''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol XII No 3

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Thursday November 3, 2016 - Where the rule of law reigns, democracy flourishes as UK government loses case in court over triggering moves to start the process of leaving the European Union.PM Theresa May loses battle over MPs debate on Brexit

In what has been seen as a landmark ruling, the High Court has ruled that Parliament needed to have a say before the government of Prime Minister Theresa May can trigger the process of leaving the European Union as voted by UK citizens during the historic referendum on whether the UK should stay in or leave the EU.

The results across the UK showed an overall vote in favour of leaving (52% for leaving and 48% for staying) but before starting the formal process of leaving negotiations have to be made between the government and the European Union before the formal separation process begins with the triggering of the much talked about Article 50.

The Theresa May government had resisted a Commons debate on the issue insisting that the people, in their vote, had decided that the UK should leave and that Brexit (Britain exiting the European Union) should be just that - leaving the European Union without the benefit of Parliamentary debate and input that would help guide the government in moves to start the formal process of leaving the European Union. (On this page - you will find today's judgement and summary)

The BBC reported today's ruling thus -

"Investment manager Gina Miller, who brought the case, said outside the High Court that the government should make the "wise decision of not appealing".

She said: "The result today is about all of us. It's not about me or my team. It's about our United Kingdom and all our futures."

Government lawyers had argued that prerogative powers were a legitimate way to give effect "to the will of the people".

But the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, declared:

"The government does not have power under the Crown's prerogative to give notice pursuant to Article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European Union." The three judges looking at the case found there was no constitutional convention of the royal prerogative - powers used by ministers - being used in legislation relating to the EU.

They added that triggering Article 50 would fundamentally change UK people's rights - and that the government cannot change or do away with rights under UK law unless Parliament gives it authority to do so. Calling the case "a pure question of law", Lord Thomas said: "The court is not concerned with and does not express any view about the merits of leaving the European Union: that is a political issue."

A statement is to be made to MPs on Monday but the government says it has no intention of letting the judgement "derail Article 50 or the timetable we have set out". Brexit Secretary David Davis said he presumed the court ruling meant an act of Parliament would be required to trigger Article 50 - so would be subject to approval by both MPs and peers.

But the government was going to contest that view in an appeal, and said the referendum was held only following "a six-to-one vote in the Commons to give the decision to the British people". "The people are the ones Parliament represents - 17.4m of them, the biggest mandate in history, voted for us to leave the European Union. We are going to deliver on that mandate in the best way possible for the British national interest," he told the BBC.

The government expressed its disappointment at today's ruling but stated it would be appealing to the Supreme Court. This is what the separation of powers in a democracy and the realm of good governance are all about.

Can you imagine this happening in the fiefdom of the rat with a compromised not fit for purpose Supreme Court?

No way. The rat is judge, jury and executioner - thanks to a hopeless bunch of self-serving un-honourables called Parliament and a Judiciary that fears its own shadow and has made itself a laughing stock in the annals of jurisprudence.

The New Statesman had a headline - "Government loses battle to trigger Article 50 without consulting Parliament" and continues -

"MPs campaigning against a hard Brexit are cheering a High Court ruling that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without parliamentary permission. Theresa May's government, formed in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, claimed it could trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval, through the use of a Royal Prerogative.

Its argument hinged on the 1972 European Communities Act, which it said gave provision for acting in this manner. But the court said it did not accept the argument put forward by the government, and found "nothing" in the text of the 1972 Act to support it.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “Given the strict two year timetable of exiting the EU once Article 50 is triggered, it is critical that the government now lay out their negotiating to Parliament, before such a vote is held."

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said: “Labour accepts and respects the referendum result and recognises that we are leaving the EU. But the role of Parliament in deciding how we exit is vital. "The court made clear today that the Prime Minister was wrong to attempt to sideline the House of Commons and public scrutiny. The government should now urgently review its approach."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "Labour respects the decision of the British people to leave the European Union. But there must be transparency and accountability to Parliament on the terms of Brexit."

The pound has increased in value against the dollar in the wake of the judgement. It may reflect the fact many Remain voters hope Parliament will be able to obstruct a hard Brexit and broker a deal that includes some form of access to the single market, and a more flexible approach to free movement.

The vast majority of MPs backed Remain, including a slim majority of Conservatives. Nicky Morgan, a Tory MP strongly backing Remain, tweeted: "Right that Parliament should vote on legislation to trigger Article 50. Sovereignty regained from EU should go to sovereign UK Parliament."

Her fellow Tory Remainer, Anna Soubry, tweeted that the government should accept the court's ruling. And in a tongue-in-cheek reference to May's comment that "Brexit means Brexit", shadow Home secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: "Parliamentary sovereignty means parliamentary sovereignty."

First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, who is lobbying for a soft Brexit, tweeted that the judgement was "significant indeed".

The case was brought by Gina Miller, a wealth manager, alongside a crowd-funded group called the People's Challenge, led by Grahame Pigney, a semi-retired trade unionist. Pigney told The Staggers he simply believed Parliament should be sovereign. After the verdict, he said he was ready to fight any appeal by the government "with the same vigour and commitment". Business expert Gina Miller enjoys a laugh after the High Court verdict which upheld her views that Parliamentary scrutiny is needed before triggering Article 50.

And for those who really believe that the gallows at Pademba Road was being readied for the execution of convicted murderers and other criminals - think again.

Here is a situation that has been created where the rat is greater than the Constitution as interpreted by the hapless Supreme Court led by a weak and lily-livered Valesius Thomas and his gang who when the time came for speaking truth to power wobbled and allowed a criminal enterprise headed by the rat to carry the day in illegally getting rid of an elected Vice President.

Imagine if you will, when the criminal enterprise decides to fudge cases against opposition politicians and those associated with them charging them with treason and other serious offences that carry the death penalty.

Think of what chances those to be murdered by the state have in defending themselves against a criminal gang which passes for a state government in Sierra Leone.

Imagine if you will, the scenario that will be played out in a macabre court drama where the verdict will be known even before charges are preferred and their victims are arraigned in court on trumped up charges.

Imagine, if you will, as they did in the GMT Kaikai and Francis Mischek Minah matter and that of Sorie Fornah where Presiding Judges are directed by State House and where evidence is cooked up to present what looks like a case.

After the guilty verdict would come the usual appeals, first to the Court of Appeal and then to the final arbiter, the Supreme Court. Those accused whom they would wish to murder would have had their fate sealed even before all the charade.

Remember what we reported after the main opposition SLPP headquarters were attacked, vehicles set on fire, offices ransacked, women allegedly rape?

Kindly recall that after that event, at a meeting of the APC operatives attended by one I B Kargbo who was then Information minister, one of them suggested that the SLPP members should have been charged with a number of offences that include destabilising the state, threats to state security and attempts to overthrow the government.

Think, think and think again.

The smoke and mirrors rat having cowered the Judiciary and Parliament and even the rather hopeless and ineffective SLPP opposition party into submission is now ready to execute those it sees fit to get rid off using the judicial process.

Not a word from that laid-back and ineffective Minority Leader Bernadette Lahai who is reported to feed off the droppings from the rat and loving it.


Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002