Much is written and said about how it is undemocratic for unelected judges to make decisions that have an impact on public policy.
An interesting article last week in the UK Human Rights Blog makes the point that it is not so much the unelected bench that results in a democratic deficit, as the lack of meaningful public access to court decisions.
The authors point out that although judges may be somewhat out of touch, in the eyes of the public they are objective and fair.
The problem, they say, is that the courts are failing to use technology to open up the justice system and provide meaningful access to justice to the extent possible in the internet age:
But aside from a few isolated examples, no summaries are produced for the thousands of cases each year which are decided in the Administrative Court and Court of Appeal, both of which are central to the public law system. The public, who the law affects fundamentally, are left trawling through dense, legalistic judgments. If the want to understand what it all means, they have to employ a lawyer.