Further to my two blogs of last Wednesday 26th September based upon my prophecy of 2016 on the Lord starting to expose rotten politics, and the spiritual battle for Brexit that’s so clearly evident behind the ‘Supreme’ Court’s ruling on the prorogation of Parliament, and the Court committing a travesty, if not miscarriage, of justice arising from its applying new law in retrospect; I’m most encouraged to read legal confirmation of this within His Honour Charles Wide QC’s letter to The Telegraph’s editor, as published on 1st October (emphases mine):
‘SIR – The outcome of the Supreme Court case is extraordinary and unexpected, not least because of the previous meticulous judgment to the contrary by an exceptionally distinguished Divisional Court consisting of the Lord Chief Justice (the head of the judiciary of England and Wales), the Master of the Rolls, and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division.
‘Compelling criticism of the Supreme Court’s reasoning can also be found in Professor John Finnis QC’s paper, published by Policy Exchange.
‘Lord Sumption, lately a member of the Supreme Court, agrees that the Attorney General’s advice, on the basis of which the Prime Minister acted, was “in line with the orthodox view of the law as it was before the Supreme Court pronounced” and says that he would have given the same advice.
‘John Beveridge QC (Commentary, September 30) argues that the Supreme Court judgment has the appearance of reasoning backwards from a desired outcome. Lord Sumption seems to agree, saying: “What has happened is that in the face of a particularly disgraceful constitutional abuse the courts have now moved the boundaries.”
‘If Lord Sumption is right, the implications are disturbing. The Supreme Court would, in reality, have changed the law with retrospective effect – having “moved the boundaries” after the prorogation. It is not easy to see how an action that was correctly understood to be lawful at the time it took place could be a “disgraceful constitutional abuse”.
‘Reaction to the case has been strong and divided sharply, generally along political lines, indicating that the issues are, indeed, essentially political – territory where courts should not go.’
Historian David Starkey
That retrospective error was also picked up by the renowned historian David Starkey, who also gave an interesting account of how the wool had been pulled over the eyes of the 11 judges by a cunning barrister “and polluted our public life for years to come”!
I’d simply presumed one reason behind those judges’ unanimous ruling could have been their implementing European civil law with its Napoleonic code upon Britain before we leave the EU, and thus overwriting our common law based upon Magna Carta and the preceding Anglo-Saxon codes derived from King Alfred’s laws, based upon Biblical principles as he’d fully intended. (For more about this refer to this blog’s series on the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta – eg. see GPS#12).
Here are some extracts from his above-linked article:
‘How does it come about that the law is one thing on Wednesday, September 11 and quite another on Tuesday, September 24? That something could be legal on the former day and illegal on the latter? For that is the position the Government and the country now find themselves in. What happened in those 13 momentous days? Did Parliament pass a new Act which changed the law? Was an important, but forgotten precedent, rediscovered?
‘Neither, I fear. Instead – as happens in many of the best courtroom dramas – a cunning, super-clever barrister pulled the wool over the eyes of a panel of judges…’
‘Lady Hale, the President of the Court, wore a large spider brooch when she read its shattering judgment last week. But in this critical case, the Baroness and her fellow judges were the fly caught in the web woven by the aptly named Lord Pannick…
‘What is more is that all the other precedents cited by Lord Pannick were also about ‘the impact of the exercise of the prerogative on particular individuals’. In other words, they were irrelevant to the case. That is why the High Court – following three centuries of real precedents – correctly ruled the case was outside its remit…
‘There are a series of checks and balances, but by and large the Government, providing it has a majority, runs the show.
‘This was not good enough for Lord Pannick. He substituted it for a brutal new doctrine: the Commons is political as well as legal sovereign, and their prime duty, apart from legislating, is ‘to hold the Government to account’.
‘Lord Pannick argued that because the prorogation interfered with this alleged duty, the Supreme Court must rule it unlawful. Why was this utterly wrong? Because it stands our system of government on its head. For the past 150 years, we have had a Commons run by a Government formed from the largest party in the House. This is why our unique parliamentary form of governance has worked so well. Yet for the past quarter of a century there has been a liberal campaign to destroy this by giving judges the power to constrain the Government’s authority. The Blair administration created the European-style Supreme Court – which has shown it is only too willing to exploit its sweeping new powers. And today the great wrecking project is almost complete…’
Historian of the English constitution David Starkey concludes,
‘Clause 40 of Magna Carta promises that justice will not be denied or delayed or sold. We have just seen something much worse: our very constitution and political traditions bought and sold to the highest bidder.
‘It is a shameful story and the consequences will pollute our public life for years, and perhaps generations, to come.’
In the next post we’ll look how professor John Finnis trashes this travesty of justice…