Brexit, Presidential Executive Orders and the Rule of Law: A discussion on the limits of executive power

On Wednesday, May 31, nearly 170 people attended the first annual Law Society Rule of Law Lecture to hear two international speakers talk about the role the rule of law has in limiting executive power. The Law Society established the Rule of Law Lecture Series to increase public awareness of and build confidence in the rule of law.

Anne Egeler, Deputy Solicitor General in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, spoke about her legal team’s work in challenging President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. The attorney general’s department worked to obtain a temporary restraining order, which was issued nationwide on February 3 in Washington v. Trump and later upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Egeler said Trump’s legal team argued that the order was “unreviewable,” while offering no evidence for their reasoning.

Richard Gordon, QC, lead counsel for Wales in the Miller v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, discussed the core principles of the rule of law in relation to the Brexit case, but also examined the important constitutional balance between the rule of law and Parliamentary sovereignty. His presentation was done via video due to airline travel disruptions. A written copy of his presentation is available here.

A video of the presentations is below: