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#constitution #law #public
Similarly, the courts play a role in law-making through the development of the common law and through the interpretation of statute. However, there is a fine dividing line between developing the law and making it, and sometimes the courts are accused of excessive ‘judicial activism’.

In Shaw v DPP [1962] AC 220, Shaw wanted to publish a 'ladies directory' giving details of prostitutes and their services. He was advised that publication of the directory would not amount to a criminal offence. Nevertheless, a conviction of 'conspiracy to corrupt public morals' was upheld (even though there was no such statutory offence and such a conviction was unprecedented). The House of Lords held that courts have: 'residual power to enforce the supreme and fundamental purpose of the law, to conserve not only the safety and order but also the moral welfare of the state'.
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