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HomeUKSuella Braverman challenges 'overcautious' lawyers

Suella Braverman challenges ‘overcautious’ lawyers

The Attorney General told government lawyers to stop rejecting policies as illegal, without advising on the possibility of success, the Telegraph can reveal.

In the wake of a dispute over the Rwandan asylum program, Surah Braverman sent guidance to lawyers last week, refraining from dismissing the policy as illegal and increasing the likelihood that they would be challenged instead. He said it should be given in proportion.

This is the culmination of over a year of heightened tensions, and policy advisers consider lawyers to be overly cautious. They recognize that they are interfering with the government’s policy agenda rather than thinking creatively to push ideas forward.

Lawyers who now describe it as “U-word” have opposed this policy, describing it as an insult. “It casts doubt on our ability to seek clarification from the government. What exactly is our role now?” Said one. Others have warned that the minister is at risk of violating international law and, by extension, ministerial norms.

This problem came to my mind in my home office. One government source said: [lawyers] Come back and say we think it’s illegal and we have a 70% chance of losing. They don’t go:’Well, there’s a 30% chance that a judge will think it’s legal, so we should choose it. Some would say that it is illegal for x, y, z reasons, rather than “how can we make a legal argument that it is legal”.

“Idiotic” ideas

Dominic Grieve, who served as Attorney General from 2010 to 2014, explained that the ban was a “ridiculous” idea.

“I’m not sure why this happened,” he said. We will give you the best advice based on your understanding of the law. But if they think that something based on precedent and its nature is illegal, they should be in a position to say so. “

He added: “It seems very strange to remove the’U word’. Ultimately, it’s up to the government to follow the advice of a lawyer. You can decide to proceed with something they consider illegal. Indeed, this current government under the current Prime Minister was quite enthusiastic about doing it from time to time. “

Under the new guidance, lawyers will be asked to avoid alternative responses and instead state the possibility of opposition. Next, we must state the possibility of winning or losing. Only line managers or legal managers can approve “illegal” responses to policies. According to insiders, the policy is not considered 100% illegal unless it has already been tested in court, giving the minister a basis for pursuing what is considered illegal.

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