No surprise but is that it, no repercussions?
Not quite, the litigation dealt only with the publishing of contracts awarded, in a timely manner. There is follow up cases to deal with a couple of other issues, one of which is how contracts are awarded. So no the Judge did not OK the content of said contracts as it was not under judicial review .Not defending the odious **** but aren't they saying he acted unlawfully by not disclosing details of the contracts within thirty days and the fact he offered contracts to his mates for ridiculous sums of money actually is deemed to be ok?
I think the current tactic is 'death by a thousand cuts'.Not defending the odious **** but aren't they saying he acted unlawfully by not disclosing details of the contracts within thirty days and the fact he offered contracts to his mates for ridiculous sums of money actually is deemed to be ok?
Agreed - Johnson refusing to sack PP and just fronting it out another exampleI think the current tactic is 'death by a thousand cuts'.
In a functioning democracy there'd have been ministerial resignations over all sorts of things these past few years. The fact that they now refuse to resign and happily brazen out controversy, aided by a supine media, means a direct frontal attack is likely to fail (cf. the Brexit judicial reviews).
This is a first step. Let's hope there are many more.
To clarify, no criminal charges have been brought as they haven't broken any criminal laws.I would take issue that unlawful doesn't mean criminal. In this instance it does't as no criminal charges were brought. If you apply the test to murder, which is unlawful as it contravenes common law, it is criminal. You don't illegally kill someone you unlawfully kill someone.
Love that word-malfeasance.There needs to be some measured reflection on the outcome, what happened & why.
The Department, at the height of a pandemic, published details of contracts outside of the time limit (they didn't not publish the details) and this was found by the court to be them acting unlawfully.
But unlawfully doesn't mean criminally, no one is going to prison for this.
A consultant I'm working with has several FOI's into governement departments & they are around 3-6 weeks overdue. This is unlawful.
I've checked with ICO & at the moment they will only act if the FOI is being ignored, if it has been acknowledged then the ICO acknowledge that civil servants are being co-opted onto Covid work, are working remotely etc & that there will be inevitable delays due to these changes in staffing levels and working practices. Which seems fair enough really, I don't expect the minister to resign over this (I would love it if they did mind).
So why did the Good Law Project go to the trouble of taking the case to court? Because it established that they could.
The government argued their case had no merit as they hadn't submitted a bid for a contract and so had no economic reason for finding out the results within the statutory time limit.
The GLP have other bigger cases coming to the High Court soon including how the contracts were bid for & awarded, in which the Government's defence is that as the GLP aren't an economic operator with direct involvement with the matter, therefore their case has no standing and so it should be dismissed.
This judgement dismisses that defence, so should make it harder for the government to hide any malfeasance from the public in these matters.
Just imagine if a Labour Health Minister had done it?The government loses, on average, around 6 judicial reviews a month. The implication of each of those cases is that it acted unlawfully.
If we expected the appropriate Secretary of State to resign every time they lost a case in the High Court, we’d have a completely new Cabinet every 4 months!
I’m all for accountability, but we have to accept that sometimes the law will be broken, either through mistake or misinterpretation. In those instances, the remedy is for the correct decision/procedure to be adopted, not simply to shout for someone’s head.