Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
That's a considerable piece of work (!congratulations!) that I suggest is not at all written for dummies, or even non-dummies unacquainted with legal terminology and methods, but for the initiated.

Personally, IANAL. From the point of view of a reasonably intelligent layperson, I can only make the following comments:

  • European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill (HC Bill 433) is no longer a bill, it received royal assent on the 9th of September 2019 and is now an act. It is to this Act that I referred, (though Sumption presumably referred to it when it had passed the two Houses and was still awaiting assent). You twice cite EUWA2018, (Johson's duties [EUWA2018], pronouncing EUWA2018 "corrupt,"), and your comments seem to me to refer to that Act and not the one that is at issue.

  • "The presumption of innocence is no trivial issue at trial". But there is no trial, nor prosecution. And Boris Johnson himself has presumably seriously weaked the presumption of innocence in the event of a prosecution brought against him by his clear and repeated public insistence (abundantly on record, not "hearsay") that he intends to disobey the law.

  • Sumption is not "a public officer acting as such". He left the Supreme Court in 2018 having attained the age limit (70). He was questioned as a recognized authority on the law, not as a public officer. He was not delivering judgement, just his opinion as an informed citizen. This is not "A finding of law".

  • "public comment implicating an actual person". It is the office of Prime Minister that is concerned. No physical person is mentioned in the Act.

  •  "facts not in evidence ("...a second letter")". See above, there is no trial. The question of public interest was conditional: IF...

  • "His suggestions are a meritless yet prejudicial indictment of  Johson's duties [EUWA2018] and obligations [LEX]". This is the meat of your response to my question. But why "meritless"? Where is there an "indictment of Johnson's duties" ? To return to my question, what exactly is wrong in suggesting that the use of a potential loophole (additional language with the effect of annulling the prescribed language) would not be permissible under the terms of the Act?

Either you can explain in layperson's terms why the Act does in fact make it permissible, or (my second question) that the Act is flawed in some way, or you are simply stating a string of peremptory opinions.

As the Dude says:


Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Sep 12th, 2019 at 09:55:34 AM EST

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