Press Release |
(please refer to the reply from Parliament at the end)|
Traditionally Parliament was supreme above the judiciary and it has
not been subject of any judicial review in the past. It is now subject
to the European Convention. Lord Taylor of Holbeach stated
that in his opinion the proposed Public Bodies act is consistent
with the Convention.
The currently ongoing consultation in Parliament and its likely consequences may be in violation of
the first article of the first protocol (right to property).
The European Court requires a judicial review before they
can accept an application. In turn, a judicial review before
the High Court recommends as a courtesy a pre-action protocol.
As part of the protocol
I am supposed to serve copies of the proposed claim to all
interested parties, which are the 500,000 signatories to the
petition, of which I am one
of the signatories, and the proportion (all but 15%) of the UK public
who oppose the consultation for the Public Bodies bill.
I have no way to make even 500,000 copies of my proposed claim for a judicial review,
except online via the internet;
hence I have posted it on the worldcourtofhumanrights.org website. The World
Court serves in this instance only to ensure that the document has been made publicly available.
The argument is that, whereas in a democracy, governments can and
do legitimately act against perceived public interest on the grounds
that they have deeper wisdom, it cannot be the case here when the
proposed bill states that the government will in the future have the
right to act against the public interest whatever the public interest
This case is not against any individual or any party, but against the overwhelming interests of development pressure.
The case could not have been brought if not for the clarity and integrity of ministers such as Junior Minister Harper, or Secretary of State Spelman. Under the status quo the UK may sell 15% of the forest estate every four years. Even if the Public Bodies bill is amended to explicitly remove the rights to act against the public interest, we need to begin understanding the long-term public interest.
Here is E.4.a)
The public may decide that they no longer wish to pay tax to manage the woodland estate; then it would remain unmanaged but still biodiverse. In this case there would be no loss of rights.
Here is E.4.c)
Ministers did not attend Parliament to learn such representations as had been made regarding the public's decision [before they came in and voted to begin an unwanted 'consultation'].
Here is E.8.d)
If we interpret the electorate as a conscious being, who might intentionally dispense their rights, the mechanism for announcing their decision would not be a parliamentary debate where they said they do not want to dispense their rights, and no one was there to listen. The mechanism would not be a consultation process of deals, compromises and compensation within Parliament.
Here is E.6.c)
Sometimes conflicting interests, or corruption, can be masked under the pretense of misunderstanding the truest wishes of the public.
In contrast to this, in the bill which is under consultation there is no scope for any such misunderstanding. The bill is not only against immediate public interest and immediate public wishes. The bill explicitly states, and is intended to be used, to overrule the Forestry Act provision which states that the Ministers shall have regard to the national interest.
John Atwell Moody1
Coventry CV3 6GJ
(return to claim)
(The reply from Parliament)
1The applicant is a typical one of the 500,000 signatories of the petition.