“The Liberal State is a mask behind which there is no face; it is a scaffolding behind which there is no building.”
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (29 July 1883 – 28 April 1945), who led the National Fascist Party of Italy, ruling the country from 1922 to his ousting in 1943.
There are times in when we inevitably reach a fork in the road, where we are forced by reason, intuition, desperation or external circumstances to conclude that we must radically alter our current direction in order to avoid arriving at the destination to which we are headed.
We now find ourselves in such a position on the Islands of Britain, upon which I will attempt to elaborate by describing what I have most recently witnessed whilst helping two women, both of whom live on their own and are surviving on extremely low incomes, in two very different legal disputes in Her Majesty’s Courts.
Dispute #1 – Justice Sold & Delayed
Last summer, a friend of mine filed a county court claim against as an unscrupulous travel agent, who unlawfully refused to cancel some flights they booked in error for her son and daughter-in-law, for dates upon which the recipients were unable to travel.
Since the travel agent has repeatedly refused to settle the matter privately, an application was made the the small claims court for an award of damages and an order of restitution, on the ground that all products and services bought over the telephone or online can be canceled by the buyer within seven days of purchase, whether the goods or services acquired are fit for purpose or not, in accordance with the the Sale of Goods Act 1979, the Consumer Protection Distance Selling Regulations 2000, the Financial Services (Direct Marketing) Regulations and the Electronic Commerce Regulations. An open-and-shut case if ever there was one.
Several months after the claim was filed and the defendant acknowledged service of the relevant documents, indicating that they would be defending it; having already paid £120 in court fees, my friend was informed that she would have to pay another £40 to transfer the proceedings from the Manchester bulk centre to her local county court, where she had initially tried to file the claim, only to have her documents returned with instructions to redirect them to the bulk centre following recent changes to the Civil Procedure Rules, which effectively created a mandatory transfer fee for such proceedings to be heard in the local courts, which formerly accepted such presentments over the counter or by mail at no extra charge.
In other words, the filing of county court claims has been centralised at the bulk centre, thereby necessitating transfers of all proceedings, which were never required under the former rules. The obvious result of this change has been to guarantee another £40 for Her Majesty’s Courts every time a claim progresses to a hearing, at the expense of everybody who files a claim, as if participating in legal proceedings was not expensive enough.
It was at this point that my friend filed a fee remission form to claim back the money she had already paid to file the claim and to discharge the transfer fee. After hearing nothing from the court for several weeks, save for a letter informing her that the matter had been duly transferred, she was told during a subsequent telephone inquiry by one of the court staff that a hearing had been listed for 08 February 2013, despite the fact that notice of the hearing has not been received.
Of course, it is grossly unfair that the courts expect cash-poor litigants to fill out a fee remission form for every fee that becomes payable, but if they don’t pay or remit the fees within a strictly limited time frame, any listed hearings are canceled whether notices of the fees are received or not, usually putting the proceedings back several weeks or even months and increasing the costs of conducting them, thereby making justice even less accessible to the general public than it already was prior to the changes.
To my friend’s utter dismay, she then received a letter from the court informing her that the hearing had been cancelled because she hadn’t paid yet another court fee, this time for £325, which she had no idea was due and outstanding, having received no notice of such. The court staff claimed on the telephone that notices of the hearing and the fee for that hearing had been dispatched to the service address of the claimant, but I can confirm that neither document has been received at that particular location. The only viable option left was for my friend to fill out and file two more fee remission forms to cover the fees, upon receipt of which the court staff promised to re-list the hearing within six-eight weeks.
Magna Carta purportedly set down in common law the English monarchy’s pledge to the people of these lands, ‘To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.’ If my friend was not entitled to a full fee remission, these proceedings would have already cost her £485, before any hearing of the issues. She will have to remit at least another £80 to have the dishonest and unsustainable defence filed by the travel agent set aside as totally without merit in a general application to the court [N244], in which case she will be awarded damages on top of the restoration of her losses.
Despite this, there could never be any guarantee that the eventual judgment will be handed down in her favour and she understandably feels that she has already been treated shabbily by the system, which she previously believed would act quickly to put right such an obvious wrong. A final resolution therefore could not come soon enough.
After almost a year of trying to progress the case through the county courts, my friend finally received notice that the trial was going ahead and we appeared at the hearing before an unusually sweet and temperate female judge, who spent almost two hours diligently examining all the facts before the court, before handing down her judgment in my friend’s favour, ordering the restoration of her losses and a small award of damages.
Whilst justice was eventually done in this matter, the length of time it took to get to court and the perpetual problems caused by the necessary incurrence of legal costs, even when a litigent is representing themsleves in personam, is more than enough to disincentivise most people from ever issuing a claim, no matter how strong their case is, thereby breaching the terms of Magna Carta, the supposed bedrock of the common law of England.
Dispute #2 – Justice & Right Denied
In the second case, a woman living in a small, ill-equipped flat in an almshouse under the protection of the order of the Charity Commissioners, has been fighting her eviction under the purported terms of an illegal Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, which she reluctantly agreed to at a time when she was without a home, as well as the knowledge that the property cannot be commercially exploited as rented accommodation under the Almshouse Rules, since it is held in charitable trust for the benefit of certain women who are suffering financial hardship.
Having withheld her rental payments on the grounds that the bathroom is in need of urgent work and the kitchen is not equipped with cooking facilities, my friend was threatened with legal proceedings by the purported landlord, a Housing Association, which claims to have authority to enter into tenancy agreements over the property, having been appointed by the managing trustees of the Almshouse to act in their capacity as custodians. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A hearing of the issues eventually convened on 17 October 2012, which my friend could not attend because of a family funeral. This, however, did not deter the allegedly learned presiding judge, who presumed the validity of the purported tenancy agreement in the absence of the defendant and granted a possession order to the Housing Association, in material breaches of the order of the Charity Commissioners, as set forth in the Almshouse Rules.
An application to set aside the possession order on the ground that it is void under these Rules and pursuant to Gray v Taylor  WLR 1, was heard by another judge on 07 December 2012, who refused to set it aside on the basis that he had not been presented with any compelling evidence that the property was subject to the Charity Commissioners’ Scheme, a document which was not made available to my friend to file into court by the custodians of the property until just a few days before the time of this writing.
On the 9th of January 2013, my friend applied for permission to appeal the second decision to another judge, this time a Queen’s Counsel, who dismissed the application as “totally without merit” on paper and used CPR Part 52.3(4A) to prevent the appellant from requesting that the appeal be heard at a hearing. This meant that the only other option left was to make an urgent application for permission to proceed with a claim of Judicial Review to the High Court, Administrative Division.
Before my friend could sign and email the court papers, which were ready to be served last Tuesday morning, she was forcibly removed from her home by a court officer, bailiffs, locksmiths and several armed policy enforcers [allegedly there to “keep the peace”], under the purported authority of a possession order that is entirely reliant upon the void tenancy agreement that has been unlawfully imposed upon her by the Housing Association, in contravention of the Almshouse Rules.
During the unlawful eviction, her son moved between his mother and a thug-in-uniform to prevent him from assaulting her as he aggressively entered the premises, provoking the storm-trooper to reach for his firearm, causing extreme distress to my friend and the rest of her son. Thankfully, he stayed calm and placated the situation, but that doesn’t alter the terrifying fact that armed police were used to evict a peaceful woman and a gun was drawn to intimidate her and her son into acquiescencing to tyranny.
I didn’t know this until after I called to see if there was anything I could say to buy enough time to email her Judicial Review application to the High Court. I tried to reason with the most senior fascist bully-boy at the scene, who listened carefully to the challenge to the validity of the possession order, then told me that the eviction was happening whether or not an application for Judicial Review had been or was about to be filed. In other words, he was completely unconcerned at the prospect of my friend being unlawfully evicted, simply because the court officer told him there was no defect in the possession order.
The armed corporate thugs who carry the mark of Elizabeth II on their intimidating uniforms didn’t get the violent resistance that they might have been brainwashed to expect from such a situation. Instead, they came face to face with the despair of a loving mother and son, consoling each other over of the injustice of a system bereft of compassion, truth and equity, when the validity of a piece of paper from an unlawful tribunal is not even questioned by those who come in the name of keeping the peace.
The Inevitable Conclusion
The salient question is, therefore; if Magna Carta, considered by so many to be the bedrock of the purportedly unwritten constitution, still has force and effect within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, why is justice being sold, denied and delayed so flagrantly by Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service?
Having now witnessed dozens of injustices handed down by Her Majesty’s oath-keepers, whether the subject matter is fines issued without lawful judgment, non-payment of tax, the enforcement of the mandatory census, mortgage fraud or alleged acts of terrorism, it has become abundantly clear that the system over which the Ministry of Justice presides is a rigged game, in which the interests of Her Majesty’s Government, the Crown and certain private banks invariably prevail.
A more conspicuous conflict of interests is almost impossible to conceive, but until the Miscarriage of Justice System is declared void by a Grand Jury of the Indigenous Peoples of Britain, as it was in the High Court by a certain litigant-in-person on 28 June 2012, the sale, delay and denial of justice will continue unabated under the tyrannical Corporatist Police State of the [Dis]United Kingdom.