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The Good Law Project

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Tony L, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    There are a fair few mentions on other threads about the victory of the Good Law Project today against the government’s illegal attempts to deny basic public scrutiny into covid contacts awarded to party donors, friends and other cronies, mostly awarded without public tender, non-delivery clauses etc. A situation that is sadly endemic. The government has wasted £207k of our tax money, money we gave in good faith for core services and infrastructure, attempting to deny this basic freedom of information request. That is before we even get to the apparent corruption the information request seeks to spotlight. Full story here (Guardian).

    I’m posting this thread mainly so I can get a link up to the Good Law Project site and donation links where it will be more widely seen. I’ve just bunged a few quid in as this is very much an ongoing situation with much more to expose. Worth supporting IMO.
     
    tuga, eastone, Rana and 11 others like this.
  2. Enfield boy

    Enfield boy pfm Member

    Already done. I totally support their aims however it peeves me to pay to take the bunch of crooks "running" the country to court while at the same time paying, via taxation to help them hide their crimes. The courts should be able to force hanCOCK and others to be personally liable for all costs.
     
    Nick_G, Covkxw, ff1d1l and 4 others like this.
  3. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    The stone has been lifted, now we get to see what’s been crawling underneath- with very large sums of unaccounted money- out of your pocket and my pocket.
     
    Fatmarley, Ali T and ff1d1l like this.
  4. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    (Tony, 207k?).
     
  5. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

  6. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Sorry, read it a little too fast, thanks Tony.
     
  7. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Hideous, writhing, annelid night-crawlers.

    I do hope they are destroyed by a modicum of daylight.
     
  8. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    What irks is despite these judgements, nobody is ever held to account. Where are the scalps and the apologies for this shambles and deliberate obfuscation?

    I'm glad I paid for at least part of this case to go ahead, we should be able to recover the costs and re-use for the next time
     
    Covkxw and ff1d1l like this.
  9. Darmok

    Darmok "Didactic Prophylaxes"

    As already quoted in the past...

    Lower than VERMIN.
     
    Garrard 401 likes this.
  10. Dave***t

    Dave***t Revolutionary relativist

    Having started a salaried job after years of spotty, uncertain self employment, one of the things I want to do with the newly stable income is set up a couple of standing monthly donations.

    One of them will be to the GLP, and this judgement both conveniently reminds me to set it up next week, and underlines why.
     
    eastone, Nick_G, vince rocker and 3 others like this.
  11. Colinb

    Colinb pfm Member

    According to Steven Barrett, barrister, the judgement is just that there was a technical breach :

    "The High Court has said the government acted unlawfully. It is important that is understood, because ‘unlawful’ is a word that can easily mislead.

    Above all, no one should accidentally think the Court has said that any of the PPE contracts are unlawful. They are not. What the Court has said is that because, on average, the contracts were published on a website after 47 days, the Department of Health and Social Care was unlawful because it promises to publish within 30 days.

    The government promised 30 days and 47 days is more than 30: that is unlawful.

    PPE was needed because of the pandemic and, due to the global shortages, the Department of Health and Social Care made contracts to get PPE. The Department was then under a legal obligation to publish those contracts within 30 days because the government made that obligation. When the 30 day rule was created, the government did not add in a bit saying ‘but in the case of a global pandemic you can actually have 47 days’. If it had, it would be lawful."

    He goes on to say that the contracts themselves were not unlawful:

    "The government can – and now probably will – either extend the 30 days or just get rid of it altogether, but the Department is now unlawful for breaching its promise. I would say to a client that it is a ‘technical breach’.

    On that word ‘technical’, I am not being a politician, I’m using it as a lawyer. A technical breach of a contract is one that happens but causes you no loss. It is a wrong. It’s unlawful to breach contract terms, but if you suffer no loss then it doesn’t matter – I can’t advise you to sue if you suffer no loss, if I do I am being unlawful."
     
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    As I understand it the government were ‘unlawful’ in attempting to deny what was in effect a basic freedom of information request. At the point we have that information we can then start to assess whether the contract(s) were corrupt, but at present they are hiding the details from us. We are the payers and end-users of these contracts and we have an absolute right to know how our tax money is being spent. As I say in the opening post this is very much an ongoing project, this is just one step. Spotlighting government corruption is never easy, it takes time and money to hold these people to account given we have no real political opposition and a largely complicit press at present.
     
    Covkxw likes this.
  13. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

  14. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Horrible. I didn’t know that.
     
  15. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    Yes, difficult one the fox issue, I'd forgotten about it as I funded the project and not the man.

    Fully understand that the issue here is the transparency and not the actual contracts... that comes next.
     
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  16. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    This is undoubtedly correct, but rather misses the point. The failure to disclose was ongoing, and would no doubt have continued had there not been this legal challenge. And if, as he suggests, the government moves to extend, or remove the 30 day disclosure requirement altogether, people will notice. As JimmyB notes, this was the first skirmish in a longer campaign.
     
  17. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    Fairly trivial compared to the millions who have been damaged by the austerity imposed by a party who, in general, are quite keen supporters of blood sports. That’s before we look at their blatant dismals of the warning in 2016 about the UK’s lack of preparedness in the event we have a pandemic which is the very reason the Tories rushed into less than brilliant deals with their chums. I feel sorry for the Fox and as for Twitter, I just don’t get it.
     
    Frizzy, Fatmarley and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  18. JimmyB

    JimmyB pfm Member

    What exactly is a technical breach? There is a law, you either follow and abide, or you break the law.

    I didn't kill anyone guv'nor, he was well on his way and I just put him out of his misery. Just a technical breach!

    It's all down to the Cummings defence strategy of 'but it doesn't really apply to me'. What point is there to a law that when broken, just elicits a shrug?
     
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Cold War Steve was there as usual (Twitter).
     
  20. ff1d1l

    ff1d1l pfm Member

    Latest email:

    Tomorrow, the High Court will hear our application for a cost capping order in our judicial review of Government's decision to award huge PPE contracts to questionable counterparties.

    We have been forced to apply for the order, which would cap the costs of both sides, after Government revealed it planned to spend an eye-watering £1 million defending the case. If we lose, Good Law Project would be liable for these enormous costs. And Ayanda and Pestfix - the fortunate VIP lane recipients of vast contracts to supply PPE much of which we now know to be unusable - are also asking for huge and, we are advised, inflated sums in costs. We are a small not-for-profit, funded by donations from members of the public. We cannot bear this kind of existential risk.

    In an attempt to defend its costs bills, Government has stated that in the last ten years at least 126 judicial reviews have cost over £100k. This may be true. Yet they fail to explain that between 2010-2019, 10,692 judicial reviews were granted permission. In other words, judicial reviews that have cost over £100k represent a tiny fraction of all judicial reviews brought in this period.

    Notably, Government makes no attempt to explain how many judicial reviews have cost £1 million.

    Nor do we know why its costs for the three procurement judicial reviews brought by Good Law Project for which we know the costs (two of which were one-day hearings) are for more than £200k, more than £500k, and £1 million.

    But you might think it has something to do with the types of points we are making. Last Monday, our case against Michael Gove showed that Dominic Cummings awarded a lucrative public contract to those he admitted were his ‘friends’. Last Friday, the High Court ruled Government had acted unlawfully by failing to publish details of COVID-19 contracts.

    And our judicial review of PPE contracts has already generated an admission from Government that it purchased £155m worth of facemasks that can’t be used by the NHS, fuelled countless newspaper headlines in the UK and around the world, and prompted repeated scrutiny in the House of Commons. And it will get right to the heart of the highly troubling VIP lane largely populated by Ministerial contacts. And all of this before the case even reaches court.

    Our litigation is exposing Government’s cronyism and failures to procure in the best interests of the British taxpayer. We want to continue. But we are a tiny organisation pitted against the resources of the state. Unless we are granted a cost capping order tomorrow we will not be able to. We will update you on the hearing and what that means for the PPE case in due course.


    Thank you,

    Jolyon Maugham QC
    Director of Good Law Project

    Good Law Project is able to carry out its work thanks to donations from thousands of people. If you are in a position to do so, you can make a donation here:

    Donate
     

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