... the parties are not prohibited from publishing the
Defendant's or their own Detailed Grounds... against the
background of the principle of open justice, it is difficult to see
a justification for restricting publication of documents which are
generally available under the Rules.
The People's Challenge group has been
crowdfunding to raise money to actively participate in the Article
50 litigation begun in July by Dier Dos Santos and Gina Miller so
it can ensure a range of British Citizens' interests are at the
forefront of the Court's mind. Last week, the group's legal
team made detailed legal submissions to the Court
arguing that Article 50 cannot be invoked using prerogative powers
and that only an Act of Parliament, preceded by proper
parliamentary scrutiny, will be constitutionally sufficient.
John Halford of Bindmans LLP represents the
group. He commented today:
The Court's Order allows a floodlight to be shone on the
government's secret reasons for believing it alone can bring
about Brexit without any meaningful parliamentary scrutiny. Those
who were unsettled by the Government's insistence on its
defence being kept secret, will now be surprised by the contents,
including submissions that Brexit has nothing constitutionally to
do with the Scottish and Northern Ireland devolved governments,
that Parliament 'clearly understood' it was surrendering
any role it might have in Brexit by passing the EU Referendum Act,
that it has no control over making and withdrawal from treaties and
that individuals can have fundamental rights conferred by Acts of
Parliament stripped away if and when the executive withdraws from
the treaties on which they are based. These arguments will be
tested in Court next month, but now they can be debated by the
Members of the People's Challenge group also welcomed the
ruling. Robert Pigney commented:
After much secrecy the government have been made to show their
legal arguments by the High Court - a big a step for the public to
get closer to the truth of the government's position and
Tahmid Chowdhury said:
In initially withholding disclosure of their arguments, the
Government made a mockery of the transparency needed in a thriving
democracy. They clearly now know they had no leg to stand on, and
one can only hope the same thing happens in this case that should
never have needed to come to court.
Grahame Pigney said:
It is good to see that the court has injected common sense and
natural justice into the case. Proof, if any is needed, that that
ordinary people working together, well organised and supported are
capable of challenging and winning anything.
Chris Formaggia added:
It is hugely pleasing to learn that the court finds for the
disclosure to the public of the arguments for and against the use
of the archaic Royal Prerogative in a case that is of such enormous
Notes for editors:
Bindmans LLP was founded in 1974 by pre-eminent human rights
and civil liberties lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC (Hon). Since
then we have built a formidable reputation for our commitment to
human rights and our ethical, creative and campaigning approach to
legal issues. We often represent some of the most vulnerable people
in society and champion cases which challenge the law.
A single sentence from paragraph 52 of the defence has been
blanked out as it makes a factual assertion about one of the
parties that is in dispute.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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