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Campaigning QC launches crowdfunder to keep parliament open to oppose no deal Brexit as Boris Johnson wins Tory leadership vote

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Jolyon Maugham wants Scottish courts to declare any move to shut down Westminster illegal in advance

One of the country’s most high-profile barristers has opened a fresh front on his war against Brexit with a crowdfunding campaign to stop Boris Johnson suspending parliament.

Jolyon Maugham QC — who else? — wants the courts to declare that the new Prime Minister can’t bypass MPs to ensure a no deal Brexit.

Johnson, who was announced as the new leader of the Conservative Party this morning, wants to renegotiate Theresa May’s Brexit deal but would take the default no-deal exit on 31 October if that fails. While a majority of MPs are against a no-deal exit and would try to block it, Johnson has refused to rule out “proroguing” parliament to stymie such efforts.

Suspending parliament to frustrate the will of MPs is widely seen as unconstitutional, but legal opinion is divided about whether a judge would declare it illegal. Influential commentator David Allen Green said recently that “Unless there is some odd aspect of constitutional law unknown to me, or some startling legal submission I cannot imagine, the chances of the High Court granting a remedy so as to prevent parliament being prorogued are… zero”.

But the case is not going to the High Court. Instead, Maugham has set his sights on the Court of Session in Scotland. The case invokes ancient Scottish constitutional law, with a legal letter to the government citing the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, George Buchanan’s 1579 De iure regni apud Scotos and Samuel Rutherford’s 1644 Lex Rex.

The basic idea is for the courts to issue a “declarator” that the Prime Minister cannot lawfully advise the Queen to suspend parliament — even if that hasn’t actually happened by the time the case reaches court.

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Several opposition politicians, including new Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, are backing the case. There are no Conservative MPs involved so far, although former Prime Minister John Major said recently that he would be keen on a case like this.

Maugham’s Good Law Project has lashed out at Brexit in multiple crowdfunded cases, suffering High Court defeats over no deal medicine regulations and publication of government documents. But it won a politically influential declaration from the EU Court of Justice that the UK can unilaterally cancel Brexit, which also started in the Scottish courts.

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34 Comments

Anon

Another totally hopeless Remainer case, wonder how much money they’ll lose this time eh?

P.S.

LC don’t delete all the interesting comments again…

(28)(10)

Anonymous

Man of the people Jolyon has got to keep the political litigation boom going until he can become a Labour woke peer appointee under some Blairite douche.

Too many people in the Labour Party are called Jolyon or Raphael. Perhaps we should hear more from people called Wayne or Darren?

The state of this.

(27)(7)

sonic

Perhaps we should also hear more from people called Wayne or Darren who are members of the legal profession?

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Is it time for the Jolyon Holiday song yet?

Or has that been and gone and been deleted due to threats of
litigation from Jolyon “I’m really Mr Working Class” Maugham?

(5)(0)

Anonymous

I feel like it is always time for the Jolyon Holiday song

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Maugham admitted/boasted on Twitter the other day that his Wightman case led to moderate Labour MPs feeling that they could vote against the withdrawal agreement.

He’s playing a dangerous game – he could help to deliver remain (although I query how sustainable that will be) but he could also be one of the main causes of no deal.

(16)(1)

Anonymous

BoJo will rid us of the scourge of immigration and raise the tax threshold. God bless this man!

(6)(17)

Anonymous

When was he ever anti-immigation? He was always on the pro-immigration part of the Tory party. I think you mix him up with Theresa May (she always was the main Tory anti-immigration hawk).

(13)(0)

Anonymous

He’s pro-skilled immigration. He’ll crack down on unqualified migrants.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

UK is already allowing only skilled immigration – there is 20,000 per year limit on work visas, language and size of salary requirements etc. Though this is for outside of the EU.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

That’s good, but then I wonder how uneducated migrants from third world countries keep popping up and living off social benefits and minimum wage jobs in closed off, isolated communities.

Anonymous

That’s, probably, largely people from the EU or illegal immigration – there is no way unqualified non-EU migrant can come legally otherwise – the system is for skilled migration. This is why it is unlikely that Johnson would be able to do anything – the laws are already there. The problem is that the UK police/border services do not have enough man power / capacity to enforce them.

sonic

Clearly Johnson was in effect anti-immigration when he led the Brexit campaign. Try to keep up. Whether this is what he truly believes is, as we know from experience, neither here nor there.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Why was Brexit campaign anti-immigration? It was more about sovereignty and control over the legislation/country (including the control over the borders and who comes in, yes). Neither Gove, nor Jones were anti-immigration.

(1)(0)

Same as previous comment

P.S. I am working in my firm on a Visa myself and never thought of Boris Johnson and the official Brexit campaign as of something anti-immigration. I can understand why they want to have more control and sovereignty over their country, also see that their economic case was very weak (at best), but do not see any anti-immigration sentiments.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Ah yes. Bojo, born in America and whose real surname is Kemal.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

The Turks officially had no surnames until 1934.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Please, write me a 50 tweet thread about this

(8)(0)

Anonymous

This guy seems to be cocksure about things in which he has no control over, is this some vanity project to get more clients in? I know his earnings aren’t that high for a tax barrister.

Can’t help but feel there are other reasons here for Joloyolon Maugham the fake working class boy.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

It’s a jolly holiday with Jolyon, pretending that he’s working class.

Thinks he knows better than the ordinaries, but really he’s just up his own arse.

(15)(1)

Anonymous

Building up for an entry into politics of course

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Wow the last paragraph is just so wrong Darren Grimes did not instruct Sir James Eadie it was the electoral commission that did through Fieldfisher.

Honestly the standard of writing on Legal Cheek by the same author is a disgrace.

(10)(2)

Anonymous

Bad error

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Jog on Joly-on.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Lord Sumption said on Today that the issue is non justiciable.

I think I will side with his Lordship on this one …

(12)(0)

Anonymous

It is obvious… ‘the Queen cannot be questioned in her own courts’.

The Lord Pannick line/reasoning of trying to frame the argument that this is about the legality or lawfulness of the PM’s or the Home Secretary’s ‘advice’ to HM rather than the actions of HM herself, it just wouldn’t wash with the courts. The courts would be bound to rule that any such claim or JR necessarily ‘questions the Queen in her own courts’, which is inadmissible.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I am not old, I am not a racist, I am educated and I am not a selfish self-centred privileged right wing extremist. So obviously, I wish him all the luck going.

(1)(12)

Anonymous

You aren’t a selfish self-centred privileged right wing extremist and yet you believe it’s OK for people from 27 EU countries (largely white) to have immigration privileges not available to people from Commonwealth countries (largely not white)?

How did you arrive at that particular self-image?

(2)(0)

try again

Maybe just re-read what you wrote and have another go. Your point is struggling to come through.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

You aren’t a selfish self-centred privileged right wing extremist you simply failed to understand the issues.

Fair enough, apology accepted.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Amazing how mention of Brexit brings out the cocks.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Any purported judgment made by either House of the Court of Session of Scotland, Edinburgh, concerning the prerogative and the Queen-in-Parliament, argued with points of pre-1707 Scots law, will almost certainly be overturned on appeal as unlawful at the Supreme Court, ‘as far as the Parliament of the United Kingdom is concerned’.

Jolyon the Kiwi living in the London bubble… to him, the real Brits really are the SNP folk!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I am afraid that Mr Maughan, and other barristers like him, who are using the legal system for personal aggrandisement and political games, are bringing themselves, the profession, and the legal system more generally, into disrepute.

This will not end well.

(0)(0)

Paul

Be careful. Displaying your political views may ruin you career at the Bar.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.