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US NewsBoris Johnson subverts the rule of law

14:25  11 september  2019
14:25  11 september  2019 Source:   ft.com

Boris Johnson Rules Out Election Pact With Nigel Farage's Brexit Party

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Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (/ˈfɛfəl/; born 19 June 1964) is a British politician serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since July 2019.

Rule of Law . December 21, 2006 Boris Office 26 Comments. One law for the rich, another for Mr Bhatt and his baseball bat. That’s what we all love about our country. “It has been necessary to balance the need to maintain the rule of law against the wider public interest,” he said. Now if I were Mr Bhatt, I

Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Pimlico Primary school in London, Britain, September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

There is serious discussion in the UK as to whether the prime minister is seeking deliberately to break the law. Only weeks ago such a possibility would have been unthinkable. But it is a sign of how extreme and toxic the political atmosphere has become in Britain that the unthinkable has become plausible.

London court rejects challenge to PM Johnson's suspension of parliament

London court rejects challenge to PM Johnson's suspension of parliament London court rejects challenge to PM Johnson's suspension of parliament before Brexit, but said it could be taken to the Supreme Court for an appeal, the BBC said. Johnson announced at the end of August that he would suspend parliament from mid-September to mid-October, just before Britain is due to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, so the government could announce a new legislative programme. That prompted campaigner Gina Miller, who defeated the government over another Brexit issue two years ago, to challenge the order.

Scottish appeal court judges have declared Boris Johnson ’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. Jolyon Maugham QC, whose Good Law Project funded the legal challenge, said: “Our understanding is that unless the supreme court grants an order in the

“ Boris Johnson has already driven a bulldozer through the constitution, so no longer are ideas like impeachment farfetched,” said Saville Roberts. “I will tell other opposition party leaders, we need to be ready to impeach Boris Johnson if he breaks the law .”

The context for this discussion is, of course, Brexit. The UK is set to leave the EU by automatic operation of law on October 31 2019. Parliament, however, has enacted a statute that obliges the prime minister to accept an extension of the Article 50 period if there is not a withdrawal agreement in place. A majority of MPs, including some in favour of Brexit generally, see a “no deal” Brexit as a potential national emergency.

The prime minister Boris Johnson sees things differently, or says he does. He avers he is determined that the UK shall leave the EU on October 31 in any circumstances, come what may. He says he will not send a letter for an extension. The government’s public position remains that departure will happen on October 31.

Leo Varadkar to meet Boris Johnson next week as British PM loses working majority in Commons

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Senior judges and lawyers have warned that Boris Johnson would be in contempt of court if he applied for an article 50 extension while simultaneously One of the fundamental principles of the rule of law is that it applies to everyone, including prime ministers. This law has been passed by parliament.

Boris Johnson could call a no-confidence vote in his own government to force an election. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian. This has been mooted by anonymous sources, but No 10 has said the PM would abide by the rule of law . Aside from the constitutional and political storm it would

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Opinion: PM can't escape the clutches of May’s zombie Brexit deal (The Guardian)

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Unless a deal is agreed by then, which seems unlikely, or there is revocation of the Article 50 process, which is even more unlikely, there is a contradiction between the legal position and the prime minister’s public statements. The implication is that Mr Johnson will defy not mere convention or opinion but the actual law of the land.

This is unprecedented; a prime minister has never gone rogue like this before.

There are two ways to explain this extraordinary behaviour. Either the prime minister means it, and there is an intention by the government deliberately to break the law. Or he is insincere, and this is all rhetoric designed to make people think he would do so if he had to. The problem is that both scenarios are dangerous for a fundamental principle for which Mr Johnson cares nothing: the rule of law.

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Boris Johnson has been warned he could face legal action for flouting it. The government has described the law - which would force the PM to seek a Brexit delay if MPs have not approved a new deal, or no deal, by 19 Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has requested a debate around the rule of law .

Yet, since Mr. Johnson began unspooling his Brexit strategy, and particularly in this first real week tangling with the In a matter of days, Mr. Johnson has been accused of subverting the country’s uncodified “It is going to be a very difficult period because Cummings doesn’t respect any rule at all.”

Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on during a meeting with Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar in Dublin, Ireland, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

The rule of law provides that nobody is above the law. It means the government must have a lawful basis for all it does, and ministers must comply with the laws made by parliament and applied by the courts.

An intention to break the law is therefore a breach of the rule of law. But so is undermining the legitimacy of the principle, as it signals that the law is not to be taken seriously. And as the stuff of politics in a modern society is about control of the lawmaking process, a politician who disregards the law poisons the wells of democracy.

In the UK there are ministerial posts concerned directly with the rule of law. The attorney-general and solicitor-general advise the government on the lawfulness of its decisions and conduct. The lord chancellor (a post coupled with head of the Ministry of Justice) has a constitutional role, recognised in statute, to protect the rule of law, and swears an oath to do so.

Boris Johnson will meet Leo Varadkar for talks on Monday

Boris Johnson will meet Leo Varadkar for talks on Monday The British Prime Minister confirmed the meeting in the House of Commons today. © Getty Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar arrives for the third straight day of a European Union leaders summit in Brussels on July 2, 2019, for talks aimed at defusing fresh power struggles in a bid to fill the bloc's top jobs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Dublin, on Monday.CreditPhil Noble/Reuters. It was just another day in the new Britain, which has Then Mr. Johnson was defeated on a motion brought by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, reaffirming the obligation of government ministers to uphold the rule of law .

Boris Johnson suffered another setback today as Scottish judges ruled his suspension of Parliament is unlawful. Scottish MP Joanna Cherry, pictured with lawyer Jo Maugham called the ruling 'historic' and 'I have never been able to contemplate the possibility that the law could be that our sovereign

Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law © Provided by Financial Times Limited LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 4: Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland leaves after a cabinet meeting at Downing Street on September 4, 2019 in London, England. Last night the Rebel Alliance, including 21 Conservative MPs, won a vote that allows them to take charge of the Parliament order paper today, allowing them to debate a bill to block a no deal Brexit. The Prime Minister has withdrawn the whip from the 21 rebels and they face de-selection at the next General Election. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) The lord chancellor should be proactive in ensuring the government abides with the law. The current one, Robert Buckland, is alert to the problem, and on Sunday sent a remarkable tweet both explicitly referring to the oath he had sworn and stating he had spoken to the prime minister.

But still Mr Johnson suggests he will not abide by the law on the extension. This discredits and conflicts with the principle of the rule of law. Many lawyers think a lord chancellor should resign rather than tolerate such official misconduct.

Students at Boris Johnson's Oxford college launch petition to ban him from grounds

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If PM fails to comply with anti-no deal act, he could face jail, legal experts warn.

Republicans can say “let the rule of law prevail though the heavens fall,” or they can say … Enter Sen. Watch carefully as Alexander copes with a pathology of modern — meaning, presidential — government unanticipated by John Adams: laws that subvert the rule of law .

Charles Falconer, a former lord chancellor, told me that he would have given a prime minister an ultimatum on the lawless rhetoric and resigned if the prime minister continued, regardless of any actual breaches of the law. Lord Falconer said he would also have advised his potential successors that the oath could not be made by anyone in these intolerable circumstances.

If we ever come to the shove of the matter, the courts may intervene to force the prime minister to do his job, or use their powers to designate another minister or official to perform the necessary function. Mr Johnson may face the sanction of prison for contempt of court and may have criminal and civil liability for misconduct in public office.

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More likely, the extension notification will be sent if there is no deal, by the prime minister or someone else, without the courts being involved. All the noise will be seen as Mr Johnson gaming the situation to show his reluctance to do so.

On Monday there was an emergency House of Commons debate on the rule of law. For some reason, the debate was answered for the government by the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab — one would have expected the lord chancellor, attorney-general or solicitor-general to do this.

Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law Britain's Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab arrives at 10 Downing Street in central London on September 5, 2019. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mr Raab said equivocal-sounding commitments to the rule of law just meant that it can be complex and interpretations can differ. This not true. Particular laws can be complex and interpretations of them can differ. But the rule of law is a simple thing. Either a government complies with the law or it does not.

Look out Larry! Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds' Jack Russell rescue pup arrives at No 10 - but could PM's new pet spell misery for Downing Street cat?

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Thousands protest after Boris Johnson requests to suspend parliament. "Any government - the executive - which ignores the rule of law and actively seeks to break the law undermines the entire justice system, opens the door wide open to mob rule and very quickly to anarchy.

"If Boris Johnson wants an election he must obey the law and take a no-deal Brexit off the table. "Any government - the executive - which ignores the rule of law and actively seeks to break the law undermines the entire justice system, opens the door wide open to mob rule and very quickly to

There are signs that the government accepts it has to follow the law. We have had a succession of clever-sounding wheezes (side letters to the European Council, use of emergency powers and so on) to try to find loopholes. On Monday in Ireland , the prime minister even seemed to take achieving a deal more seriously.

But the damage to the rule of law will have been done. When under pressure, desperate ministers averred that the law was somehow optional, that it would not apply to them. And as the rule of law rests only on legitimacy, this irresponsibility is more subversive than anything an anarchist revolutionary could ever want to achieve.

The writer is a contributing editor of the Financial Times

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Gallery: A Brexit timeline, from Cameron's manifesto to present day (Photo Services)

Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law
Boris Johnson subverts the rule of law

Boris Johnson says his plan for a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland 'would only cost about £15 billion'.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be a "very good" idea to build a bridge over the Irish Sea.

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