When is applying the long-established rules of Locus Standi (The right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court) and the letter of the law “undemocratic”, “dictatorial” or trying to “over-rule 750 year history of representation”?
Never – unless you live in the weird parallel universe inhabited by Andrew Gilligan and the rest of the anti Hs2 mob!
As I predicted in my last blog, the petitions to the House of Lords are facing far more Locus Standi challenges than the earlier petitions to the Commons. 414 of the 821 are subject to challenge. This has provoked squeals of outrage from stophs2 campaigners and the usual fact-free rubbish from Andrew Gilligan (see here) and Joe Rukin (here).
Of course, what they all neglect to say it that whilst this is the Govt and Hs2 Ltd bringing the challenges, it’s up to the House of Lords Committee to judge if those challenges should be allowed. The Committee is Chaired by Lord Walker of Guestingthorpe, who just happens to be a QC with a long history of senior judicial appointments which include being a High Court judge, Justice of Appeal, Lord of Appeal and Justice of the Supreme Court of the UK. With such an august legal mind Chairing the Committee it’s going to be almost impossible for Hs2 antis to get away with screaming ‘foul’ on this one – hence their anger.
StopHs2 campaigners know this was their very last throw of the dice. Yet again, they’d hoped they could bog-down the process of the bill with repetitive petitions only this time, they weren’t going to be allowed to get away with it. The Govt and Hs2 Ltd had been very generous in the commons by challenging so few petitioners. In their final report the House of Commons Ctte had this to say about Locus Standi;
So, what’s happened shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The Govt and Hs2 Ltd are simply exercising their legal right to challenge petitioners standing and a very senior and experienced legal mind is chairing the Committee that will rule on their validity. Expect the majority of the challenges to succeed.