The government has been accused of "beyond laughable" hypocrisy for running a campaign extolling the virtues of democracy and the rule of law to other countries – after appearing to repeatedly undermine them itself.
The #BeHeard campaign, launched Foreign Office, names "independent judges free to uphold the law" as a key element of democracy, alongside protecting the rights of minorities and allowing “the press to challenge those in power and to shine a light where it is needed most”.
But ministers were accused of "saying one thing whilst doing another" in launching the campaign, given that they openly admit that they are planning to break international law with new legislation – and have faced a string of criticisms for their approach to democracy, the rule of law, and judicial independence
Last year Boris Johnson's move to unilaterally suspend parliament to force his Brexit policy through against the elected chamber was found to be unlawful by the Supreme Court.
The court unanimously ruled that the prorogation should never have taken effect and said the government was "preventing or frustrating without reasonable justification" the ability of parliament to carry out its functions.
Judge Lady Hale describe the move as a “prolonged suspension of parliamentary democracy" with an “extreme” effect on “the fundamentals of our democracy”.
This year the government used its Whitehall public relations channels to launch an attack on "activist lawyers" defending migrants in legal cases; it has also been subject to a number of alerts from the Council of Europe for measures or policies that might harm freedom of the press.
In 2016 the government-supporting newspaper the Daily Mail branded three judges "enemies of the people" for ruling against ministers in a key legal case, publishing mug-shot style photographs on the front page.
There were reports this weekend that the government wants to appoint the Mail's then editor Paul Dacre to head regulator Ofcom.
Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson, told The Independent: "This campaign shows that the Government's hypocrisy knows no bounds.
"To launch an international campaign calling on other countries to join the UK in following the rule of law, just days after they proposed legislation which would break the international agreements they signed, is beyond laughable.
"If Raab and his colleagues in the Foreign Office wish to urge politicians to protect the shared values which underpin democratic societies, they only need to raise it at the next Cabinet meeting. It's long overdue the Conservatives stopped saying one thing whilst doing another."