Lord Chancellor Liz Truss has backed the independence of the judiciary, but failed to criticise attacks on judges after the High Court's Brexit ruling. The Bar Council criticised "serious and unjustified" attacks on judges on Saturday (5 November) after the High Court ruling on Friday (4 November) that MPs should have a say on when Article 50 is triggered.
The Bar Council, which is representative of all barristers in England and Wales, passed a resolution calling for more to be done after the Conservative MP failed to denounce the backlash.
It follows newspaper headlines which called the senior judges, involved in ruling MPs can have a say on how we exit the EU, the "Enemies of the people" and inciting hatred against them for "subverting the will of the British people".
In a statement released on Saturday (5 November), a spokesman for the Bar Council said: "The Bar Council of England and Wales condemns the serious and unjustified attacks on the judiciary arising out of the Article 50 litigation.
"It regrets the lack of public statement by the Lord Chancellor condemning these attacks and calls upon the Lord Chancellor to do so as a matter of urgency. A strong independent judiciary is essential to a functioning democracy and to upholding the rule of law."
The hashtag #wheresLizTruss also started to trend on Twitter after the Lord Chancellor failed to condemn the vitriol. However, after more than a day of silence, she issued a statement on the independence of the judiciary, but failed to criticise the attacks on the judges.
Truss said: "The independence of the judiciary is the foundation upon which our rule of law is built and our judiciary is rightly respected the world over for its independence and impartiality.
"In relation to the case heard in the High Court, the Government has made it clear it will appeal to the Supreme Court. Legal process must be followed."
Similar calls to Truss were made across the political spectrum. Lord Peter Goldsmith, a QC and the attorney general under Tony Blair, told The Times: "It is deeply damaging to our society and our rule of law if our judges cannot make the decisions we entrust to them without this misguided abuse.
"I look forward to seeing a robust statement of support for the judges from her and the attorney general."
Calls were also made to Theresa May to condemn the "mob" mentality of the backlash which followed the ruling.
Bob Neill, Conservative chairman of the justice select committee, told The Times: "Some of the things which have been said about the court's judgment by politicians have been utterly disgraceful.
"All ministers from the Prime Minister down must now make clear that the independence of the judiciary is fundamental to our democracy. You have to respect that even if you think they have got a decision wrong.
"Some members of Parliament do not appear to understand that this judgment had nothing do with subverting the will of the people."