Lord Neuberger said he felt judges had not been fairly treated after a landmark court case was heard in the High Court last year over whether Theresa May was able to activate Article 50 – the process by which Britain formally leaves the EU.
He said some coverage had crossed the line and had undermined the rule of law in Britain.
Speaking to BBC News, former national newspaper editor Kelvin MacKenzie said that on a high-profile issue like Brexit, the media had a right to express its views.
He said: “This has been a rough and tumble involving newspapers, who have been attacking judges, for various reasons, whether it’s divorce or not giving stiff enough sentences.
Kelvin McKenzie said the media were entitled to hold High Court judges to account
“Neuberger is overly sensitive on this issue, we are in a world where you get attacked morning, noon and night, on Facebook, on Twitter, in the press or even might I say, by BBC presenters.
“He is being oversensitive, and he is quite wrong.”
In a BBC Radio 4 Today interview, Lord Neuberger blasted politicians for not jumping to protect the judiciary.
He said: “After the [High] Court hearing. I think they could have been quicker and clearer. But we all learn by experience, whether politicians or judges.”
Gina Miller led the campaign to take the triggering of Article 50 through the High Court Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal Tue, January 24, 2017
Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process Article 50 for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
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Issued by the Supreme Court of (top row, from the left) Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, (bottom row, from the left) Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge, who agreed with the majority decision that the Government could not trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval.
He is being over sensitive, and he is quite wrong
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“I think some of what was said was undermining the rule of law,” he added.
However, Mr McKenzie believes the media has a right to scrutinise the judiciary over such an important issue.
He finished: “When you get an important issue, like Brexit being decided uniquely, I think for the first time in 40 years, by a referendum, you’re going to get big reactions on both sides.
“I defend the right of a newspaper, to give a rather large raspberry, to a controversial decision.”
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