Jolyon identifies as having standing

Oh was it indeed.

Barrister Steven Barrett at the Spectator tells us the court ruled the Good Law Project doesn’t have standing.

…there was some confusion that the Good Law Project had ‘won’. It had not. Every claim brought by the GLP failed. The court I suspect did not want anyone to be so confused, so it stated that expressly in paragraph 126. There is very little ambiguity in the words ‘the claim brought by Good Law Project fails in its entirety.’

This blow raises serious questions over whether or not it can even continue. The problem is contained in what can for some be odd legal language, the word ‘standing’.

The issue of standing often gets in the way of civil rights cases and the like in the US. I think I’ve written about it here at least once, but I don’t remember on what issue.

Standing is what you need to bring a case. If you haven’t got it – you can’t sue. If you get run over by a tractor, I can’t sue the farmer – because I didn’t get hit, you did. That’s an easy question about standing.

And it’s why Jolyon was talking nonsense on Saturday when he threatened [by implication] to sue someone over a purported libel of a third party. He didn’t and doesn’t have standing, as several people pointed out.

A harder one is raised by organisations or groups. When can they have standing? Well, often by saying they have standing based on the issues that interest them – which is where things get tricky.

Beginning in paragraph 55 the court turned its full attention to what the Good Law Project is, and whether or not it has standing.

We have had hints of this as an issue before. But this is the first time I believe the court has addressed it. The court notes that the GLP tries to draw its objectives very widely, so as to try to have standing against any public body which makes an error of public law. But the court rejected this completely in paragraph 57:

What the court says is basically yeah no you can’t just declare that you have standing in all cases, that’s not how this works.

The problem is that this is an existential issue for the GLP. Its whole point is that it can sue anyone it chooses over any error of public law. But that has now been rejected by the court. Crucially it raises money on the basis it can sue over any error. That caused at least one well respected legal academic to ask whether it is time that those who donate are told?

That would be this tweet:

If the Good Law Project were the toy of someone else this could be bad news, but since it’s Jolyon’s toy…

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