition. A national broadcaster operating under existential threat. A political leader advertising a populist intent as “The People’s Government.”

Where will challenge come from? Not the House of Lords—which was served notice in the Conservative manifesto that its role would be reviewed. And not from a written constitution—the only higher law able to constrain a government with a majority in parliament…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect