Supreme Court rules Prince Charles letters to be released Watch

young_guns
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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/l...rt-ruling-live

https://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-...7_Judgment.pdf

Fascinating. Definitely the right judgment, based on the law, in my opinion.
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DaveSmith99
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Good news, we have a right to know what our future head of state is lobbying for and how (and what a fruitcake he is). I'm not holding my breath for these to be released anytime remotley soon however.
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young_guns
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(Original post by DaveSmith99)
Good news, we have a right to know what our future head of state is lobbying for and how (and what a fruitcake he is). I'm not holding my breath for these to be released anytime remotley soon however.
There's no way their release can be withheld, unless the government intends to willfully and illegally contravene a court order.

Or unless parliament acts to change the law ex post facto (which would be highly unusual... and I suspect a massive headache for the government this close to the adjournment of parliament and before an election). Today is the last day of parliament, in fact I suspect that's why the Supreme Court justices opted to release their judgment today

I agree with the principle though; there is no sensible reason why the monarchy should be exempt from freedom of information. I'm happy for the weekly discussions to be confidential, but there is no justifiable basis for advocacy letters to be secret
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DaveSmith99
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(Original post by young_guns)
There's no way their release can be withheld, unless the government intends to willfully and illegally contravene a court order.

Or unless parliament acts to change the law ex post facto (which would be highly unusual... and I suspect a massive headache for the government this close to the adjournment of parliament and before an election). Today is the last day of parliament, in fact I suspect that's why the Supreme Court justices opted to release their judgment today

I agree with the principle though; there is no sensible reason why the monarchy should be exempt from freedom of information. I'm happy for the weekly discussions to be confidential, but there is no justifiable basis for advocacy letters to be secret
From a legal point of view, I don't think the Government is bound by the decision. They can igonore it if they want. I'm sure there are a million and one procedures and loopholes they can use to slow it down as well.
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young_guns
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(Original post by DaveSmith99)
From a legal point of view, I don't think the Government is bound by the decision.
Err, what? Try to be specific.

I'm a law student, and I'm unaware of any legal principle that would indicate the government is not bound by this decision.

Why would the government not be bound by this decision? Do you now what was actually being decided here (i.e. what decision was being appealed, what order was originally stayed, what would the effect of the appeal be in lifting that stay?)
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DaveSmith99
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(Original post by young_guns)
Err, what? Try to be specific.

I'm a law student, and I'm unaware of any legal principle that would indicate the government is not bound by this decision.

Why would the government not be bound by this decision? Do you now what was actually being decided here (i.e. what decision was being appealed, what order was originally stayed, what would the effect of the appeal be in lifting that stay?)
Law isn't really my area but having done a quick google it looks like I might have been wrong. With human rights law the SC's decisions aren't binding and they can only issue declerations of incompatibility which is where the confusion came from.
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young_guns
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(Original post by DaveSmith99)
Law isn't really my area but having done a quick google it looks like I might have been wrong. With human rights law the SC's decisions aren't binding and they can only issue declerations of incompatibility which is where the confusion came from.
You're wrong about that too. It's not that the Supreme Court's decisions are not binding, it's that unlike the United States Supreme Court they cannot nullify a statute on the grounds of unconstitutionality (or in this case, noncompliance with the HRA 1998).

The Supreme Court's decisions are absolutely binding, it is the highest court in the land. It is that primacy of parliament and its enactments rather than a written constitution that characterises our system of law. And in this case, the Supreme Court has essentially ruled that it is the government that has not been compliant with an act of parliament (in that the Attorney-General's issuing of a certificate exempting those documents from disclosure was made in a way that was incompatible with the Act of Parliament which gave the Attorney-General that power... in other words, he acted beyond his legal powers)

I think you might also have been confused about the European Court of Human Rights. Their decisions are not binding (though governments tend to implement their rulings, except in a few circumstances).

The Supreme Court is not the same court, the Supreme Court is simply the new name for the old Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (where you appeal after the Court of Appeal)
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