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Latest 22 November 2018

The Supreme Court rejects the government’s bid to stop our Article 50 case – newsletter

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We kick off this newsletter with some fantastic news…

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Our Article 50 case

The Supreme Court has rejected the government’s last ditch attempt to block the Article 50 hearing before the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg next Tuesday. It’s another humiliating defeat for the government.

The Supreme Court’s order can be accessed here, and we expect to get at least the advisory Opinion of the Advocate General before Christmas. For more on the possible outcomes of the decision, click here.

We’ve published our written arguments on why Parliament should be free to cancel the Article 50 notice if it decides that is in the national interest. Our case is very important and of huge public interest. If you are able to support us, please consider supporting our crowdfunding or becoming a member or making a one-off donation.

Expose the DUP

We have received a response from the Electoral Commission to our formal letter threatening legal proceedings for its failure (1) properly to investigate the DUP for accepting a donation without investigating its source and (2) to act against the shadowy Constitutional Research Council for incurring hundreds of thousands of pounds of referendum expenditure without registering.

We would like to publish that response but the Electoral Commission has sought to impose an obligation on us to keep it confidential. We do not believe we have any such obligation and we will write to it imminently saying that we propose releasing its response and, in effect, inviting it to seek an injunction to prevent us doing so.

We are also not satisfied that the response answers the complaints made in our formal letter and so we have instructed leading electoral lawyer Gavin Millar QC to act for the Good Law Project, alongside junior barristers Tom Cleaver and Eleanor Mitchell and Polly Glynn of Deighton Pierce Glynn, in an action against the Electoral Commission. We expect to issue formal proceedings in the High Court very shortly. We will, of course, keep you updated.

For a background of the case and our crowdfunding campaign, click here.

Some updates on the Vote Leave litigation

We have two updates for you. The first concerns how, despite having been refused permission to appeal by the High Court, the Electoral Commission has asked the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal. We will update you as soon as we hear from the Court of Appeal.

The second is costs. On our CrowdJustice page, we have published what we will have spent on solicitors and counsel in the events of (1) if the Electoral Commission does not get permission to appeal and (2) if the Electoral Commission’s appeal proceeds and is successful.


We have a hearing scheduled at which the issue of the protective costs order (PCO) will finally be resolved on 5, 6 or 7 February 2019. Although there can be no guarantees we remain confident both that we will obtain a PCO – and that we will succeed in the underlying litigation. We expect to be able to release more news on the underlying issue shortly.

News from our director

Our director Jolyon Maugham QC wrote a piece for Prospect magazine on the revocability of Article 50, which discusses the possible outcomes of the CJEU’s decision on the matter. You can read the article here.

How can you help

To help us keep up the good work, please, if you can, support us financially by becoming a member or making a one-off donation.


The Good Law Project