The ‘legislative tsunami’ triggered by Brexit is the ‘greatest challenge’ ever faced by our legislative processes, Lord Judge said.

Delivering the annual Bingham Lecture, Judge, who served as Lord Chief Justice between 2008 and 2013, bemoaned the ‘torrent’ of legislation generally, which he said is not properly scrutinised.

Spending increasing time in the House of Lords, he said, has changed the way he sees the legislative process. ‘The process of scrutiny, which provides the basis for Parliamentary control of the executive has... diminished, is diminishing, and ought to be increased’.

While Bills are getting longer, Judge said many are ‘not much more than intended political propaganda’. ‘Skeleton’ Bills, like the Education and Adoption Bill and Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, he said, leave much of the detail to secondary legislation. While ‘Christmas Tree’ Bills, which have ‘grand’ and focused titles, are then ‘festooned with multiple miscellaneous’ and potentially controversial provisions that have no apparent connection with their titles, in the hope they will escape scrutiny.

Judge said: ‘During the last few years something like 3,000 typed pages of primary legislation have been produced annually, and in addition laws are made by some 12,000- 13,000 pages of delegated legislation.’

Legislative scrutiny, he said, is an essential ingredient of Parliamentary democracy. ‘The government should be held to account for its actions, and its policies, and consequentially for the laws it seeks to enact to implement its policies and legitimise its actions.’