Geoffrey Cox AG

Any half decent judge would be rolling around on the floor if he had this horseshit paraded before  them. The fact he can trot this crap out to Parliament is shameful. 

he's a vaudeville comedian.  Oops Mrs Jones, where's me washboard.  The rinsers love him. As I said elsewhere, the four baller voice gets him far. 

Most normal people just hate lawyers on principle, but seeing this comedy twat as the government’s head lawyer at such a critical time is truly the triumph of the rotary club tories like Andrea loathsome et al.

The problem with the role of AG is that you have to be both a QC and an MP in the governing party, so the pool of legal brains to choose from is somewhat shallow. 

Doesn’t the convention still apply that any practicing barristers who enter Parliament take Silk - frankly whether they are Sumptionesque or Johnny Poopants from Cromer Mags. Hence the ‘pool’, though dirty, is not as shallow as it could be.

Jeremy Wright wasn't a QC on appointment, nor was he ever likely to be in " the real world" whereas Goldsmith was a proper top silk, and in a class apart from the other two buffons.

Does he? Doing what? Private legal work?

Whether he is any good as a lawyer or not, another issue with the role of Attorney General is the lack of impartiality. Government lawyers (as civil servants) are expected to deliver their advice impartially, whatever their own personal views might be about the policy they are advising on. That obligation extends all the way up as far as Jonathan Jones. 

But the Attorney General is a Tory MP (or a Labour MP when Labour are in power), so how they can be expected to give impartial, unbiased advice beats me, frankly. I'm not convinced that not attending cabinet meetings is a particularly effective safeguard in that respect.

Enjoying this, on Twitter:

@davidallengreen

Dear Santa, All we would like for Christmas is the glorious eventuality of Her Majesty's Attorney-General being held in Contempt of Parliament. We promise to be ever so good. Thank you, Law geeks everywhere x

@CraigGrannell 

Replying to @davidallengreen

How about also if the Queen then stepped in, fired the entire government, and just took over?

@adambanksdotcom

At this point I’d settle for Eugenie

@HenninghamPress

I'd settle for Budgie the Little Helicopter..

  

Jamal, that figure is not what it seems. His practice, such as it was was mainly Legal Aid, and much of the sum you describe would be in respect of aged debt from previous financial years gone by. In addition he would have initially undertaken in his name, and then someone else would take over ( because of double bookings and the like) and he would have to pay their fees from the case in which he was initially mandated.

 

There is NO WAY he is grossing the same as a busy top silk in a "MC" set doing commercial/chancery/arbitration work in a million years. I would like to see his YOY gross billings for the last ten years, and from Legal Aid work they would top out at an average of about 120k.

He is/was a criminal hack, in fairness probably a decent one.

Anna, he DID NOT draft the advice, but that would have been in all probability done by James Eadie QC( Treasury Devil) , and he would have put his name to it.

 

Because Eadie would be giving advice , without any political interference, ( as his duty) he would have given the advice warts and all. And the advice tou can bet would have not made good reading if us plebs, and the oppositon had sight of it, hence it has only been given in part. If it was all in favour of TMPM, you can bet she would have revealed the advice in its entirety. There is something unpalatble in the advice , and the Tories want to close it off.

My bet it will be leaked at some point in its entirety.

I know he didn't draft the advice himself. I'm just commenting that the nature of the position itself sits rather uncomfortably with the principle of separation of powers, in my opinion. No one can wear two hats at once and carry it off with any great panache. 

Ah the gift that keeps giving ( Bercow) says the government are likely to have broken parlimentary rules and has refered it  to the standards commitee. Oops

Does anyone believe Cox that witholding is a matter of principle?   Of course not, they would not go through all this for principle, there is clearly some incendiary wording in the undoctored advice (along the lines that you would have to be nuts to sign this deal) that the media will latch on to.  It has fvck all to do with principle and once again the government is lying through its teeth.

Agreed.

And it's obvious the government is lying, but as we're in a binary world now there's no room for discussion, TMPM will just continue to shove her shit sandwich thru Parliament on pain of a forced GE.

If it is 3,000 pages then there are undoubtedly a shit ton of juicy quotes that could be taken out of context. 

And whilst I think the reasons for withholding are political I do think the whole humble address thing is getting out of hand. It really isn’t a good thing if we get to the position constitutionally that there isn’t a limit on what Parliament can demand. 

Even just in this case it is almost certainly correct that it is against the national interest to disclose this (save to the extent disclosure could lead to us remaining). 

Mal, save also the extent that it may help prevent us from signing the worst major international deal in history.

So Cox now arguing the motion is not clear as to whether parliament wants the "final" advice or the "full" advice.

FFS legalistic hair splitting is not going to get you off this one Cox my lad.   You didn't seem to have any doubt about what was wanted yesterday.

 the panto season is approaching so if he does get turfed out I am absolutely sure that various roles could present in the short term

1) Abernazer from Aladin

2) Widow Twanky

3) An ugly sister

4) Perhaps a giant in Jack and the Beanstalk. Fe Fi Fo Fum we don't need a second referendum.

When cox is on his feet he thinks he is making closing submissions before a jury , boom boom boom!! Coupled with over the top and wild head and hand gestures.

second point I bet he is a proper alky, like a bottle of port and 2 bottles of red , and 10 large whiskey a day,you heard it here first .

"a bottle of port and 2 bottles of red , and 10 large whiskey a day"

What is all this "proper alky" tosh?

You mean "criminal barrister".

He had a voice like Charles Hawtrey a few years ago, then he got into El Vinos life and one thing led to another. We all sound a bit basso profundo when we have a proper hangover. He is enduring the Mother and Father of all hangovers at the moment, hence.

Muttley quite correct! I did jury service and all the knockabout bazzas would go to the pub at lunch and neck a few whiskeys . No wonder they are skint 

On the legal point of waiver of privilege, powers of Parliament etc I think there is a fascinating issue warming up.

My prediction is that the referral to the Standards Committee will result in a decision that the AG and Government acted within the law. Here is why: 

The Government has declined to give the advice to the House though it voted to compel it to do so.   The argument is that there is no desire to waive privilege or cause collateral waiver risk in this matter or to create a precedent to undermine privilege claims in future.

The question is does an elected Parliament have the authority to override a common law right, so is the AG bound to deliver on the decision of Parliament?

Parliament can change the common law by legislation. A simple vote in a debate is sufficient to declare its appetite but not to create a legal compulsion.  Is refusal contempt or not? 

Behold, irony of ironies, the European Court of Human Rights comes to their aid in the course of the Government's efforts to rid itself of the EU yolk.  The combination of the recognition by the European Court of Human Rights, the Convention (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act 1998 (which enshrines the Convention rights) has established, while the English law remains as it is and subject to those European law provisions, that privilege is an inalienable human right.  Absent any legislation (which would have to be compatible with EU law as we currently stand) Parliament cannot just brush privilege away with a vote requesting disclosure.

Does a Government have a right to resist waiver? Yes, no party can compel waiver.  A court could compel disclosure. Parliament cannot absent legislation that doesn't conflict with EU law. But if a court did so it would have to conclude that the human right did not override. Cannot see that happening before Brexit, repeal of HRA etc.

Contempt of Parliament is the  obstructing of the legislature in the carrying out of its functions, or of hindering any legislator in the performance of his or her duties. The AG will and does argue that the essence of the legislation is sufficient to inform Members to the degree necessary to be unobstructed (whether or not he has done so is debatable).  He will also argue that the steps necessary to avoid  obstruction cannot possible extend to the Government being forced to throw away a lawful protection.

 

The European Convention on Human Rights protects the human rights of people in countries that belong to the Council of Europe. All 47 Member States of the Council, including the UK, have signed the Convention.

The Convention enshrined the Fundamental Freedoms and Human Rights.

In the UK in 1998 the UK Parliament implemented the Fundamental Freedoms and Human Rights in the Convention into the Human Rights Act 1998.

The European Court of Justice has given a series of Judgments, including the Ablyazov decision and Secretary of State for the Home Department v Watson, confirming the view of the ECJ that Legal Privilege was a human right falling within Arts 6 and 8 of the Convention which the HRA enshrines in UK law.  My reference above to the European Court of Human Rights should have said ECJ - classic numptee error - though in fact in the debacle around the case of Re McE (Northern Ireland) [2009] UKHL 15 which led to the introduction of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Extensions of Authorisation Provisions: Legal Consultations) Order 2010, the ECHR considered the case of RE v UK [2015] ECHR 947 and held in common on this issue with the ECJ, restating the nature of the right. 

Oh ok, you seemed to be implying that if the UK leaves the EU the ECHR protection of privilege through arts 6 and 8 will cease to apply.  I don't think that's right.

But I was being pedantic, overall I think your analysis is likely to be correct save this may fall into a public interest exemption.

No I wasn't. It was just clumsily written.

I was saying that the irony [of it being in the context of  Brexit process that the government would point to the rights confirmed by the ECJ (and ECHR) as entitling it to withhold the advice under Legal Privilege pursuant to Art 6 and 8 rights] was not lost on me.   

I think the public interest exemption may (may) have been dealt with by the AG's oral analysis (to the extent there was one) in his speech which delivered a summary of non privileged facts including his summary of the implications of the deal.  Certainly that was the balloon he was trying to prick.

Yes, I was entirely behind the curve of events. I thought it would be referred to committee. I didn't realise the House was voting on the issue. 311 votes to 293.  Quite tight but that is that.

it's such a slowmo turdberg crash this.

While it is inevitable, that doesn't necessarily make it good. 

We seem doomed to a fate worse than a fate worse than death.

 

Cock QC,I mean cox looks devastated at the result. I suspect the advice wen disclosed will reveal a shit storm the likes of which parliament HAS NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

I do hope so. These fuckers need to be held to account.

despite BoJo now playing the civil unrest card and TMPM clinging on.

The ref was illegal. Prosecute May and Corbyn for reasons cited passim.

I am personally more interested as to who ACTUALLY drafted the advice, I suspect it is not Cox, but James Eadie, if it is the latter I am going to make an assumption that he and has 2/3 juniors that researched and drafted the advice are just about spot on.