The Investors Chronicle (15 April 2011) reports that the Labour government introduced over 4,000 new criminal offences. Whilst each individual new offence might be rational, in isolation, the IC argues a cumulative effect is to strangle firms in red tape and bring the law into disrepute. If we only have a few good ideas, surely good laws have already been enacted?
It is now an offence to impersonate a traffic warden; to create a nuclear explosion; to sell ruddy ducks; or to import Polish potatoes. Perhaps we need more lawyers after all?
If too much law brings the law into disrepute, more damaging to the rule of law is when the Police are above the law: “G20 kettling ruled unlawful but Met. says: we’ll carry on using it” (Times 15 April 2011).