A special piece by MORUS on this afternoon’s statement
Firstly a Judicial Review cannot happen, because a Judicial Review is not permitted to review the workings of the High Court (inc the Election Court) or the Court of Appeal. If the High Court takes complete leave of its senses and awards a Judicial Review, it should be ignored as being an unconstitutional crackpot court.
Secondly, any appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the illegal offence is tangential to the ruling that the election was void. He may get the sentence overturned in time, but that has no bearing on the election being declared void, for which there *is no appeal by statute*. Similarly, if a European Court finds for him, he can get damages, but nothing can overturn that *his election is NOW void, and that is irreversible*
Thirdly, even if the Election Court was wrong, and even if Judicial Review or an Appeal on the illegal offence found Woolas to be 100% innocent, it shouldnâ€™t matter. The proper authority as to the membership of a legislature is the legislature. The Election Court acts in service to the Speaker in determining the validity or not of an election. Having reported, it is the Speakerâ€™s duty to tell the House, who then move the Writ by majority.
I would argue that the Speaker has no right (though perhaps the de facto power) to delay the House in passing the Writ. Nor does he have the power to make a determination of the House about its membership subject to the Courts.
I am 100% in favour of having the election law tried bfore the courts, but the idea that (once the specifics of a case are reported to the Speaker) the courts should have general purview over the eligibility of members is constitutionally abhorrent.
I am absolutely furious. This is Bercow making a political determination rather than the ruling that constitutional law demands. He has the power to do this, but it is not the right thing to do, and I suspect he cares not at all.