Has Prince Charles committed the offence of Misconduct in a Public Office?

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122025278
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#1
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His blunder the other day was highly dangerous, destabilising and seriously damaging for the UK's relations and quite possibly illegal.

First of all, before anyone retorts "he's entitled to free speech", well yes he is, as are we all, but that right is not an absolute one. We can all agree there is no such thing as total free speech. Second of all, the capacity that comments are made in is relevant. He is a servant of the Crown and abroad taking on duties in an ambassadorial role. With that, comes certain responsibilities.

Prince Charles receives confidential and classified briefings from Ministers. He is first in line to the throne. He was representing the UK abroad. When he makes statements like he did, to completely random members of the public, he is endangering national security and subverting the government. It's an abuse of his position and the information that he is privy to. This was an extremely damaging disclosure. Already the Russian ambassador has summoned the FCO for an explanation, they are furious. He will be Head of State at some point, this kind of action could be very damaging not only to our national security, but also our international diplomatic efforts and our economy. What worries me is that he can do this on a whim, without reprimand.

I feel this could be a breach of the Official Secrets Act 1989 and may even be Misconduct in a Public Office.
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GreenArrow
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#2
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I don't get it why should he be arrested and charged, what did he do wrong?

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122025278
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(Original post by GreenArrow)
I don't get it why should he be arrested and charged, what did he do wrong?

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I see three possible grounds for illegality:

Subverted the state, by airing a highly derogatory and damaging opinion of a foreign nation, in total contradiction to HM government and diplomatic service policy to a complete stranger, while acting in the capacity as an ambassador of the Crown.

Misconduct in a Public Office, his comment was extremely unnecessary, clearly damaging and well outside the scope of his duties.

Endangering National Security, he's entitled and privy to contact and information from government ministers, he's also in a position of trust, as first in line to the throne and acting in an ambassadorial capacity. His comments have clearly angered the Russian Federation and possibly set military, diplomatic and economic relations with the Russians back. Totally unacceptable how one person can do this unilaterally and ride rickshaw over the government line.
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Le Nombre
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CPS matter innit. Given the nature I would say the DPP's personal decision, which would get them fired, so gonna be a no.

Also, interesting constiutional argument about 'lawful authority'. Say the Queen says she authorised him to say that personally, not surprising given they are mother and son, would that constitute 'lawful authority'? She is the sovereign after all.
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Chief Wiggum
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No.
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122025278
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(Original post by Le Nombre)
CPS matter innit. Given the nature I would say the DPP's personal decision, which would get them fired, so gonna be a no.

Also, interesting constiutional argument about 'lawful authority'. Say the Queen says she authorised him to say that personally, not surprising given they are mother and son, would that constitute 'lawful authority'? She is the sovereign after all.
Probably bring down the monarchy if he used that defence in court.
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122025278
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(Original post by revron77)
Saying something someone doesn't like is not misconduct in public office.

Bloody hell, I wish we would take a more American approach to free speech and stop acting like PC moaners.
I'm not saying all he's done is say something someone didn't like.

What's crucial is what was said, by whom and to who.
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Le Nombre
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(Original post by 122025278)
Probably bring down the monarchy if he used that defence in court.
Potentially, be lively though.

Even if the CPS can shoehorn him into the 'crown servant' definition, which to me seems dubious given the Act states that an office has to be 'prescribed', and it is uncertain anyone in government has ever thought to prescribe the office of Prince of Wales, it is a massively political move by the DPP in a role which is meant to be politically neutral and essentially career suicide from a woman who has shown few signs of such radicalism in her career to date.
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carlisomes
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I don't think he has a right to say that.

Is he going to say this when he's King? And when the sovereign is supposed to be above politics?

And free speech? lulz....look free speech is not absolute. Scudamore had a right to send the sexist e-mails, doesn't mean he couldn't be condemned for it.... I think as Charles is going to be King, he should shut the **** up....it may "deny him his freedom" but then many public figures don't say what the **** they want because of their position. It is as is.
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carlisomes
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(Original post by revron77)
Saying something someone doesn't like is not misconduct in public office.

Bloody hell, I wish we would take a more American approach to free speech and stop acting like PC moaners.
And Sterling didn't get criticised?

sorry, but the USA is no more freer in speech than the UK is..... Seems you don't even get the concept of freedom of expression...
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username402722
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If it was a private conversation with someone then it should have stayed that way. Mind you, Hitler did annex neighbouring countries, even if there are no other comparisons with Putin.
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122025278
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#12
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(Original post by Le Nombre)
Potentially, be lively though.

Even if the CPS can shoehorn him into the 'crown servant' definition, which to me seems dubious given the Act states that an office has to be 'prescribed', and it is uncertain anyone in government has ever thought to prescribe the office of Prince of Wales, it is a massively political move by the DPP in a role which is meant to be politically neutral and essentially career suicide from a woman who has shown few signs of such radicalism in her career to date.
About the Crown Servant definition. Even if it failed on the "Prince of Wales", there are two possible avenues. Firstly, he is effectively acting as an ambassador while abroad, in lieu of the Queen, by and with her consent. Secondly, he is also holds military rank, a prescribed role within the Act.
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Le Nombre
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(Original post by 122025278)
About the Crown Servant definition. Even if it failed on the "Prince of Wales", there are two possible avenues. Firstly, he is effectively acting as an ambassador while abroad, in lieu of the Queen, by and with her consent. Secondly, he is also holds military rank, a prescribed role within the Act.
He is not employed as though. To decide the definition of employment you look to s.230 ERA and 'Ready Mixed', obviously we don't know the facts of how the Royals organise themselves but I would venture it is highly unlikely he satisfies the test of employee there, if such a definiton of him were accepted by the court it would be an earthquake at the very foundations of employment law.

The military one is probably arguable, I guess you'd have to undertake a factual analysis of what constiutes a 'member' for the purposes of the Act, a scout round Westlaw suggests it would be, unsurprisingly, a previously undisputed point.
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Xyloid
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(Original post by carlisomes)

sorry, but the USA is no more freer in speech than the UK is.....
Are you serious ? That is the most ridiculous sentence I've read on here in a while.
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carlisomes
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(Original post by Xyloid)
Are you serious ? That is the most ridiculous sentence I've read on here in a while.
It's a fact. I don't think the Founding Fathers would have tolerated statements undermining national security as you and your friend above say.... And Obama today most likely wouldn't either...the fact Prince Charles is a senior member of the Royal Family is moot..he's not above the law.
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Jacob-C
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#16
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I don't think he's committed an offence, just the comment was rather inappropriate taking in account the circumstances and his position. The monarchy should not involve itself publicly in discussing these matters, in private they are well entitled to, but leave the politics to the government and the people.
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