Suella Braverman Controversy: An Attorney General Forbids Attorneys from Claiming that Rules Are Illegal!

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British politician and barrister Sue-Ellen Cassiana “Suella” Braverman QC (/braevrmn/ née Fernandes; born 3 April 1980) has served as Attorney General for England and Wales since 2020. Since 2015, she has represented the Hampshire constituency of Fareham as an MP.

She is a member of the Conservative Party and served as chair of the European Research Group from June 19, 2017, until January 9, 2018.

Theresa May appointed her to her current position of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union in a reshuffle in January of 2018. She resigned earlier that year to protest the proposed Northern Ireland backstop, and she has been sitting on the sidelines ever since.

In the cabinet reshuffle that took place in February 2020, Boris Johnson named Braverman as Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland.

Braverman ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party in July 2022, but he was defeated in the runoff election.


A reaction is brewing among government lawyers since Attorney General and failed Conservative leadership candidate Suella Braverman banned them from informing ministers that programmes were unlawful. An ex-attorney general has called the view “idiotic.”

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According to The Telegraph

Suella Braverman instructed legal professionals to instead of defending the legitimacy of policies, they should provide a % chance that the rules would be challenged.

Both the likelihood of a challenge and the likelihood of success will be stated by attorneys, but the verdict of a policy’s “illegality” can be approved only by superiors or directors of legal affairs.

suella braverman controversy

As a result of Braverman’s message, many attorneys have questioned the value of their work, while other government insiders have become defensive when asked about the legitimacy of their programmes.

“If we come and say we want something, they come back and say it is unlawful and we think there is a 70% probability of losing,” a source from the Home Office told the publication.

“They don’t say things like, ‘Well, a judge would declare it legitimate with a 30% chance, therefore let’s do it. Some will declare it’s illegal for x, y, or z reasons instead of asking, “How can we make a legal argument that it’s lawful?”

Ex-Tory MP Grieve Called the Move “Quite Unusual”

Saying that Boris Johnson seems “pretty bent” on proceeding despite the advice of lawyers. His words were, “I can’t really work out why this has been done.” “What he had to say was.

“There is no doubt that government lawyers have an obligation to provide the best advice possible based on their knowledge of the law whenever they are presented with an issue and asked whether anything is likely to be successfully contested.

However, “if they feel that anything is unlawful on the basis of precedent and its character, they should be entitled to say so.”

Particularly concerning to those interested in international law are questions regarding the impact.

It is possible that there is no mechanism for arbitration when it comes to treaties or other international law responsibilities. Since this is the case, Braverman’s action may make it simpler for ministers to break international law.

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Electable Conservative Candidate

By the time of the 2003 Brent East by-election, Braverman’s name had already been added to the list of Conservative parliamentary candidates; she had to be convinced not to seek the nomination.

Her mother, Conservative councillor Uma Fernandes, was chosen to run for the seat, and Braverman helped with her campaign. The Guardian published a piece about Braverman titled “The route to No. 10” during the campaign.

In the 2005 general election, Braverman ran for a representative of Leicester East and came in second place, 15,876 votes (38.4%) behind Labour’s Keith Vaz. After failing to be chosen as the Conservative candidate in Bexhill and Battle, she ran for the position in Fareham.

Braverman ran for the London Assembly in 2012, finishing fourth on the Conservative London-wide list; only the top three Conservative candidates on the list were ultimately elected.

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