Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Tax power floats over the Channel

In a moment of horrible honesty from Mr Justice Collins, dismissed a claim by peaceniks that they can subdivide their tax bill by deciding that none of "their" taxes be spent on defence spending.

What is intersting though is that Judge Collins, himself a remarkable man, has suggested that a case of this sort should and must be decided by the EU. Therefore he threw out their High Court application to appeal; to expedite the case.

"Rejecting the argument, the judge agreed with Treasury lawyers, who said the European commission of human rights in Strasbourg had already decided the issue against conscientious objectors in cases heard in the 1980s.

The judge said: "I am persuaded that if this matter is to be reconsidered it must be reconsidered by Strasbourg."

So what he seems to be saying here is that the ECJ is isnt a position to decide on how HMG collects and divides its tax take. If it decides against HMG on this this would be a collosal power grab onthe part of the EU.

I note in passing that this crew of ghastlies, who seem to forget the basic tenet of representative democracy, that is 'we consent to be governed by others, despite strongly disagreeing with them personally if, those others have garnered a Parliamentary majority' are represented by none other than Phil Shiner. The 'Tank Chasing' brief whose greatest wish it seems is to take British soldiers in front of the ICC. Now his claims on the squaddies war crimes charges, that they are driven purely by the desire to see justice done
seem to be ficticious as he seems to see it as his life's work to attack our armed forces and the funding of the same.

Oh and look at the adversaries



Mike said...

Sorry to be picky but he's not talking about the EU or the ECJ at all. He says that the European Court of Human Rights has already considered the question of whether people have a right to withold taxes that would be used for military purposes and rejected the argument.
Given that the case was brought under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, any review of the original ECHR ruling must be done by the ECHR which is the highest court when it comes to interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Justice Collins should be congratulated for refusing to take the broadest possible interpretation of the ECHR as would normally be the case under Blair's Human Rights Act.
This is only slightly less remarkable than the fact that Ms Booth wasn't involved in a case brought against HMG on the basis of her husband's legislation.

Elaib said...

You are of course right that this is being sent to the ECHR. BUt given the blurring of distinctions between the Charter of Fundamental Rights that fdinds its way into EU doculments and legislation on a daily basis, and the tendancy of the ECHR itself to see itself as part of the great project the dividing lmines are nolonger so certain.
However I am sure taht if Ms Booth could drag herself away from lucrative lecture tours of the far east she would be up for both jobs. It is easy to chase tanks if your husband is there to tell you where they will be in the first place.

Mike said...

The European Convention on Human Rights (and its protocols) is quite distinct from the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, although the latter is (in theory at least) based on rights already "guaranteed" by the former.
The ECJ has said that it will consider ECHR jurisprudence when interpreting the Charter. This means that the ECHR's decision that you do not have a right to withold taxes just because you disagree with the use to which they are being put, would carry weight if anyone was to try to bring a case before the ECJ on similar grounds - for example wanting to withold taxes because they have a moral objection to subsidising French farmers.
The British Government could still allow people to withold a proportion of their taxes (or to specify that they want their taxes to be earmarked for other purposes - as Oliver Letwin seemed to suggest before the election).
The ECHR decision on which Mr Justice Collins based his verdict represents a rare example of a European institution - in this case Council of Europe rather than European Union - deciding that an area of policy is properly the domain of nation states.
I really can't see how the judge saying that anyone wanting to challenge an ECHR decision should take it up with the ECHR means that he thinks that the EU should decide on how HMG collects and divides its tax take. The ECJ doesn't even sit in Strasbourg.

Aunty Marianne said...

That's a horrid picture of Shiner and a terribly dashing picture of Mendonca in his dress uniform.

Nevertheless, we're not allowed to let people off just because we fancy them rotten.

Elaib said...

My dear Aunt, surely you don't come here for reasoned arguement, surely just the very thought that one doesn't like the cut of the fellow's jib should suffice.