We have the rather strange situation when two former law officers, both of whom are lawyers, Sir Edward Garnier (former Solicitor General and in the picture attached ) and Dominic Grieve ( former Attorney General) have heavily criticised legislation spearheaded by Chris Grayling, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, who is not a lawyer, to repeal the Human Rights Act and to make access to judicial review subject to "exceptional public interest" test. Dominic Grieve called the withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights as "...damaging our international standing and undermining a central plank of our foreign policy" (Prospect - January 2015) and Sir Edward Garnier called the "exceptional public interest test as "nonsense" (Law Society Gazette 19th January 2015). The move to restrict public access to both Judicial review and repeal of the Human Rights Act is considered by Government as necessary to deal with the increasing judicial interference in Government policy decisions but its effects may be broader than intended.
However, senior Conservative MPs questioned the validity of the ‘exceptional public interest’ clause. Former solicitor general Edward Garnier QC (pictured) described the wording as ‘moderately nonsensical’.Geoffrey Cox QC suggested it was ‘nonsense’ to present a court with an expression he had never come across before.