The Court of Appeal - and Proceedings in Parliament
Actually tomorrow is the first time that the definition of "Proceedings in parliament" has been considered in court. I thought it had been considered by the 1958 Scrap Cables case when the Judicial Committee considered the issue of a letter written by an MP to a minister. However, Erskine May was wrong on this and in fact it did not consider this.
The interesting point is that if a letter written by an MP to a Civil Servant is a "proceeding in parliament" then so is a court action by an MP in the Court of Appeal.
What this means that if I lose and the Treasury Solicitors try to get me to pay the costs then because the action is a proceeding in parliament I am covered by the rules relating to Contempt. That means that the Committee on Standards and Privileges can send the Treasury Solicitors and their Boss, the Chief Minister of the Treasury, (aka the Prime Minister) to the Tower. If I win, however, then I win and he has to answer questions.
It is a difficult one for Mr Blair. Either I win and he has to answer questions or I lose and he could end up in the Tower.
We also filed the other case today as well.