Necessary Measures Of Accountability For The Executive Case Study

1500 Words 6 Pages
When assessing as to whether there are sufficient measures of accountability for the executive, it first must be taken into consideration what a good standard of accountability is. According to Gregory and Hicks, the method of accountability should be mechanistic and not one followed simply by rules and procedures. O’Loughlin on the other hand interjects that there is a need of responsiveness by the government to local needs and demands and the members of the public are customers that enforce their sanctions through political processes. Mulgan states that responsiveness and accountability have two different meanings and should therefore not be linked; a government being more responsive does not mean they should be more accountable.
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The earliest case when looking at how the government can overstep their authority is that of Entick v Carrington. The main issue surrounding this case was a complete abuse of power by the Home Secretary on a mission to root out and punish any person whom he suspected to be criticising the government. Entick was suspected to be one of the people writing such defamatory material about the government and so the Home Secretary decided to issue a general warrant to search Entick’s premise and seize any material that the civil servants thought were harmful to the government. This was obviously a corrupt and problematic method of law enforcement as this general warrant was essentially a free ticket for the government to do whatever they wanted because they thought they had an inherent right, just because they were the government. Chief Justice Camden disagreed with the issuing of the warrant and stated that, ‘If it is a law, it will be found in our books. If it is not to be found there it is not a law’. This meaning that the Home Secretary was given no power to issue general warrants by law and therefore acted unlawfully. Heuston stated that as a result of this decision the courts acted as ‘lions under the throne’ when controlling the government and there is a lot of merit to this assertion. …show more content…
Legislation set out by Parliament is the usual method of control. A very popular body when considering the use and abuse of powers are that of Police powers and whether there is a sufficient control over the Police as a public body. In modern day law, the Police need to satisfy the requirements of section 17 of PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence act) in order for a search of premise to be lawful. Preferably, the Police would have a warrant issued by the courts which is the most straightforward approach; however the other requirements of the section are more ambiguous and can be up for interpretation. Thus the question of whether the search of premise is within the scope of their power is usually an issue when the Police do not have a search warrant. For example, in the case of NTC v Commissioner of Metropolitan Police the Police were informed of a man that was in possession of firearms in a flat on the right side of the apartment building. The Police entered a flat on the left hand side and searched the premise for the offender in possession of the firearm. The occupant sued the police on three accounts, one of which being unlawful trespass. On that account the question was whether the Police were within the scope of s17(1) of PACE and it was held that they were. The court agreed that the

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