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Brexit bullying: Man arrested for abusing lead claimant as legal challenge reaches day three

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The Supreme Court show must go on

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Eleven of the country’s top judges took their seats in the Supreme Court this morning to hear day three of the most important constitutional law case of a generation.

The atmosphere was notably more subdued than day one of the hearing. The police presence both inside and outside the court was strong, but the scores of protesters have dissipated and courtroom one — the venue of the Brexit judicial review hearing — was considerably less busy.

Though the ambience was different, the fierce constitutional law arguments remained the same, with Blackstone Chambers‘ Lord Pannick QC first to give oral submissions before the bench.

Kicking off the hearing at 10.30am, the lead claimant’s barrister began by arguing the European Communities Act 1972 shows it’s “most unlikely” the legislature intended that the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union could be “undone” by a minister. The act:

[I]s simply inconsistent with any prerogative powers to set it aside.

Later, Pannick used the law of frustration — a word that will strike fear into the heart of contract law students — to argue that:

The statute book has so many provisions… that proceed on the assumption that this country is a member of the EU that the Secretary of State cannot by prerogative power take the step of notifying… without parliament addressing this issue.

Ministers cannot proceed along the path of notification without parliament firstly addressing the frustration/nullification problem, which will inevitably arise when Article 50 is triggered.

Half way through Pannick’s submissions, news broke that a 55-year-old man had been arrested for threatening Gina Miller, the lead claimant in the case.

The fund manager has reportedly been subjected to death and rape threats, as well as racially aggravated abuse, because of her involvement in the judicial review. Throughout both the High Court and the Supreme Court hearings, judges — namely Lords Thomas and Neuberger — were at pains to condemn this online abuse, the latter telling the court on Monday morning:

Anyone who communicates such threats or abuse should be aware that there are legal powers designed to ensure that access to the courts is available to everyone.

There were murmurs in court as news of the arrest came in — a reminder of the case’s legal and political importance. But the hearing went on uninterrupted and, in and among the jargon-fuelled insipidity, there were some funny, more human moments.

Half an hour into Pannick’s submissions, for example, Lady Hale reacted with horror when the Blackstones barrister said he was going to discuss De Keyser (a case explored at length by James Eadie QC during the government’s submissions). “Have I been pronouncing that case wrong all my life?” asked the sole female justice, before president Neuberger jumped in to reassure the laughing courtroom the judicial transcript won’t reveal if anyone was saying the case name incorrectly.

Pannick rounded off the first respondent’s case with a compelling message to the judges. The media attention attached to the case, the volume of case materials and lawyers, and the eloquence of the respondent should not blur what is, in fact, a simple constitutional principle: the Royal prerogative cannot remove statutory rights.

Next up was Dominic Chambers QC, acting for second respondent Dos Santos. The Maitland Chambers barrister took the court through the historical basis for and context of parliamentary sovereignty, starting with the 17th century Glorious Revolution.

He went on to tell the court this history demonstrates the interaction of parliamentary sovereignty and the UK’s dualism. Rights granted by these treaties are without doubt statutory, domestic rights — to suggest otherwise is “fallacy”. This history shows such rights can only be removed from domestic law by — you’ve guessed it — parliament, regardless of what government may say.

The Supreme Court case continues this afternoon and tomorrow, with the hearing scheduled to finish with the appellant’s replies on Thursday afternoon.

56 Comments

Anonymous

It was Not Amused, wasn’t it?

(25)(0)

Interloper

Wouldn’t be surprised if Hale had been getting it wrong, she’s been getting basic law wrong her whole career

(13)(11)

Charlotte P

Sexist, misogynistic nonsense

(13)(9)

Teresa

How is it sexist and misogynistic? You are assuming that commenter disagrees with Hale because she’s a woman. Had he disagreed with any of the male judges (who have been called enemies of the people), would you have accused them of misandry?

If you use such accusations baselessly and continuously, you end up like the boy who cried wolf. That goes for everyone who cries misogyny every time a woman is criticised in any way. It doesn’t further women’s advancement, quite the opposite.

(3)(5)

Anonymous

Look at the comment poster’s name, you blithering idiot.

(0)(0)

Interloper

This was not me. This is the self-same bellend who ticks down every posting I make several times because he is a sad tosser (and doesn’t like anyone on point with his right wing bs). Obviously now thinks it is funny to try and pretend to me.

Has upticked his own post 12 times – as you can see for an observation that was far from wry, witty or insightful but as usual characterises his hateful drivel.

I don’t know whether you are Trumpenkrieg or not or whether you are some other but you will be the same knob who seems to think James O’Brien is a loony leftie (yeah right !). Mate – have a word with yourself and get a life is it !?

In actuality, I have a lot of respect for Lady Hale – who has probably had to deal with entitled parts like you all her life and seems to have coped very well !! Now FO…

(2)(2)

Trumpenkrieg

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(18)

Anonymous

I agree.

How boring must your life be/ How big is your feeling of self-importance to act in the manner that she has.

I believe the other parties to this case have, and I use the phrase loosely, genuine concerns that need to be addressed, she just wants her 15 minutes of fame and can’t deal with the unwelcome backlash as a result of that. Probably fancies herself as some champion of justice.

(4)(12)

Anonymous

Trumpenkrieg- can you enlighten us as to what a trumpenteabag is like? Like juggling two (unpeeled) lychees with one’s tongue?

(2)(2)

Anonymous

She deserves the abuse she is currently receiving. Going against 17.4 million people in the hope that you will get your own way is sure to anger many voters. Let’s not pretend here that she is not doing it for her own good as we all know she is. Legally speaking maybe she is right but morally and ethically she is a disgusting human being who wants her way.

(3)(35)

Anonymous

She has received death threats, no one deserves that. You should consider your use of words more carefully, there’s at least an argument that the kind of language you are using is the same as that stirred up in the referendum campaign, and that it has led to an increase in hate crime – possibly a couple of murders too.

(20)(2)

Anonymous

I am not saying anyone should receive death threats but to do somethings so monumentally democratically wrong is sure to bring hate. No matter what anyone says on here, they know she is doing it for her own good in the hope that parliament won’t put it through and if that does happen the abuse she is going to receive will multiply exponentially.

(1)(5)

Anonymous

Go read a book.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Ow god you are so funny! what a witty insult that was.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I surprised you can read given your clear lack of intellect. Do you even understand that this is about the process for authorising the triggering of Article 50, not whether it should be triggered?

FYI Daily Mail comments section ————–>

(12)(2)

Anonymous

That is bs to be honest. This is not about the process of triggering article 50 at all, and if you believe it is then clearly you lack intelligence. Don’t bring my intelligence into the conversation when yours is clearly severely lacking to. Every single person in this country with even a shred of intelligence knows that this is not about following political correctness. This is a selfish lady who did not get her way and is now trying to go against millions of people in the hope that parliament stops brexit. The abuse she has received will only get worse and from a normal citizen point of view, she is getting what she deserves. No matter what legal arguments you bring forward, nothing should go against the will of the majority.

(2)(7)

Boh Dear

I don’t think you understand what political correctness is…

(0)(2)

Anonymous

It wasn’t meant to mean that type of political correctness, idiot.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I tend to be more sympathetic to remain……but let’s not beat around the bush here…The challenge is not about following due process at all.

It is about subverting the outcome of the vote and avoiding an exit from the EU altogether, or making it meaningless.

Tasteless, flippant, baseless and sometimes serious abuse has been dished out by both sides. It’s really not right for one side to be elevated above another as some kind of “victim” when they are not. Rich, savvy, and playing a good hand at manipulating a process – yes. Victim? Far from it.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Thank you anon, someone on here finally agrees.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Never thought I’d hear ‘will of the people’ used as an excuse for the kind of fascist witch hunts that are going on now.

(11)(1)

Anonymous

If you go against the ‘will of the people’ obviously you are going to anger many people. Do you not understand that she is outright denying 17.4 million people getting what they voted for. I hate trump but he got elected so we have to live with it. You might not agree with brexit but we have to live with it because that is democracy. Gina Miller is a self centred lady who, to be frank, wants her own way and will do whatever it takes to get it.

(2)(4)

Anonymous

As Lord Neuberger said, the Supreme Court’s ruling will not overturn the result of the EU referendum. Please ‘phone a friend’ before making further posts.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

No it won’t, and as I have stated previously, it gives parliament the power to overturn the result. Please read my earlier comments before trying to outsmart me as frankly, it is rather embarrassing on your behalf.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Part of the role of law is to protect against the tyranny of the majority. You are doing a good job of being the spokesperson for the tyranny of the majority.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

And you are doing a good job at being the spokesperson for a profession that doesn’t care about democracy. How can you defend the law when it is so corrupt and against the people. The press were right to label them as enemies of the people. They are not trying to uphold constitutional law, they are trying to cease brexit from happening. Anyone who can’t see this is stupid and really need to stop being so stupid.

(0)(5)

Anonymous

Just take a step back and think about what you are saying. The law is no different now than it was before the referendum. Parliament could have chosen to include within the Referendum Act powers and a requirement for the government to implement the result using those powers: that was exactly what the AV Referendum did, and exactly what the EU Referendum Act did not do. So we are back to the simple question that is currently before the Court: does the government have the prerogative power, or does it not, to trigger article 50? Whatever the answer to that question is, it is exactly the same both pre- and post-referendum.

What about that is corrupt? Is it your position that the law should just give way wherever public opinion is sufficiently strong? I struggle to reconcile that with any sensible conception of democracy.

If the government were sensible, and not full of third rate hacks, it would pre-empted and diffused this issue completely by saying from the word go: “We will put an enabling Act before Parliament giving us the necessary powers to do what we need to do with Brexit.” Such an Act would have passed, as will whatever goes before Parliament after the Supreme Court decision (assuming the appeal fails). All of this anger directed at the judiciary is completely unnecessary.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

My problem isn’t necessarily with the judiciary work, as they are only doing the job in the end of the day. But what I do not like is how they can blatantly see that Gina Miller is doing this for her own personal gain. They should be able to see that this is not a question about law with this, but instead it is Mrs Miller trying to get the result she wanted in the first place. I understand that maybe parliament will out it through, but the only reason she is doing this legal challenge is purely because there is a glimmer of hope for her personally that parliament will stop brexit occurring. The points you put forward are very good and the way I have worded some of my earlier comments are not how they were meant to be, but the judges should realised that Gina is doing this for personal gain.

(3)(2)

Interloper

How is putting herself at risk of having to pay considerable legal fees ‘doing this for personal gain’ exactly ?

(4)(2)

Anonymous

She is a millionaire hedge fund manager. Brexit will cause significant disruption for her business, so yet again how can you not see she is doing this for her personal gain? If you truly believe that, then you my learned friend, are a moron.

Anonymous

So what about her motives?? Someone was going to bring this challenge. The question remains the same. Can I take it that you no longer think that the law is “corrupt”?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I think the law is incredibly corrupt actually, it is incredibly bias towards certain people.

Anonymous

Any evidence for that? Or even examples?

Anonymous

Hmm, maybe the fact that males are still discriminated against in the family court. Or how about the fact that people of different races are still getting harsher sentences compared to white English people. Or how richer people can get away with crimes just because they can hire a better solicitor. Or maybe how famous people get off with just warnings most of the time when a normal person in that situation would be straight in prison.

Anonymous

Conceded.

Anonymous

I won that finally. :’)

Interloper

You know what. In many ways, taking the Daily Mail literally is more dangerous than doing so to the Bible.

I prescribe a lie down

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Left wing can never accept when the right wing win.

(0)(1)

Interloper

I am not that left wing but what I can accept is that you’re a twat Trumpenkock..

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I am not a ‘twat’ as you have referred to me as, but instead, I am merely correct.

May I have the honour of you replying to a single question for me. Should one lady be able to stop the decision of 17.4 million people in a referendum getting there wish? Which may I add, is the highest turn out ever for any political vote, so please answer that one simple question as I would love to see whether you truly believe in democracy.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

And before you put some comment like “you can tell you’re a breamainer, you don’t even know the difference between there and their” don’t bother, I realise a made a slight grammatical error.

(0)(0)

Interloper

Insecure much ?

The difference between you and me is that I would not be that petty.

I love the way you think that you’re correct – nem con, no further argument to be broached – purely on the basis that it is your opinion though. Says a lot about you !

It’s hard to believe you’re not actually some sort of synthetic parody of an alt-right muppet – an extended elaborate joke purporting to be some sort of attempt at bleak satire. In which case, you’re actually a genius…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

There are several parties to the appeal, Millar is just the lead. There is not, and never was, a ‘one lady’.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

She is clearly a massive narcissist, preening each morning on the steps of the court like she is someone of importance…

(8)(19)

Scouser of Counsel

Are you someone of importance?

Personally I regard my homeless clients as someone of importance.

(1)(0)

Anon

Nevermind.

Anybody know whether the internet bill for http://www.tribunals.gov.uk/ has been paid?

(1)(0)

Ciaran Goggins

55 is a dangerous age for a man.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

MPs just voted unanimously to trigger article 50. This whole case really is rather pointless isn’t it.

(1)(7)

Anonymous

MPs have done nothing of the sort. They’ve passed a motion asking that the government allows parliamentary scrutiny of its plans. And it definitely was not unanimous.

Hmm, can’t tell the truth to save your life… must be a Brexiteer

(7)(3)

Anonymous

Agreed, although the vote showed fairly clearly that parliament will approve withdrawal fairly comfortably if the Supreme Court uphold the original ruling. So in that respect, I don’t think this ruling will change too much.

(5)(0)

Pantman

The only thing in issue in this case is the process, not the outcome of he process. The first part is up to the judges to decide, the second up to the politicians (whether the executive gets its way, or parliament must approve).

(4)(0)

Ms Charlotte Proudpoos

Bully me and you can get it to the next few days to go out and about to be the first half of the best thing ever I love it when you get to know what I want to see you at the end of the year

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Given that it is highly unlikely that Brexit is going to be stopped by this expensive, and quite frankly avoidable court case on precedent, the only thing that seems to be gaining anything is Lord Pannick’s ability to bill an even higher hourly rate after this case is over.

(1)(0)

Interloper

Ah, the crushing realisation that you will never be as good at your job as he is.

Speaks volumes….

(0)(2)

Odd-Job Eddie

At least Pannick was better than Gordon whose ‘6-year’ old argument was cringeworthy (and flawed). Wouldn’t expect that from a newly called.
And why is the party known as the People’s Challenge allowed to call itself that?

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.