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Latest 11 January 2019

The Electoral Commission, Article 50, and the latest on Uber – Newsletter

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Happy New Year. It looks like it is going to be a busy year for the Good Law Project…

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Electoral Commission and Vote Leave

Just before Christmas, the Court of Appeal granted the Electoral Commission permission to appeal the decision of the High Court that the Electoral Commission failed properly to apply electoral law during the EU Referendum. We have written to the Commission to ask it to agree to a protective costs order in the Court of Appeal. If it refuses, we will make an application to the Court.

We sustained a deficit of around £13,000 obtaining the decision in the High Court. But we still hope to be in a position to defend the decision of the High Court that Vote Leave broke the law.

Electoral Commission and the DUP

As you know we’ve had to sue the Electoral Commission again to force them to investigate the Constitutional Research Council, the secretive group behind the £435,000 donation to the DUP during the EU Referendum, and whether the DUP complied with the law when it accepted the donation. Before Christmas, our correspondence with the Commission revealed that the CRC was fined £6,000 for failing to notify the Commission of political contributions.

But you may have seen how the Commission lashed out at the Good Law Project in a BBC article, suggesting that we are using the judicial review, “and the restrictions imposed upon the commission by the Northern Ireland transparency laws, to fuel public mistrust where none is merited.” We feel that this is a heavy allegation to make, and we have responded in full here.

We believe that failing to take action in a case like this puts our democracy up for sale, with the Electoral Commission as auctioneer. If you would like to support this case, you can do so here.

Our Article 50 case

We want to say a big thank-you to those who supported our case and wrote to their MPs about how Article 50 can be unilaterally revoked.

On 20th December, Scotland’s Highest Court made a declaration giving effect to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union. But it was not inclined to adjudicate upon the ‘how to revoke’ question (please see here for background information). This landmark litigation has now concluded.


Our application for an order to cap our ‘adverse’ costs risk will be heard on the 5th, 6th or 7th of February. We have served further witness statement evidence which you can read here. We hope that this application will succeed so that we will then be able to make swift progress in the underlying litigation. We will, of course, report back promptly.

Our indentured labour case

In a previous newsletter, we said that we intend to issue proceedings against FDM Group and Sparta Global over their so-called graduate training schemes. As you may know, the Good Law Project has been campaigning against these training schemes which have indentured thousands of young people.

We have a very similar exposure to costs in this litigation as we do in the Uber case and so we will await the outcome of our application in that case before we issue in these cases.

News from our director

Our director Jolyon Maugham QC wrote a piece for the Guardian, calling for a general strike in order to stop a no-deal Brexit. You can read it here.

How can you help

If you think our work will be of interest to friends and family – please send them this email and invite them to join our mailing list. If you like what the Good Law Project is doing, please consider becoming a member or making a one-off donation.


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