Site Meter

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kenneth Clarke's intray

Kenneth Clarke's intray

This afternoon I was in conversation with Phil Wheatley, Director General of the National Offender Management Service, immediately prior to his going to a meeting with the new Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke. I have been friends with Phil since 1983. And before that, in the late 60s I was a waiter in the Skyrack in Leeds when Phil was a student and drank there. I don't know Kenneth Clarke personally, however, I know of his track record. He hasn't always got it right in the past. But, he is an improvement upon Dominic Grieve. He will be a bit rusty, there have been changes since he was last Home Secretary.

I advised Phil to advise Kenneth Clarke that he was in a lot of trouble over the Prisoners Votes Case.

Phil has known me long enough to know that I don't make idle threats, waste words or not finish what I have started.

From: myhaven
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 6:42 PM
Subject: Prisoners Votes Case

FAO: Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke

Dear Mr Clarke

RE: Hirst v UK(No2) and Frodl v Austria, Committee of Ministers, and High Court action

As you may or may not be aware in December 2009 the CM warned the UK to implement the judgment in time for the June 2010 general election or face the consequences.

First, Charles Falconer either by stupidity or design misinterpreted the Hirst judgment to the media, public and Parliament. It was claimed that not all convicted prisoners would get the vote. Then, David Miliband and Jack Straw, in my view, foolishly, chose to ignore the severe warning. It is understood that they took the view that the CM and/or Council of Europe is a toothless watchdog and no match for the British Bulldog. However, as you can clearly see from Frodl, 8 April 2010, the ECtHR re-emphasised what had been ruled in Hirst, and all convicted prisoners must get the vote.

The proverbial will hit the fan on 1 June 2010. On that date the CM and ECtHR's new powers come into force which were granted under the Lisbon Treaty. As you may or may not know, it also brought the EU and ECJ and the ECtHR and CM and CoE closer together by acceding to the Convention. I note from the Agreement that after the horse has bolted the UK wants to shut the gate on the EU. As already pointed out, in this case, the power lies with the CM.

With Russia ratifying Protocol 14, it now means that I am able to proceed with Rule 11 infringement proceedings against the UK. I will be arguing, given that the UK has inordinately delayed with full compliance for 5 years that the CM should not give the UK 6 months notice that Rule 11 will be invoked. Also, another election may be just around the corner if the Tories and Lib Dems get a quickie divorce. I am aware that you may try arguing that because you are a new regime you need more time to get your act together. However you have had 5 years in opposition, when both the Tories and Lib Dems have had many opportunities to raise the issue with the Labour government and seek the necessary law change. Either a Remedial Order by your office or amendment to s.3 of RPA 1983 by Parliament.

I think you will agree that this is a national disgrace.

Therefore, it is my intention to seek a JR against your office and that of William Hague's. It will give the UK the opportunity to remedy the situation in a UK court before 1 June 2010. It is worth pointing out that some commentators are already likening the UK to the rogue state of Belarus and calling for the same sanction of suspension from the CoE and EU.

These actions against the FO and MoJ are not presently linked to any convicted prisoners cases suing for £75,000,000 for the loss of the franchise to 75,000 convicted prisoners.

I agree with what you said here that the politicians and the media are to blame for dancing to the wrong tune.

I will forward a copy of this email to both the FO and Treasury Solicitor.

Yours sincerely

John Hirst

No comments: