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The Rule of Law

Enhancing the rule of law to ensure the UK remains competitive post-Brexit

Overview

Whatever one’s views on the merits of Brexit, from the perspective of the rule of law it presents both a threat and an opportunity. Over the next few years, a huge amount of UK law will be changed. But as well as changing the UK’s laws, Brexit also provides an opportunity to reinforce the rule of law itself: to reduce excessive executive and regulatory power, to increase predictability and to make laws that are clear and manageable.

The rule of law has been a major cause of businesses investing and basing themselves in the UK. It has provided the predictability and fairness that business needs. If, in the next few years, the UK can improve that predictability and fairness, then the UK economy will be all the more attractive for it.

In our new report, “Everyone Has A Part To Play”, we suggest concrete steps that policymakers and businesses can take to enhance the rule of law and hence the UK’s competitiveness and prosperity post-Brexit.

Download the report

Testimonials

Dominic Raab

“[This] excellent report… is a valuable contribution to the debate on Brexit, and it demonstrates the hard-work that is going into preparing for Brexit amongst the legal profession.”

William Hague

“This new report is an important reminder that the rule of law isn’t the sole responsibility of one part of the UK’s political system. Politicians and parliament certainly have their role to play, as well as regulators, the judiciary and the wider business community.”

Murray Hunt

“The Rule of Law is a culture which must be nurtured and actively promoted. This Report makes clear that this is a shared responsibility [to ensure] that the Rule of Law is not only defended but positively advanced.”

Explore the report

Some of our proposals to improve the rule of law in the UK post-Brexit

Government and regulators can enhance the rule of law by:

  • Increasing legislative drafting capacity to remove bottlenecks and improve the quality of legislation
  • Making the law more accessible by establishing an interactive legal database containing current legislation
  • Investing in the judiciary to maintain and enhance the quality of the UK’s judges
  • Offering clearer regulatory guidance with more input from stakeholders
“Brexit only makes it more important to reassert the UK as the home of a fair, robust and stable legal system for international business. This is essential for our capital’s economic competitiveness, and government must ensure the Rule of Law stays firm, as it navigates post-Brexit legal territory.”
JW

Parliament can enhance the rule of law by:

  • Investing in training and expert support to help MPs better scrutinise legislation and use their time effectively
  • Simplifying and modifying the complex parliamentary processes for scrutinising legislation 
“The quality of legislative scrutiny undertaken by Parliament is vital to the rule of law. This report is a helpful contribution to the debate about the role that Parliament, and other institutions across the political and business landscape, can and should play in supporting the rule of law in the future.”
Ruth Fox

Judiciary can enhance the rule of law by:

  • Avoiding excessive judicial “activism” by resisting the temptation to change the UK’s constitution by judicial actions rather than through democratic processes
“The UK’s world-class legal services sector is a vital national asset. It is an integral and crucial part of the ecosystem which makes the UK a truly, globally-leading international financial centre. This report is an important and timely reminder that strengthening the rule of law is an opportunity to underpin and enable not only financial services, but also the UK’s economy more widely post-Brexit.”
GC

Business can enhance the rule of law by:

  • Joining relevant business networks to share ideas
  • Publicising the link between the rule of law and their investment decisions
"The strength of the rule of law in the UK is one of the fundamental factors that has driven businesses to invest and succeed here. As this report suggests, businesses don’t just have to be passive beneficiaries of the rule of law. They can play their part in enhancing the rule of law alongside Parliament, policymakers and the judiciary, not only for economic success but also to benefit wider society.”
Carolyn Fairbairn