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No misconduct trial for Boris Johnson after High Court intervenes

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Summons for allegedly lying during Brexit referendum quashed

Credit: Wikimedia commons

The High Court has reversed a decision to issue a summons against Boris Johnson for allegedly lying to voters during the EU referendum campaign.

A district judge had issued the summons last month in response to a crowdfunded private prosecution, allowing Johnson to be charged with misconduct in public office. The campaign, organised by Marcus Ball, had raised more than £500,000 over three years to prosecute Johnson in a highly unusual legal move.

But two senior judges quashed the summons today after a judicial review hearing.

Legal Twitter was glued to live coverage of the hearing throughout the morning, including that of honorary QC and Legal Cheek contributor Joshua Rozenberg.

The omens looked grim for Ball from early on, with Mr Justice Supperstone seeming “very sympathetic” to Adrian Darbishire QC’s submissions on behalf of Johnson.

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Darbishire, of QEB Hollis Whiteman chambers, argued that the criminal offence of misconduct in public office did not cover political lying and that the prosecution was politically motivated.

Defending the decision to issue the summons, 11KBW silk Jason Coppel tried to persuade the court that Johnson’s duties in public office — he was an MP and Mayor of London at the time — included a duty “not to make apparently factual statements which are known to be false”.

But Supperstone slapped him down, pointing out that there was no precedent for prosecuting misconduct in public office in this way and that the judge was expanding the scope of the offence.

Lady Justice Rafferty, also on the bench, joined Supperstone in quashing the summons. The court will give its reasons in writing later.

The common law offence of misconduct in public office has never been used to criminalise political speech and has been criticised by the Law Commission as “ill-defined”. Many lawyers were taken aback when the district judge took the case seriously and issued the summons.

Johnson, a former foreign secretary, is considered the front runner in the race to succeed Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.

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114 Comments

Anonymous

Good to see this nonsense slapped down. Remoaners need to get the message that Brexit is happening, and vexatious rubbish like this will not stop it.

(59)(60)

Anonymous

Think there is a wider issue as whether private prosecutions should be allowed at all. LASPO means that a private prosecutor can recover his costs from the tax-payer even if his prosecution fails. The Defendant cannot, even if he is the victim of a vexatious prosecution. Borris can afford it and could afford to bring a JR. Most people can’t.

(24)(4)

Anonymous

The CPS plainly should have taken over this case and discontinued it. Clear misjudgment on their part not to do so.

(17)(7)

Anonymous

The CPS have enough to do with their own caseload without reviewing someone else’s prosecution and applying the public interest and evidence test and having to defend a JR by the private prosecutor of their descsion to drop it. With the availability of crowd funding there isn’t a financial hit to the vexatious prosecutor. Ban them completely.

(8)(5)

Anonymous

Some of the less-politically-motivated Twitter barristers have opined that the DPP and the CPS have no power to do so at the pre-indictment at the Magistrates until it progresses to indictment (Inner London Crown Court, I presume) or trial (Old Bailey) (and anyway, any subsequent decision to then ‘drop’ can be subject to JR).

(0)(1)

Alec Swan

Anon of 7th.June at 2:01 PM – When the RSPCA take on private prosecutions, they too have their costs covered and from the public purse. It’s a win-win for them and is now viewed as an income stream – there being no such thing for them, as negative advertising.

(0)(0)

Carrie

The fact that the case was quashed on the basis that it’s not an offence to lie says it all.

It was absolutely in the public interest to highlight the fact that Johnson stood behind a lie and was aware that this was a lie.

It is unfortunate that you find the notion of accountability ‘vexatious’.

(44)(43)

Anonymous

Someone should have practised comprehension harder in school.

We don’t know the precise reasons why this case was thrown out. The judges have not yet given their reasons and will do so later.

Furthermore, Johnson has not admitted lying, and that claim remains firmly in dispute. This claim has highlighted nothing other than the fact that upon losing at every turn, Remoaners are becoming increasingly desperate in their frantic attempts to reverse the result of a democratic referendum.

Finally, we don’t allow criminal proceedings to proceed just because they allow some self-righteous individuals to highlight points they consider to be ‘in the public interest’. They proceed when there is sufficient evidence that an individual has actually committed a criminal offence. Which obviously was never the case here.

(37)(21)

Anonymous

“Furthermore, Johnson has not admitted lying, and that claim remains firmly in dispute.”

£350 million a week is objectively false so not sure why you’re going down this path.

(28)(20)

Anonymous

Whether Boris Johnson lied or not is fundamentally a political question, not a question of criminal law, and the courts will (and arguably also, can) only address questions of law, not political questions.

NOT A MATTER FOR THE COURTS.

The Old Bailey is the Central CRIMINAL Court, not the Central POLITICAL Court.

Anonymous

If that were the case nobody could ever be convicted of anything. Whether a Defendant lied is a question of fact for the Jury. Juries decide questions of fact everyday.

The question of law was, even assuming Borris did lie does that amount to an offence known to law. The High Court decided it did not.

Anonymous

Except Marcus Ball and Lewis Power made it out (as evidenced from Westminster Magistrates) that Boris Johnson had lied as a matter of (undisputed) fact, and that the trial court needed not consider any further the VERACITY of such a statement… and that the jury or the judge of the Justices should move straight on to decide whether this then constitute ‘prima facie/incontrovertible evidence’.

Have you been watching too much Law and Order?!

Anonymous

Have you not got to Galbraith yet in your reading? The test for whether there is a case to answer case is whether, “assuming the prosecution case is left unanswered and uncontradicted could a properley directed jury could convict.”

If therefore even assuming the prosection’s case to be true a jury could not convict because the facts the prosection assert to be true do not amount to proof or an offence in law, there is no case to answer under Galbraith Limb 1.

If however, the jury’s decsion depends on whether or not they accept a piece of evidence as correct then there is a case to answer then there is a case to answer because the jury’s verdict depends on what they find as a fact and so a Jury COULD (not WOULD) convict. It even says this in the article!

“…Jason Coppel tried to persuade the court that Johnson’s duties in public office — he was an MP and Mayor of London at the time — included a duty “not to make apparently factual statements which are known to be false”.

But Supperstone slapped him down, pointing out that there was no precedent for prosecuting misconduct in public office in this way and that the judge was expanding the scope of the offence.”

The offence of malfeasance in public office does not as a matter of law extend to making false statementments. Hence there was no case to answer under Galbraith Limb 1, as no jury properly directed as to the law could convict since even if they found the prosections case to be proved to be true they would aquitt anyway as doing what the prosecution claimed Borris had done is not a crime!

Anonymous

TL: The case could never have proceeded to even indictment: Boris Johnson was either a private citizen (thus not subject to Misconduct) or an MP (and Parliamentary privilege is engaged (kicks in)). MPs are anyway NOT ‘officeholders’ for the purpose of the common law because (amongst other things) that would infringe the doctrine of Parliamentary privilege (hence those odd mechanisms of which MPs have to go through in order to vacate their seats (they are still technically forbidden from just simply ‘resigning’)).

People seems to (mistakenly) think that Parliamentary privilege only applies to the words of MPs spoken inside the main Commons chamber during proceedings.

Jason Coppel QC obviously did his damned best in flogging a dead horse, but obviously the horse stayed (and stays) dead. The 2 Justices were obviously NOT impressed that he was trying to be clever by “lecturing” them that “it was not her job to decide whether an offence had been committed”. See Joshua Rozenberg’s Twitter.

“Shall we move on … ?”, asked Rafferty LJ. Is that not a ‘courtly’ rebuke, from a High Court judge to a QC?

Anonymous

I agree. The person I’m replying to tried to imply that Boris didn’t objectively lie though. If you carefully read the words instead of screeching about what you think I wrote you’d have seen that.

Anonymous

It is an objective fact that the UK does not send £350m per week to the EU. That does not happen, and if you wish you claim it is so then the onerous is on you to prove it.

Since you argue “it hasn’t been proven in court”, presumably you don’t believe in gravity because its existence has not been argued in court and decided on by a judge?

Quite astonishing that such an intellectually incapable person is even on a website aimed at lawyers.

Hh

The law is an ass

Anonymous

“Obviously false”… not as far as the courts are concerned.

… and if a trial in the High Court were to treat this as a given, then an application can then be made directly to the AC, the QBD, the COA or the UKSC to halt the proceedings immediately before there is even a verdict of guilt or innocence.

The High Court and the Crown Courts are not allowed to treat ‘obviously false’ as a given because that would be called ‘bias’. Both the representatives of the UK Statistics Authority and the persons who (actual) wrote the letter (and the person who is supposed to have signed it) back in 2017 (as cited as evidence) would all be required to appear in court and give evidence.

A single letter cannot be used as ‘”prima facie” evidence’.

Evidence has to be ‘examined’ and cannot be ‘untested’.

Anonymous

I didn’t say it was the wrong decision. Just pointing out that the person I was replying to seemed to think it wasn’t settled whether BJ is a liar.

Anonymous

‘Settled’, by whom?! The Court of Appeal would disagree.

Anonymous

And what is the (legal) definition of ‘a liar’ in the common law? A dictionary definition just wouldn’t do (and anyway (almost certainly) inadmissible in court).

“Unfairness may arise where prosecutors deliberately manipulate court procedures.” Such as the use BY THE PROSECUTOR of the words ‘liar’, ‘lying’ and ‘lied’.

“It is only appropriate to interfere where the court concludes that the prosecution were acting in bad faith, in the sense of deliberately manipulating the system to deprive an accused of his rights.”

Anonymous

Thanks for that. I’ll get on to the Court of Appeal right away to quosh the convictions of my clients who have been convicted of blackmail, fraud and threats to kill by sending a single letter or email.

I see it now, natrurally it was a manipulation of the Court process for the prosecutor to use the words lying and lied in opening to decribe my client who sent an email claiming he was a nigerian prince. Better re-run the Peterbough by-election as well. It was an obviously wrongful convicton of the previous MP as the prosecutor dared to claim she had lied and the jury had no power to find that she had lied as there is no legal defination of lying or liar.

Cretin.

Anonymous

Since you are clearly hard of thinking, I will lay this out clearly.

Boris Johnson is, from an objective point of view, a liar. He has been fired from previous jobs for lying. £350m per week is not sent to the EU. That is a lie.

However, the court reached the correct conclusion because there is (luckily for Brexitards) no law against politicians lying in the UK.

I think you see this court decision as a validation of Boris Johnson, but that, to be clear, is because you are an intellectually deficient person.

Anonymous

This could never have proceeded, because in order to establish that Boris Johnson “lied”, the courts would first have to establish what constituted ‘the truth’, and the courts as a rule do not deal with or address ‘political questions’.

Anonymous

There is no such thing as ‘political truth’. The UK does not send £350m per week to the EU. That is false. The court reached this decisions because there is no law against politicians lying.

Anonymous

It was not a lie and has been shown in black and white by the Office for National Statistics. Do your research properly before discussing things of this sort.

Anonymous

Link?

Or not because that post is just yet another lie.

Anonymous

Politicians ‘accountability’ for dishonesty *per se* is (a) to voters or (b) to bodies specifically set up by Parliament to govern political campaigning or broadcasting, in specific circumstances clearly outlined.

If this prosecution went ahead it would make it *retrospectively* criminal to be dishonest as a politician in basically any political arena. Nearly every politician has said things they suspect might not be true or don’t care if it is or not. Every one of them would be eligible for prosecution.

This, of course, should not affect normal liability for offences like fraud, conspiracy to defaud, evasion of tax etc. But those apply in certain circumstances and have to accmpanied by certain intetnions – intention to cause loss/make gain etc.

(13)(1)

Anonymous

Apologies, poor mobile phone typing at the end there.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“If this prosecution went ahead it would make it *retrospectively* criminal to be dishonest as a politician in basically any political arena. Nearly every politician has said things they suspect might not be true or don’t care if it is or not. Every one of them would be eligible for prosecution.“

Personally I see literally zero issues with this. Corbyn and half of the Tories would be gone in a heartbeat, along with multitudes of corrupt councillors of all parties.

(0)(4)

Anonymous

Lying (not a crime)… only directly comparable with Perjury (a crime) or Make a False Declaration (a criminal offence).

Fraud and Evasion have to involve or include ‘pecuniary advantage’ (£/€, $ etc), actual or the expectation thereof, defined or undefined.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

It has never been an offence to lie in itself. Only to lie to gain a financial advantage. People do not commit offences when they lie to their girlfriends about what time they are getting home or who they were with last night. Arguabley an MP who lied in a general election to get elected (and get the MP’s salary) could comit the offence of fraud by false representation. But this wasn’t an election where Borris or anyone else stood to gain any financial advantage by winning.

(8)(2)

Anonymous

Ah but perhaps Boris intended (obliquely or otherwise) to ’cause loss’ because he knew that voting to leave the EU and then leaving the EU would cause significant financial loss to some people – people who lost money when the pound crashed or businesses who suffer from the end of free movement for example.

Not that I think this is sensible – the Fraud Act 2006 s.3 is far too wide, and it’s surprising though thankful that Ball didn’t latch on to it here.

(2)(10)

Anonymous

Perhaps. But that would be impossible to prove. Saying “My policy will reduce unemployment / reduce crime / improve healthcare / help the economy etc” is a statement of opinion not of fact. Even if the statement is later proven to be wrong that does not make it a lie at the time it was said.

Anonymous

But this is a question of his intent as to consequences when rep was made, not whether his rep was fraudulent (which the pros here were arguing and wasn’t the subject of this hearing)

I imagine Boris will have said somewhere that some people would lose out in Brexit even if most people would gain. You are still a fraudster even if 100 people gain and 1 person loses from your lies.

Anonymous

I’m afraid this is just silly – fraud clearly couldn’t apply as, even if you somehow proved all the other elements of the offence, there simply is not a chain of causation between the “lie” and the hypothetical loss.

Anonymous

There doesn’t need to be under S3 of the Fraud Act. P need only prove that there was a false statement made with a view to causing a loss or making a gain. As another commentator pointed out, this is why S3 is dangerously wide compared to the old law under s15 of the Theft Act. The old law required proof that a person was in fact fooled by the lie and suffered loss as a result. If you recieve a “Nigerian Prince” email, which doesn’t fool you for a second, the sender still commits an offence under S3, but would not have done under S15.

That said I don’t see how a statement of opinion about the future can ever be a lie. “This car is a lovely motor and it will give you years of trouble free motoring.” is an opinion. “This car only has 1,000 miles on the clock” is a statement of fact and a lie if you’ve clocked it. Who knows what would happen in a no deal Brexit. A may honestly think it will be good for the economy. B may honestly think it will be bad. One of them will be proved wrong by the future. But that does not mean either is lying in expressing their opinion.

Anonymous

‘Direct causation’ is required.

For that to succeed, you would then most likely have to prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Boris Johnson either personally or through others used (or caused it to be used) threats, intimidation or physical duress to force ‘sufficiently significant’ numbers of voters to vote for Brexit, and then again the same on MPs and Peers to vote to pass the 2017 Act, and then the same on the Queen herself and the clerks in Buckingham Palace in order to secure Royal Assent.

Anonymous

… and on the Prime Minister, and HM Ambassador to the European Union.

Anonymous

No it isn’t. Parliment changed the law on that point in 2006.

Anonymous

Well, good luck in ‘proving beyond reasonable doubt’ (and appeal-proof) the “dishonestly” in ‘dishonestly makes a false representation’ (s.2(1)(a))!

If dishonesty cannot be proven ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, then there can be no conviction for Fraud.

The onus was and would be on Marcus Ball to prove to the court ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Boris Johnson acted dishonestly, not Boris Johnson that he had acted honestly.

Anonymous

Have you ever studied any law whatsoever? Your confused comment betrays a woeful misunderstanding of the justice system.

Boris didn’t commit any offence – you can dislike him all you want, you can believe him to be a liar, you can vote against him or his party, but you cannot demonstrate evidence of something which is actually a criminal offence, and you absolutely, definitely could not prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

The whole thing is a joke. Marcus Ball is a fraud.

(12)(3)

Anonymous

You can believe that Boris Johnson is a “liar” all you like, but you just simply cannot claim in the criminal courts (or in criminal proceedings) that Boris Johnson was/is a liar or had lied, because (amongst other things) ‘liar’ is not defined in law and ‘lying’ is not a crime or a criminal offence, and therefore these are political questions, not questions of law, and the courts do not deal with political questions.

(2)(3)

Anonymous

Just how old are some of you exactly?! 17?!

The words ‘Lies’ and ‘Lying’ were being deliberately and maliciously used by Marcus Ball or at Marcus Ball’s request and behest in order to cause ‘prejudice’ against Boris Johnson receiving a fair trial as the defendant.

There is simply NO legal definition of ‘Lies’ or ‘Lying’. As of the 7th June 2019, there is NO specific offence of or called ‘Lying’, and there is NO definition as to what constitutes this hypothetical offence, either in the statutes or in the common law.

The courts cannot invent a new common-law offence called ‘Lying’ in 2019 and then applying it retrospectively to Boris Johnson’s acts or actions in 2015 and 2016.

Therefore, the courts were not being asked a question of criminal law, but a question of politics. The courts does not deal with questions of politics, only questions of law.

Whether there SHOULD be laws against ‘Lies’ or ‘Lying’ is, of course, not a question for the courts.

(8)(2)

U OK?

How much did you donate, lol.

(1)(0)

Alec Swan

Extant at the time were Government promoted figures, quoting the UK’s contribution being at £350m per week. Johnson may well have inadvertently misled the nation, but he did so with the apparent support of Government – how on earth was he to be considered as ‘Lying’?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Err ‘Brexit is happening’? What’s happening? It’s been three years sunshine and nothing is happening. It’s not happening because it’s a completely dumb fucking idea that only cretins and racists ever went for. Twat.

(31)(33)

Anonymous

It’s happening because we had a referendum in 2016 which decided that we are leaving the European Union.

Following that referendum, Article 50 was triggered which currently means that we leave the European Union by October 2019.

The public have consistently confirmed that they expect the referendum result to be tolerated and will not tolerate any further delay. In both the 2017 general election and the 2019 European Elections, they voted by clear majorities for political parties that stand for implementing the referendum result and leaving the European Union.

Screaming that people who disagree with you are ‘cretins and racists’ doesn’t work anymore. No-one’s listening to you. Grow up. Stop the tantrum. Accept reality.

(28)(14)

Lawyer on a double decker bus

The proper metaphor for Brexiteers is not “cretins and racists” anyway. It’s “turkeys voting for Christmas”.

(13)(8)

Kev

Yes M8- and y is it rasist to say English jobs for English ppl??

(1)(6)

Anonymous

Define “English jobs” ffs

Kev

Rite so if things are sold in England then they shud be made in England by English ppl . Obvious LOL

Anonymous

Lol check all your clothes labels, car etc
Oh and check your privilege while you are at it

D’Quanda

Check yoself b4 yo wreck yoself

Anonymous

I’m sorry but you can’t link ‘won’t tolerate delay’ with ‘eventually implementing *some* result’.

In 2019 EU elections (minus N. Ireland) the public voted approx:

~35% for parties in favour of leaving on 31st Oct (BRX + UKIP)
~36% for parties fully in favour of a second ref (LDems + Greens + Plaid + SNP)
~14% for a party in favour of a second ref unless deal renegotiated (Lab)
~10% for a party (mostly) in favour of leaving with the May deal (Con)

So where is your ‘clear majority’ for no further delay? At best (if you interpret ALL Lab voters as wanting to leave) you have 59% for leave at some stage

(13)(10)

Anonymous

In no credible analysis of those results do you even arguably have a majority for reversing the referendum result.

That fact alone rather destroys your whining.

Anonymous

Where is the ‘whining’ in the comment to which you have just replied?

I mean I know Brexiters are pretty thick but…

Anonymous

Brexiters are fucking thick. The one above especially so

Anonymous

You can’t change facts with triggered screeching mate. He’s given the facts, you’ve given the screeching, but at the end of the day Brexit probably isn’t going to happen because obviously most people don’t want it.

anon

52% do want Brexit and that’s called a majority.
If our good friend Mr Trump heard you spouting forth about ‘most people don’t want it’ – he may all accuse you of creating Fake News – and he’s be right.

Anonymous

It’s very telling that Brexiteers are the ones terrified of politicians being unable to lie while in office.

(6)(6)

A Taylor

Brexiteers led by layers and followed by idiots.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

is it happening though??? ha

(0)(0)

Ross

Been “happening” for quite a while now hasn’t it.

Someone needs to get the message, maybe not who you think though.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Thoroughly discreditable conduct from the defendant. A difficult case. An unwieldy and uncertain offence.The right decision.

The legal system functioning as it should.

(5)(5)

Anonymous

Pretty simple case actually

No case to answer

(13)(3)

Anonymous

No. Not No Case to answer. An offence not known to law. Had it been a case of there being no case to answer, that point could not have been taken until after service of the prosecutors papers at Stage 2, many months down the line. An application for dismissal after running up vast legal costs (which cannot be recovered as you are a Defendant in criminal proceedings) isn’t a proper safeguard against vexatious private prosecutions.

(4)(5)

Anonymous

‘Costs’ would (normally) be addressed by the Justices when the judgment is handed down. If not, then there is nowt to stop Boris Johnson from initiating fresh JR proceedings against the High Court (naming Westminster Magistrates, Marcus Ball and Brexit Justice Limited) against their decision not to award costs.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

He can recover the costs of his JR. The point being made is that had the case proceeded to the Crown Court, he could not recover his costs against the prosecutor as the Prosecution of Offences Act prevents it. He could not recover his costs from central funds if aquitted or the case was dismissed on a submission of no case as the Legal Aid & Punishment of Offenders Act prevents it.

Anonymous

It might not be so if the indictment (application) was fundamentally and inherently unlawful. (In that, I mean he *might* be able to make an ‘ultra vires’ JR application directly against Westminster Magistrates.)

It might not look good for him politically to do so, but I’d bet you the LOTO (who must not be named) and his No’s 2 and 3 would do so without skipping a heartbeat.

If it actually went as far as the trial stage, then there obviously was a ‘prime facie’ case to answer.

The prosecution application was so transparently unlawful that I thought Boris Johnson could have just turned up at the High Court without counsel and uttered the words ‘Prejudice’, ‘Abuse of process’ and ‘Breach of privilege’, without any further explanation!

Anonymous

Whist correct, that is only because the prosecution sought to indict him for an offence not known to law. If a private prosecutor sought to indict an entirely innocent person with an offence that actually exists (say murder), they cannot ask the Magistrates to dismiss the case as S51 abolished committals. The Court has no discretion but to send the case S51 and list the case for a PTPH in 28 days.

The timetable for service of papers is set by statute. Once the time limit for service of papers has experied the Defence can then apply to the judge to dismiss the case on the basis the vexatious prosecutor has served no evidence to support the charge. At this point the Judge can dismiss the vexatious prosecutor’s charge and quosh any indictment that has been served. But their is no power to do so earlier. The private prosecutor is immune from a costs order as the Prosecution of Offences Act says so. And the entirely innocent person is sadled with their own costs.

Anonymous

He (and Lewis Power QC) was hoping that the courts would, in the course of convicting Boris Johnson, create a new legal definition of ‘lying’, in the common law, which would then become a new definition of Misconduct.

He/They was/were essentially hoping that the courts would make up a new law in the thin air in 2019 and then applying it retrospectively for acts or actions in 2015/6.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

This should have been announced the day before the Peterborough by election, not the day after.

“Lying” is not a crime

VOTE LEAVE

TAKE BACK CONTROL

(4)(10)

Anonymous

It wouldn’t matter a jolt… in PE1-9, there is clearly a bloc vote (including the postal votes) who will always vote Labour regardless of Brexit or no Brexit. Peterborough (like Leicester) is basically BB1-3 -on-the-Fens.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Given the prisions are not full of teenages who lie to their partents about what time they are getting home, cheating husbands who lie to their wives about where they were last night, women who tell their friends that their bum does not look big etc, hadn’t you already worked out that telling lies is not itself a crime? It is an essestial ingredient of many offences, fraud, perverting the course of justice etc but telling pokie pies in and of itself is not yet a criminal offence.

(3)(1)

Carpe Ominous

Although this was likely the right decision given the politically motivated cause, it would have liked to see some judicial activism to instill a little more honour and accountability in politicians when exercising offices of state. Frankly it’s an embarrassment that after dogmatic defending his use of the statistic he’s still in contention for PM (but for he is the least bad of a terrible field of candidates).

(7)(4)

Anonymous

There did not seem to be a mention before the District Judge of how much we actually did pay the EU each week, and nor was their any mention today, from what I can see.

If it is conceded that B was lying, what redress is there ?

I wonder if there could be the legs of an appeal…misconduct in public office is a wet firework. If it has not been used to criminalise political speech before, that is probably because no one thought about using it in the 1975 referendum and, until today, no visionary ever had 500k in their pocket to give it a gallop with an 11 KBW QC in the saddle.

In my opinion the ratio of the difference between our weekly donation to the EU versus B’s representation is key.

I would emphasise that in the appeal and also find that , i expect, the m c i p o caselaw has never fastened on to a referendum before. You can say that in circumstances where it does, B and, indeed, the other prominent mps, think tank strategists and pr officers involved in the vote leave campaign *did* hold a public office.

If Donald Trump’s lawyer of choice was still alive, i think he would have relished a trip to the Court of Appeal with this. He advised Trump always to hit back, and Trump had so much money that he could.

It would be an indictment of the legal system is that 500k has been blown on just two half day hearings !

(2)(5)

Anonymous

The difference between our weekly donation to the EU versus B’s representation is almost zero. The “lie” claim rests on the fact that a percentage of the UK’s contributions to the EU budget comes back in the form of CAP payments to farmers, some structural fund grants, etc. The £350m a week relates to direct payments and does not account for customs duties on imports to the UK from non-EU countries (which all go to the EU as “own resources”). The EU would not see customs duties as a “contribution” from the UK, as in law the duties belong to the EU anyway, but in political terms they obviously are a contribution, as the duties are paid by UK residents on goods imported for their consumption, and those duties would not be given to the EU were the UK not a Member State. On that basis, the total gross payments from the UK are higher, but I’m not sure where that leaves us in terms of net figures.

I trust the next time some Leftie moans about a hedge fund manager/banker/company director being paid £x million a year, Mr Ball will apply the surplus of his funds raised to bring another prosecution, since the net figure after tax actually paid will be about half the headline amount, and we must be scrupulous about these things mustn’t we?

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Thanks for taking the time to set out the “lie”.

If his battle bus was so obviously painted with a half story slogan, though, I think it is a natural use of speech to say that that is misconduct in public office.

It is worth an appeal.

The tink tank strategists will not have put mcipo in the risk assessment of the propaganda, that will be the rub. If i am correct about that, then all B’s QC will have in his case strategy plan will be technicalities….On the merits, from what you are saying, the two strategists, the prominent mps and the pr officers in the Leave campaign seem to be struggling.

I dont understand the last paragraph of your post. Even if the crowdfunder was a villain of the notoriety of Dick Dastardly from the Penelope Pitstop cartoons, he has a good point here, doesn’t he ?

(4)(3)

Anonymous

Only on points of law.

For an appeal to succeed, Marcus would (most likely) have to go to the Supreme Court direct and argue that the two Justices in the High Court erred in law (made an error or errors in their understanding and reasoning of the law); and he and his team would (more likely) NOT be allowed to address the Supreme Court the underlying question as to whether Boris Johnson did lie or not (which would be ‘out-of-scope’).

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Well, Marcus should try that then imo. Thanks.

Anonymous

You’re talking shit mate. As always

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I dont think so. It could have been a different and much more uplifting result if Mrs Justice Thornton had not recused herself.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

It would make sod all of a difference, because a 48-year-old (with 2 kids) is bound to consult a 69-year-old. It would just be Michael’s judgment but delivered in Justine’s name.

Anonymous

How do you know that brilliant nugget of information ?

Anonymous

Is “B” Boris or Ball?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I’m sorry but you can’t link ‘won’t tolerate delay’ with ‘eventually implementing *some* result’.

In 2019 EU elections (minus N. Ireland) the public voted approx:

~35% for parties in favour of leaving on 31st Oct (BRX + UKIP)
~36% for parties fully in favour of a second ref (LDems + Greens + Plaid + SNP)
~14% for a party in favour of a second ref unless deal renegotiated (Lab)
~10% for a party (mostly) in favour of leaving with the May deal (Con)

So where is your ‘clear majority’ for no further delay? At best (if you interpret ALL Lab voters as wanting to leave) you have 59% for leave at some stage.

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Anonymous

At some point, these hard-core remainers are going to sober up and have to apologise for all of the damage they’ve done.

We had a vote. That is what we do to settle things. It is settled.

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Anonymous

There was a vote which produced a result in favour of leaving the European Union.

Aside from that, what is settled? A customs union, membership of the single market, a Canada style deal, Theresa May’s deal, no deal?

You sir are a complete fool

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Anonymous

I look forward to your apologising when you sober up.

Very soon it will be 3 years of being obnoxious. It has to stop now.

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City trainee

52-48 is patently NOT settled.

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Random passer-by

52-48 means we should leave the EU in a way that brings the majority of people along. A soft Brexit as it’s called. However Brexiteers seem to think that this narrow majority means they alone get to decide how to move forward. No, I accept we leave but everyone has a stake in how we leave now.

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Anonymous

You win a case 51:49 on the balance of probabilities.

Damages are not reduced to reflect the wishes of the 49 percent. No matter what you imagine those wishes to be.

More importantly, it is over. LC keeps very kindly deleting the swearing and hate filled replies. But the hate, and the disingenuous arguments that no one believes – have to stop.

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Random passer-by

Firstly, conflating court cases with a referendum where millions of people voted is pretty silly.

Secondly, admittedly I’m a commercial solicitor, but what cases do you win 51:49? I know in criminal cases where there is a trial by jury, all the jurors have to agree with a decision. If there is any disagreement then you cannot have a conviction. In a civil trial, a judge makes a decision. Now unless the judge splits himself into 100 parts and says 51 of those parts are voting this way I’m not sure what you are on about. Really, you’re just making Brexiteers look even more stupid. Get real. The stupidity on display is not the worst part, it is the arrogance in that ignorance that is so galling.

Anonymous

10-2 or 11 to 1 is also a lawful verdict after 2 hours 10 minutes of retirement, but yes get your point.

City trainee

I’m not pro-second referendum but the hypocrisy of Brexiteers is startling. See, for example, the Brexit Party mewling on Friday about wanting to re-run the Peterborough by-election because it was so close.

You can’t have it both ways, kids.

Anonymous

Legal Cheek’s posts just act as a safe haven for all the wee up themselves arseholes to come out and get on like they’ve made it. Wake up call kids, hard grafting is right around the corner… unless you’ve got access Daddy’s credit and an ego so big and fragile that you aren’t able to socialise, of course.

Lol, good luck whenever you actually have to go out and start handling real life issues.

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Anonymous

Agreed.

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Aceditor

I’m assuming you all agree that MPs aren’t in public office so the law doesn’t apply to them, or they are allowed to knowingly defraud the public because they are politicians and no reasonable person could be expected to believe what they say.

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Anonymous

And when can we start prosecuting a certain MP under s. 1 of the Official Secrets Act (1911)? Jan in Bratislava would be able to testify, and that person’s ‘files’ are in special open archives/museum in Prague!

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Andon

I say all of this as a staunch Remainer.

Whilst I quite liked BoJo when he was the Mayor and on Have I Got News For You, his actions over the past few years have been despicable and he has shown himself to be an opportunist, a traitor to his friends/colleagues and a bare faced liar who is willing to sacrifice the common good on the altar of his own ambition.

However, the prosecution was clearly a politically motivated stunt and that sort of thing has no place in a mature and civilised society as it would set an extremely dangerous precedent. It would also have the effect of totally stifling debate and disagreement if politicians faced jail every time they opened their mouth and spouted a statistic which they probably have no first hand knowledge of and had most likely been inserted into their speech by a junior House of Commons researcher.

We live in an open(ish) society and parliamentary democracy where these sort of ridiculous claims (ie: £350m pw to the EU) can be easily challenged and debated, and shown to be false. Unfortunately in this instance, despite the claim being extensively challenged and shown to be false, the mouth breathers who make up 52% of the British populace still voted Leave.

So, much as I despise him, it was the right decision. Plus, this stunt has had the intended effect of shining a light on BoJo’s mendacity, although I fear, like in the referendum, it will have little effect. These days people don’t care about integrity in public life, probably because few people in this day and age have any themselves and so see nothing wrong in telling a few porkies, because they think they are entitled to whatever it it they want to obtain by telling them. As the advert says “…..because I’m worth it”.

Look at Trump for example. Exposed as a serial liar, philanderer, draft dodger, possible traitor, uneducated moron, insulter of the disabled and sexual assaulter of women, and yet still got elected and is enjoying decent approval ratings

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Andon

@Lawyer on a double decker bus: Jun 7 2019 2:28pm

Yup. One thing which is very apparent is that the people who support Brexit who can string a sentence together are almost to a man/woman politicians and politically motivated journalists. I don’t think I have seen or heard an articulate non-MP or non-journalist speak out in favour of Brexit. Overwhelmingly, your average Brexiteer tends to come across as an angry and somewhat inarticulate oaf.

As such, it is reasonable to assume that they are not consultant surgeons or managing hedge funds. So, as (most likely) they only earn an average salary and so are just “getting by”, they are the people who are most vulnerable to the almost inevitable economic downturn this country will suffer if/when we leave, especially if we crash out without a deal.

So, much as I am a staunch Remainer, I am, in a rather darkly mischievous way, looking forward to seeing all the Brexiteers squealing in a few years when their chickens come home to roost.

By way of example, I listened to a documentary on R4 a few months ago, and for part of it they visited Sunderland to interview people who voted Leave. In one memorable exchange the interviewer was speaking to a guy who, ran a small manufacturing business making, from memory, whiteboards. When it was pointed out to him that as something like 25% of his raw materials were imported from the EU and 75% of his finished products were exported there, the import/export tariffs would probably put his company under, he sounded genuinely shocked and said ‘Ya nah. I hadnee thought aboot like that” but then went on to add “But aye, what the heck, let’s just get on with it and see what happens, like”. They also pointed out that Sunderland had benefited from something like £450m in EU grants over the previous 5 years (please don’t prosecute me if those figures are a bit out btw), but again, whilst it came as a surprise to the people they spoke to, the general response was “Well, we just want us country back, like it was in the 50s, with nee foreigners”.

It should be quite a laugh watching what happens to places like Sunderland, Barnsley, Bolton and those other blighted post-industrial cities when all this goes pear shaped in a few years. BoJo will be ok though and I am sure he will share some of his vast fortune with those people on whose support he swept to power.

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Anonymous

What a thoroughly stupid comment,

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Andon

@Lawyer on a double decker bus: Jun 7 2019 2:28pm

(Reposted as previous comment deleted)

Yup. One thing which is very apparent is that the people who support Brexit who can string a sentence together are almost to a man/woman politicians and politically motivated journalists. I don’t think I have seen or heard an articulate non-MP or non-journalist speak out in favour of Brexit. Overwhelmingly, your average Brexiteer tends to come across as an angry and somewhat inarticulate oaf.

As such, it is reasonable to assume that they are not consultant surgeons or managing hedge funds. So, as (most likely) they only earn an average salary and so are just “getting by”, they are the people who are most vulnerable to the almost inevitable economic downturn this country will suffer if/when we leave, especially if we crash out without a deal.

So, much as I am a staunch Remainer, I am, in a rather darkly mischievous way, looking forward to seeing all the Brexiteers squealing in a few years when their chickens come home to roost.

By way of example, I listened to a documentary on R4 a few months ago, and for part of it they visited Sunderland to interview people who voted Leave. In one memorable exchange the interviewer was speaking to a guy who, ran a small manufacturing business making, from memory, whiteboards. When it was pointed out to him that as something like 25% of his raw materials were imported from the EU and 75% of his finished products were exported there, the import/export tariffs would probably put his company under, he sounded genuinely shocked and said ‘Ya nah. I hadnee thought aboot like that” but then went on to add “But aye, what the heck, let’s just get on with it and see what happens, like”. They also pointed out that Sunderland had benefited from something like £450m in EU grants over the previous 5 years (please don’t prosecute me if those figures are a bit out btw), but again, whilst it came as a surprise to the people they spoke to, the general response was “Well, we just want us country back, like it was in the 50s, with nee foreigners”.

It should be quite a laugh watching what happens to places like Sunderland, Barnsley, Bolton and those other blighted post-industrial cities when all this goes pear shaped in a few years. BoJo will be ok though and I am sure he will share some of his vast fortune with those people on whose support he swept to power.

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Anonymous

Are you a living example against ‘Legalisation’? Your thinking seems a bit ‘muddled’, to say the least.

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Anonymous

Boris Johnson cannot be found ‘proven’ (not even on the balance of probabilities in a civil court) to have ‘lied’ in any English court, even without being convicted, because he is perfectly entitled to claim that the £350 Mil a week figure was and is his “genuinely and sincerely held philosophical and conscientious beliefs akin to religion”, thus protected by Arts 9 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion), 10 (Freedom of expression) and 14 (Prohibition of discrimination) of the ECHR (Human Rights Act 1998).

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Can the retarded pro-Brexit parts of the country just vote to secede from the somewhat-civilised parts? Having pensioners and benefits scroungers leech off your system is bad enough; we don’t need to make it any worse by allowing these people to destroy the rest of our country.

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Boris S Potter

NO DEAL…

NO DEAL…

HA-CHA-CHA

IT’S GONNA BE BIBLICAL

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Anonymous

Funny how keyboard wannabee lawyers (dog-eared LPC guru notes in hand – makes me chuckle) get themselves in knots defending a known/proven liar.

Maybe their true motivation is more down to ‘smelling of pubs and wormwood scrubs and too many right wing meetings..’

But then again the ‘public gets what the public wants’ – when the NHS has been gutted by a US/UK trade deal and your type 2 diabetes meds are no longer on prescription from the public purse (and the fantasy £350m was just that) and there aren’t enough (foreign) doctors to explain to you why spending your evenings eating a KFC family bucket in front of BGT probably isn’t a good idea, you’ll have time to reflect.

The problem wasn’t the EU after all, it was what you see in the bathroom mirror every morning….

(5)(4)

Anonymous

Don’t do drugs, boys and girls! It really does mess up with your head, as evidenced above!

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Anonymous

“The inherent jurisdiction of the court to stop a prosecution to prevent an abuse of process is to be exercised only in exceptional circumstances: Attorney General’s Reference (No 1 of 1990) [1992] Q.B. 630, CA; Attorney General’s Reference (No 2 of 2001) [2004] 2 A.C. 72, HL. The essential focus of the doctrine is on preventing unfairness at trial, through which the defendant is prejudiced in the presentation of his or her case.”

“As a general principle, if the argument refers to the first limb of abuse (“Where the court concludes that the accused can no longer receive a fair hearing – This focuses on the trial process itself”, Crawley [2014] EWCA Crim 1028), it will normally be necessary for the defence to prove not only that an abuse has taken place but that the accused has been prejudiced in the presentation of his or her case as a result, so that a fair trial is no longer possible.”

Grounds for alleging abuse: Delay, Failing to Obtain, Losing or Destroying Evidence, Adverse publicity, Non-disclosure by prosecutor (Examples of reasons the proposed Defendant could not receive a fair trial). A cursory search by a layman on the CPS website could find out the lot without even so much as a single GCSE, with the greatest of respect!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“I know. I don’t support the action so I was not going to retweet his request for funds.”

Steve Peers, 3:24 PM – 3 Jun 2019

“Marcus Ball should never have brought that case which has no realistic prospect of succeeding and I implore people not to waste their money on it and whatever Marcus takes from it.”

Jolyon Maugham, 12:57 AM – 25 Mar 2019

Hardly a ‘Boris lover’ and not exactly a hard Brexiteer, Jolyon, is he?!

It is as if Jeremy and George (both of Press TV ‘fame’) deliberately wanted you to support Marcus Ball in order to get the whole lot of you (FBPE and actually want to stop Brexit) look and sound stupid or demented…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Unless and until Marcus Ball can explain whatever happened to the £200,000+ he spent in 2016 and 2017 PRIOR, before launching a NEW fresh crowdfundraiser circa November 2018…

A bit rich here for Marcus Boris to repeatedly assert on national TV that Boris Johnson had lied!

And has he even got permission from Legal Cheek and the legal departments of those respective broadcasters before he decided to ‘appropriate’ their logos (including that of THIS WEBSITE) on his Crowdfunder page and his Twitter feed? Because I am sure that is copyright infringement and unauthorized use of trademarks!

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Anonymous

When will the reasons for the decision be published, after a no-deal? Why didn’t the government apply the 2/3rds majority rule to avoid the chaos of a close run decision dividing the nation and the union? It seems clear that this was a party political move by the Conservative Government, who indeed instigated and controlled both campaigns, both of which misled the public. Perhaps the answer is not to prosecute the champions but to rerun the process on the grounds that the public was misled by both sides, by the government. The Swiss recently reran a referendum on such grounds.

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