Parliament begins to debate the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill today. Following the scenes of heavy-handed policing at the vigil for Sarah Everard this weekend, there is perhaps a greater degree of attention being paid to the proposals than the government may have hoped for. The measures to update the common law offence of nuisance are a particular focus for those of us worried about state encroachment into civil liberties. Doing something that might annoy someone else should not be the basis of a criminal offence that carries a ten-year prison sentence.Continue reading “How Legal Drafting Chills Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly”
This comment by David Allen Green on Monday has stuck in my mind.
So many Bills before Parliament now contain provisions to place the state, ministers and/or its agents outside or beyond the law
1. Internal Market Bill
2. Overseas Operations Bill
3. Covert Human Intelligence Souces Bill
This is not normal
This is not acceptable https://t.co/K2X35iNSIt
— david allen green (@davidallengreen) October 5, 2020
David also notes that the solution to this constitutional wrecking is political, and the challenge is to make the public care. Continue reading “The Undermining the Rule of Law Bill”
For A Thing, I’ve been reading the court judgments in the controversial Brexit cases brought by Gina Miller.
The outcome of the case is well known. Theresa May wanted to send the Article 50 notification to Brussels, and believed she could do so without recourse to parliament, because the making and breaking of treaties is a prerogative power. The claimants disagreed, saying that parliament had created new domestic rights and a new source of law when it enacted the European Communities Act 1972, which only parliament could undo.Continue reading “Cold Take: The EU Referendum Act should have included implementation provisions”
A General Election has finally been called. The outcome is by no means certain but there is a good chance that Boris Johnson will secure a majority for the Conservative Party in the House of Commons. They will then be able to deliver Brexit.
Needless to say, I do not favour this outcome, for several reasons: I think exiting the EU is a bad idea; leaving under the current proposed ‘deal’ is one of the worst ways to do it; Scotland will vote for independence; and it’s utterly galling that Boris Johnson’s lies, incompetence and meanness of character might somehow result in political success.
If all that happened, what might be the silver linings around those dark clouds?
I can think of three.
Continue reading “Brexit Silver Linings”
Jolyon Maugham QC is the director of the Good Law Project, who has co-ordinated several of the big Brexit-related court cases, including the Cherry and Miller cases currently at the Supreme Court.
Interviewed on the Remainacs podcast earlier this week, Maugham pointed out that many of the people who cheered on Boris Johnson’s dodgy prorogation of parliament would not be at all happy to see the same power in the hands of a political opponent. What would Jeremy Corbyn do with the power to shut down parliamentary scrutiny when it got too inconvenient?
Well, the recent hullabaloo at the Labour Party conference in Brighton demonstrates that there are plenty of people in the Labour party who share the anti-democratic instincts of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings. Continue reading “Would You Hand The Proroguing Power to Labour’s Hard Left?”