Dear reader, it’s none of my business but may I ask, “When did you last sit down to eat a meal at a table?”
You reply, “X hours (or Y days) ago. Why?”
I respond, “Well my friend, you acted illegally because I’ve introduced – only just now! – a new law stating meals are to be eaten whilst standing in the corner of a room. If you’re not alone, then each person must be in another corner of the room while each is eating; if there’s more than four of you then use another room too. For breaking this law you can face jail.”
In other words, in not having eaten your last meal by standing in the corner of a room you are breaking the law retrospectively – even though this new law did not exist when you had that meal…!!!
“An injustice!” you shout. Nevertheless, because I have the authority to invent new laws at whim then, by your own above confession, you are guilty of breaking it!
This ridiculous scenario is similar to the ‘Supreme’ Court’s judgement against the Prime Minister’s prorogation of Parliament. Retired Supreme Justice Lord Sumption, has said the court had invented a new rule in the relationship between the Judiciary and the Government, as reported in Supreme Court justices could be appointed by MPs…:
“What the Supreme Court has done is to invent a brand new rule that is undoubtedly controversial, a brand new constitutional rule, the effect of which is to reinstate Parliament at the heart of the decision-making process.”
Little wonder that Boris Johnson insisted in yesterday’s resumed Parliament that this Court’s decision was “wrong”.
In May 2016 I merrily mused “Is the Lord exposing rotten politics? UK, USA, next EU?”, and since then noted several instances of that prophetical rumination being fulfilled. At sometime I realised the many areas in which that’s manifesting could also include the judiciary.
In fact, I began to become aware of that possibility only six months later, following the unexpected result of the Referendum – unexpected, that is, to those who were unaware of dozens of prophecies of a ‘Leave’ result, as listed herein!
Blogging on 24th November 2016 about a prophetic word, I realised there was some relevance to events at that time. The previous day I’d read about injudicious comments by Lady Hale, a justice in Britain’s Supreme Court. Former editor of the Telegraph, Charles Moore, explains in his Saturday op-ed ‘Time to say Hale and farewell to judges who hand down opinions on Europe’, that she’d delivered a lecture overseas in which she presumptuously declared that she and her fellow judges “have definitely become the guardians of the UK Constitution” (on-line version here – emphases mine).
Moreover, the wife of the then Court’s President Lord Neuberger had made dozens of tweets against the Referendum result, as well as broadcasting extreme opinion on it far and wide. Baroness Neuberger’s actions are not in contempt of court as such, but quite contrary to the Supreme Court’s own Guide to Judicial Conduct, which advises judges to show caution and restraint whenever publicly commenting upon their case decisions – which Lady Hale had also done whilst in Malaysia. Therefore, calls had been made for her husband to recuse himself from inclusion in the 11 judges hearing the government’s case for Article 50.
Also at that time, Lord Neuberger announced his early retirement in 2017. Furthermore, the leading political commentator Melanie Phillips has called for Lady Hale as the only female Supreme Court justice not to take his place as President (article refers).
Therefore, we have a questionable background to the President of the Supreme Court, Baroness Brenda Hale, who delivered its ruling upon the PM’s and Queen’s prorogation of Parliament! What’s more, as Britain hasn’t yet left the EU then we’re bound by treaty in subservience to EU law and the European Court of Justice – which is what Brexit is truly about: getting back our national sovereignty! [Lawyers for Britain Brexit Legal Guide, Part 6 refers]
Hence, my unease and noting that this week’s shenanigans may be the Lord’s way of exposing ulterior motives in the highest court of our nation!
Furthermore, checking a few of the many well-informed commentaries I noted this in The Supreme Court ruling; defence of parliamentary democracy by Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law and Human Rights, University of Durham in The UK in a Changing Democracy (originally published by the Centre on Constitutional Change.):
‘Nevertheless, although the judgment was compellingly delivered, there are a number of sleights-of-hand in the reasoning which disguise the novelty and significance of the decision, and help the court to resist the accusations of judicial overreach which followed upon the Inner House’s ruling…’
Now we need to read, renowned journalist albeit non-legal expert, Melanie Philips’ incisive analysis Goodbye British Constitution (these extracts taken out of order for purposes of my thesis in starting with the historical aspect – emphases mine):
‘Some of us warned that the creation of the Supreme Court in 2009 in place of the Law Lords would lead to the politicisation of the judiciary. An enormous step in that direction was taken today, when the Supreme Court inserted itself into not just the most contentious political decision in living memory but even into the relationship between the prime minster and the Queen – all the while protesting disingenuously that all they were doing was upholding the law. Stand by for escalating calls for judges to be appointed through a political vetting process, and maybe also calls for a written constitution... [RB – as in first link above]
‘The judges came up with historical examples of the courts limiting the unlawful use of prerogative powers. But the point was that these actions had been contrary to statute or common law. The courts had never interfered with a prorogation before. In this case, there was no statute that had been broken. So the judges made new law. They said the prime minister had not made a reasonable case for proroguing parliament for as long as five weeks.
‘That broke no statute. But under the slippery and highly subjective ambit of judicial review the judges decided that prorogation for five weeks was unlawful because they didn’t think the PM had made a reasonable case for such a long prorogation, and because they decided that its length prevented parliament from holding government to account on the issue of Brexit. The seriousness of this effect, they said, gave the court the power to intervene.
‘The court’s president, Lady Hale said: “The court is bound to conclude, therefore, that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”
‘This missed the point by a mile. Parliament was not being frustrated in supervising the government over Brexit. It had had three years to do so since the referendum. It had already passed a number of measures severely limiting the prime minister’s freedom to negotiate with the EU. There had even been enough time, after the prorogation was announced, for parliament to pass a law requiring the prime minister to request from the EU an extension to the Article 50 Brexit deadline.
‘The point of the prorogation was not to evade MPs’ scrutiny, as the judges suggested, but to stop MPs from further hijacking parliamentary procedure and reversing the constitutional balance between parliament and government.
‘Boris Johnson did not prorogue parliament to prevent MPs from exercising their constitutional rights. He did it to protect the constitution from MPs smashing it up even further…
‘The British constitution is now on the ropes. Parliament has set itself against the people; MPs have paralysed government by arrogating its powers to themselves, aided by a partisan Speaker, while refusing to enable the proper remedy for any alleged loss of trust in government by allowing the people to decide in a general election.
‘The Supreme Court made no mention of this truly appropriate constitutional remedy. Instead, it trampled down the delicate membrane setting the judiciary apart from the political process, an essential component of English liberty and Britain’s once uniquely effective democracy…’
‘Whatever the niceties of these legal arguments, today’s Supreme Court ruling will be seen by the millions who voted Brexit in a quite different and more straightforward way. They will see it as the judges ganging up with Remainer MPs, who are betraying the manifesto promise to honour the referendum result on which they were all elected by busily ripping up parliament’s rules and the constitutional balance between government and MPs, in order to give these rogue parliamentarians more opportunity to subvert the constitution, effectively hold the prime minister hostage and thus thwart the democratic will of the people – an exercise to which the 11 justices of the Supreme Court have now supplied rocket fuel.
‘Lady Hale declared today of the prorogation that “the effect upon the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme”. No; it’s the effect of the Supreme Court’s judgment upon the fundamentals of our democracy that’s extreme.
‘The damage these judges have done to public trust in a democratic system rooted in the sovereignty of the people and the rule of law is incalculable.’
I hope this piece may be of some help to my readers…