John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Thursday, November 27, 2008
  Damien Green: a complete non starter (and I don't mean Damien himself)
I cannot believe that any action has been taken against a member of parliament about leaked government documents. This goes straight against Article XI of the 1688 Bill of Rights.

I accept that various local authorities have threatened me with imprisonment, but to have a go at an opposition member of parliament is totally and absolutely wrong.

OK so Parliament is in suspension now. However, there must be a reaction against this.

Whistleblowing to MPs is implicitly protected as part of the 1688 Bill of Rights. If we are going back in legal terms to pre 1679 (Habeus Corpus) that is very worrying.

This is not in any way something minor.
 
Comments:
He should leave the police station, that is just stupid.
 
"I see all my birds have flown"

I completely agree John, there's a big whiff of "First they came for the Tories..." about this and we should all be outraged.
 
The relevant provision of the Bill of Rights 1688 ("That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament") applies only to Parliamentary proceedings, not the leaking of documents to the press, as appears to have occurred in this case. As far as I'm aware, the courts haven't extended this case to MPs actions outside Parliament.
 
You need to go back to the original case in 1958 (cannot find case reference at the moment). Erskine May's reporting of this case which related to letters between MP is wrong).
 
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