Campaigners and MPs to consider appeal of Russia Report decision
Campaign group the Citizens and several MPs are considering an appeal of the decision handed down by the High Court yesterday.
Posted on 23 June 2021
Campaign group the Citizens and several MPs will consider an appeal of the decision handed down by the High Court yesterday to refuse permission for a judicial review of the government’s decision not to act on the findings of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) of Parliament that Russia has interfered in UK electoral processes.
The permission for judicial review hearing was heard today and judgment handed down immediately after. Further information about the details of the case can be found here [link to previous release].
The Citizens and the group of cross-party parliamentarians were asking for the judicial review on the grounds that the government’s inaction breaches its obligations under Article 3 of Protocol 1 (A3P1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which protects each citizen’s right to free and fair elections.
But the judge, Mr Justice Swift, said there was no “arguable case” and declined permission. He suggested there was no difference between “a shock jock” spreading misinformation and an attack on an election by a foreign state.
Clara Maguire, executive director for the Citizens:
“The judge’s comparison of an attack by a hostile foreign state to a misinformation spread by a shock jock was an extraordinary suggestion. The only way in which a shock jock could be considered the same as the Kremlin is if shock jocks went around Novichocking their listeners. This shows a complete lack of understanding of the nature of information warfare and the kind of attacks our democracy is facing. This false equivalence is not only ridiculous but dangerous. We are determined to fight on and take this to Strasbourg if necessary.”
“Our clients are very disappointed by the court’s decision. They continue to believe that the Prime Minister’s failure to investigate Russian interference in our electoral processes places the government in breach of its legal duty to safeguard our democracy and our right to free and fair elections. They are considering an appeal to continue their legal fight to protect the integrity of our democracy”
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Campaigners and MPs seek permission for judicial review of Russia Report
Campaign group and a number of MPs are seeking permission for a judicial review of the government’s decision not to act on the findings of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament that Russia has interfered in UK electoral processes.