Crowdfunding campaigner loses bid to take Boris Johnson private prosecution to Supreme Court

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But the case isn’t over, insists Marcus Ball

Crowdfunding campaigner Marcus Ball has lost a bid to take his private prosecution of Boris Johnson to the Supreme Court.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ball had applied for permission to appeal directly to the country’s top bench after the High Court reversed an earlier decision to issue a summons against Johnson for allegedly lying to voters during the EU referendum campaign.

The highly unusual legal move focused on the eye-catching claim, repeated by Johnson, that “we [the UK] send the EU £350 million a week” in membership fees.

It has now emerged that Ball, who has raised more than £570,000 in crowdfunding over three years, has been unsuccessful in taking his legal fight to the Supreme Court.

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Rejecting Ball’s application, Lady Justice Rafferty, one of the two High Court judges who quashed the original decision, is reported to have said that the “problem of false statements in the course of political campaigning is not new”, but that parliament had to enact law to deal with “certain false campaign statements which it considers an illegal practice”. This, however, did not include false statements relating to publicly available statistics, she added.

Ball, who told Legal Cheek during an exclusive interview last month that the final failure of the case would see him “ruined” financially, now has the option to apply directly to the Supreme Court for permission.

Reacting to the High Court’s decision, Ball said: “This isn’t over, we are not giving up. We are pursuing it, absolutely.”

Update: 13:08pm

Ball confirms he’s “considering” a number of options including taking his case to the European Courts, appealing directly to the Supreme Court or “simply prosecuting him [Johnson] again in an attempt to force the courts to follow the law”.

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Not ‘a criminal cause or matter’ because the Div Court ruled in July that no valid criminal proceedings had taken place ‘from the start’ (i.e., ‘Null and Void’). ‘Wednesbury unreasonable’ for the courts to then refuse leave to appeal under ‘criminal causes or matters’.

Any appeal is always limited to Ball alleging that the Div Court applied the law wrongly in allowing Boris Johnson’s JR.


Sorry, Admin, not Div.


Suck it, leftists.




God, it is glorious when entitled Remoaners lose.


I love it when the leave knobheads gloat.

They are like turkeys voting for an early Christmas as they will be fucked when the economy collapses.

Up your arseholes.


This is never about ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’, but Marcus Ball’s OCD/OCPD-driven 3-year-campaign of a massive waste of the courts’ time and resources and the Taxpayer’s money, and thereby furthermore bringing the courts and the judicial system into disrepute.


Watch out there mate, they’ll throw their false teeth and zimmer frames at you.

Turgid with delight

Your anguish sustains me.


If you haven’t noticed, the EU is already going the way of the dodo — German economy contracting; ECB keeps lowering interest rates; Italy and Spain in recession, etc… It’ll hurt for you (the UK) in the short term, but the big picture is clear – UK will be in a league of its own within a decade. I say this as a European citizen.


Lmao wat u smokin blud ?


A league of its own. Multiple divisions down from its former glory. Just because an acorn drops from a tree it doesn’t mean you as a branch should detach yourself.


Yes, Grasshopper. But if you do not master your anger, your anger will master you. Remember, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

And other meaningless sayings that have fallen out of Christmas crackers.


I can just hear the gammons chortling to themselves.

I want you gammons to understand one thing: Brexit will not happen. There are men in this country who would rather die than let Johnson take us out. If the legal method doesn’t work, there are other options available. That’s all I’ll say on the matter.


‘Rather’, or ‘will’?


I love how you are openly threatening violence in order to reverse the result of a democratic vote.

Yet you actually think you are the virtuous one here.

Sorry my friend. Fascist thuggery does not work here. We voted Leave and we are Leaving.

Get used to it and get over it.


Hear, hear. Get it up ye Simon! We’re leaving on 31st October and you’re gonna suck it so hard.


Ladies and gentlemen, Simon has just demonstrated leftist tactics 101 – cry like a baby then threaten with violence under the pretence of righteousness .

Oh dear

This is so embarrassing.


Any1 know if Irwin Mitchell raised NQ pay?!?

Bojo Brexit Get It Up You

Simon last threw a punch when he was twelve and he fell over and hurt himself and cried, just like he’s crying now because the nasty plebby gammons voted to leave the EU and he doesn’t like it! Poor Simon’s going to have to get it right up him though on 31st October!


This was expected. He can go on to seek permission from the Supreme Court.


Which he will also lose and become liable for even more costs.



Extra ‘costs’ (from the other side) would (likely) not be incurred if appeal is refused on the permission stage. Marcus Ball was only the IP in the JR and he thus has no ‘inherent’ right to appeal.


If his basis of appeal is that he wants the Supreme Court to re-consider the whole of his entire private prosecution case all over again and all the merits of it, then he hasn’t actually got a right even to make an application.

An appeal against a successful JR is always on points-of-law only.


Then the *real* question here is, who is *really* instructing his QC(s) and other counsel with rights of audience? Are they in effect acting on their own *on his client’s behest and on his best interests* (like he were some 15-year-old) without any real instructions?


Noting the update on this article:

The ECJ and ECHR won’t hear this case as it’s nothing to do with EU law or human rights.

The Supreme Court won’t hear the case. The High Court have put a stop to that.

Trying to repeat the whole sorry exercise again will likely lead to Ball ending up on the vexatious litigants list and some pretty spectacular costs.


The CJEU cannot hear the case directly anyway without an actual request for reference from and issued by the (relevant) courts.

The ECtHR however *can* (in theory, now that the domestic judicial avenues of appeal have apparently been exhausted) hear the case; but they have no power to “order” that the voided criminal proceedings against Boris Johnson be resurrected (much less the power to actually implement such a decision).

Not sure that it would be right (or even lawful, without it being challenged) to put Marcus Ball on any such ‘lists’ if Boris Johnson’s legal team has only made appearances in court only twice. Ball *technically* has not made vexatious lawsuits (in the plural/multiple) against Boris Johnson or anyone else, thus not a ‘repeating offence’.


I don’t know, establishing a limited company with the sole focus of suing people seems like something a vexatious litigant may do ….


You mean like an LLP?


Ball confirms he’s “considering” a number of options including “simply prosecuting him [Johnson] again in an attempt to force the courts to follow the law”.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a textbook example of an obsessive vexatious litigant.

Slap a civil restraint order on this idiot now and end this nonsense.

Oh and Legal Cheek, stop encouraging and shilling for this buffoon.


The courts have no power to issue an ‘pre-emptive’ order against Marcus Ball (and if they did, it would be successfully appealed against) unless and until he has made (at least) another fresh private prosecution application against Boris Johnson or someone else back in the Magistrates’ Courts, and the application was once again ruled (in the superior courts) void and vexatious.

Vexatious, ‘but nevertheless not wholly or entirely without merit’.


Not a ‘criminal cause or matter’ because neither Marcus Ball (the IP) nor Boris Johnson (the claimant) are either ‘the Defendant’ or ‘the Prosecution’.

The Supreme Court will directly grant a JR against the Divisional Court if they were to refuse leave/permission to appeal on that basis (alone).


Slightly odd that any comments pointing out this is a criminal cause or matter, and therefore cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court (as no point of law of general public importance was certified), are being removed.

While the legislative scheme is not straight forward, if Dinah Rose QC, Joel Bennathan QC and Matthew Ryder QC all agree on it (per their tweets), the point is likely to be right.


You were being moderated because you (a wannabe non-barrister) were being personal abusive…


It’s not likely to be right, it’s definitely right. There is no doubt about it whatsoever, just like there wasn’t last time the exact same point was discussed.


Yes, yes, yes, yes … you are right … yes, yes, yes, yes, YES, YES…


I think that those QCs might have reasonable grounds for alleging you impugning their professional character, if you are in fact suggesting that they actually gave/would actually give legal advice or legal opinions on Twitter.


Bring back champerty and maintenance to stop these nonsense, crowdfunded wastes of money.


I think that Bankside Commercial must have gone off to the reservation for good and left Marcus Ball in the lurch, and he must have been acting on his own initiative here.

(1) A ‘criminal appeal’ is not allowed under ‘criminal cause or matter’ (absolutely no-one here is seriously doubting that).
(2) The decisions in ‘Johnson v Westminster Magistrates’ Court’ in relation to ‘Ball v Johnson’ cannot be appealed against.
(3) If the Administrative Court applied the law wrongly (and the onus is on Marcus Ball (or a QC whose opinions on the course of action he consulted privately?) to identify them, and how), then permission to appeal ‘Johnson v Westminster Magistrates’ Court’ in the Civil Division of the COA can *in theory* be sought, which can in theory substitute this with a fresh JR back to the Administrative Court.
(4) Obviously, in such a civil appeal, the question of whether or not there was any prima facie evidence of Boris Johnson having committed misconduct in public office, and the substance of any such evidence, CANNOT be discussed.
(5) Marcus Ball’s appeal failed likely because he was *apparently* pursuing a criminal or a mixed civil/criminal rather than a purely civil appeal.
(6) There has been some misunderstanding re the R (Belhaj) v DPP judgment, and I personally suspect there is some deliberate disinformation (a broader definition than what was actually said by the Supreme Court in the judgment) being put out by some members of the criminal bar, because they (obviously) do not to undertake (likely) *hopeless* appeals on Legal Aid at an effective/actual loss. A test case would be welcome.


*wish to undertake


PS: The Internet Troll’s (above?!) definition of ‘criminal cause or matter’ would appear to include e.g. ‘JSC BTA Bank v Khrapunov’ ([2018] UKSC 19) because embezzlement and criminal contempt of court were part of the facts involved.

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