Challenge to UK Government/DUP deal for breaking Good Friday Agreement

by Ciaran McClean

Challenge to UK Government/DUP deal for breaking Good Friday Agreement

by Ciaran McClean
Ciaran McClean
I am a mental health worker and Green Party member in Northern Ireland, married with 3 children. I have campaigned for peace in Northern Ireland most of my life.
Funded
on 09th July 2017
£93,970
pledged by 4239 people
Ciaran McClean
I am a mental health worker and Green Party member in Northern Ireland, married with 3 children. I have campaigned for peace in Northern Ireland most of my life.

Update for Challenge to UK Government/DUP deal for breaking Good Friday Agreement

Nov. 22, 2017

Hi there folks,

Thank you for the many emails regarding the case.  

As you know we had our day in court some 4 weeks ago. We are awaiting developments from our Law Firm in terms of settling up our accounts. That is out of my hands as is all finance. As soon as I hear how much our High Court actions cost and how much of the money is left over the page will be updated.

To date the DUP haven'...

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Join me in fighting this unlawful action by our Government in buying the DUP votes to keep it in power, a move that is in direct violation of its rigorous impartiality required by the Good Friday Agreement.

The Tories are being propped up by the DUP in order to cling to power after the recent election. This horrifies me. It's straight bribery – money for votes.  The deal flies in the face of the Good Friday Agreement, under which the Government is obligated to exercise its power with 'rigorous impartiality' on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions.  The Government is threatening hard won peace with their pact with the reactionary DUP.

I wish to hold the Government to account for their actions through the Courts in a judicial review.  My claim is that as a citizen I expect my Government to honour its obligations under the Good Friday Agreement and not to bribe others with money so that it can stay in power. My lawyers have put these points to the Government. They eventually responded failing to meet deadlines they set themselves.  Nothing they said addresses the fundamental issues behind this corrupt deal.  It means that I am pressed to issue proceedings to resolve these issues.  I need funds to meet the costs of doing so. 

The Rule of Law and our democracy are at stake in this case.  It is left to individuals like myself to assert the Rule of Law and our democracy.  If these actions go unchallenged the values we hold as democrats are greatly diminished.

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Update for Challenge to UK Government/DUP deal for breaking Good Friday Agreement

Nov. 22, 2017

Hi there folks,

Thank you for the many emails regarding the case.  

As you know we had our day in court some 4 weeks ago. We are awaiting developments from our Law Firm in terms of settling up our accounts. That is out of my hands as is all finance. As soon as I hear how much our High Court actions cost and how much of the money is left over the page will be updated.

To date the DUP haven't received a penny from the Tories. It is my sincere wish that because of our challenge they won't get anything.  

Regards, 

Ciaran

DUP Challenger Ciaran McClean disappointed with the Court result but pleased that MP’s now must have absolute control over “Money for Votes”

Oct. 26, 2017

The High Court has today refused the application of Ciaran McClean to judicially review the Tory/DUP Agreement. It did so on the grounds that oversight of the Agreement lies with Parliament rather than the Court.  In response to the application the Government had conceded that the implementation of the Agreement needed Parliamentary approval.  The Court confirmed today that it is up to Members of Parliament to scrutinise the Agreement and the payment of any monies under it.

Mr McClean said “It is of course disappointing to lose the case but through these proceedings we have established that the Money for Votes Agreement now requires the scrutiny of Parliament. Further the Government has effectively conceded that the Agreement is simply an aspirational document of what the Tories would wish the Government to do but that aspiration is subject to Parliamentary approval. The Court gave the example that Parliament can endorse particular expenditure to be included in the Estimates.”

“I have done my bit. I have highlighted these issues. I now call on Members of Parliament to stand up for the people of the UK; to forestall what is clearly a corrupt bargain. Now MPs must scrutinise the spending that is put in front of them, to distil it out of the Estimates and make sure that it is not simply passed through on the nod.”

“I am not alone in finding this corrupt deal abhorrent. The devolved Governments are taking action and many others have joined the campaign. This was Crowd funded and I would like to thank the thousand of people who have supported us. I have spent my life seeking to shed light on the dark recesses of the Establishment and politics and although we have not succeeded today we are vindicated that this abhorrent political transaction has been examined in the full light of day.”

Court Hearing This Thursday, October 26th

Oct. 23, 2017

The hearing of the application is set for Thursday 26 October in the Divisional Court at the Royal Courts of Justice. It’s public so would be grateful for all support. We asked the Government to agree a reciprocal costs cap but they have refused. We are not able to apply for a costs cap because new legislation has blocked the Court’s power to do so. Please support us through this site.

For Thursday the battle lines are drawn. We say that the Tory/DUP agreement is in breach of the Bribery Act 2010 and breaches the standards for public spending obligations set by the Court in the Westminster corruption case Porter v McGill. In short the Government say this is a matter for Parliament and not the Courts under Parliamentary privilege. We say in response that Parliamentary Privilege cannot save this corrupt bargain and even if it could it would need a specific vote of Parliament on the deal to sanction it.

Please support us against this corrupt deal.

We have a court date in October

Sept. 8, 2017

DUP Agreement: Government faces day in Court to defend the “votes for money” agreement


The High Court has today decided that the challenge to the “votes for money” agreement between the Government and DUP must be heard initially by the Divisional Court on October 26th.  The decision that the application for permission should be heard orally by a Divisional Court is highly unusual but the Court decided that the issues raised and their urgency called for a special hearing. The hearing is likely to take place in the next few weeks.


Edwin Coe LLP issued an application for judicial review acting on behalf of Ciaran McClean, a resident of Northern Ireland, a politician in the Green Party and a campaigner for the Good Friday Agreement, in relation to the decision by the Prime Minister to seek to enter into an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party so that the DUP would support the Government in votes of confidence and on supply votes.


The basis of the claim is that any agreement between the Government and DUP will be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement under which the Government undertook to exercise its power in Northern Ireland “. . . with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions.”  Further it is claimed that the agreement breaches the Bribery Act 2010 and is in any event unlawful as a corrupt arrangement.


David Greene, partner at Edwin Coe and who acted in the Article 50 litigation, said  “We believe the Court has concluded correctly and in accordance with our submissions that this is a matter of such constitutional importance that even the application for permission should be dealt with by a Divisional Court as was the Article 50 application.  Both we and the Government have made out our cases and nothing in the Government case dissuades us from concluding that the DUP Agreement is corrupt and very simply unlawful.”


Mr McClean said “ I am extremely happy that the Court has decided that the issues here are of such magnitude that a special court must be convened to hear what we say.  We issued the application for judicial review of the decision by Theresa May to enter into the agreement with the DUP. That agreement is, in my view, no more and no less than the purchase by the Government of votes in Parliament using public money.  It is clear to me and the thousands who have contributed to the crowdfunding on CrowdJustice that that is simply wrong and puts the Good Friday Agreement in severe danger. We crowdfunded the case and we have many supporters. They will be heartened by the Court decision and I hope others will now join us.  Crowd justice have organised the crowdfunding at www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-dup-deal ." 


I have already explained that I regard the deal between the DUP and the Government as a disaster for the Good Friday Agreement and I remain of the view that the Government is acting unlawfully in both breaching its obligations under that Agreement, in breaching the Bribery Act and the general law against corruption.”



Ciaran Mc Clean

We've issued proceedings

July 10, 2017

Following the overwhelming amount of support I've received so far with this crowdfunding campaign, today I instructed my lawyer to issue the application for judicial review of the decision by Theresa May to enter into the agreement with the DUP. That agreement is, in my view, no more and no less than the purchase by the Government of votes in Parliament using public money.  

My lawyers have corresponded with the Government and the response from the Government offered nothing to dissuade us from pursuing this application. My lawyers have applied that the application should be expedited and we wait now upon the Court.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far, we hit our initial target on the first day of launching the campaign, and have now issued legal proceedings. I am continuing to raise funds to cover the legal costs of taking this case to Court.

Ciaran.

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