One of the most significant hearings of recent times is passing by unheralded on July 30th at The Royal Courts of Justice and it is one that will ultimately affect every private citizen in the UK if it is found in favour of the Defendants, being The Ministry of Justice, represented by the Treasury Solicitors.
Andre Power, the Plaintiff, had a County Court Judgement emplaced on him for £254,000 by mistake via Her Majesty’s Court Service. Mr. Power was unaware of this for thirteen months whilst seeking funding for his company to launch a business, four years in the creation and with investment by the principals of over £400,000. Unfortunately, as HMCS failed to advise Mr. Power that a CCJ for £254,000 showing unpaid was now registered against his name on public credit files such as “Experian”, he/the company failed to raise any funding, despite the company having no indebtedness whatsoever, save for a £15,000 bank loan, which was paid up to date at that time.
A Circuit Judge has ruled that the CCJ should never have been emplaced on Mr. Power’s name and it has been removed, after showing on credit files for thirteen months. Mr, Power has had four separate apologies and clear admissions of negligence from HMCS in correspondence thereafter. However, they declined to pay any compensation on the basis of spurious and unfounded allegations that there must have been further debts (though not specified) which prevented the company from being funded. Therefore, Mr. Power started a legal action for compensation.
Included in his submissions were letters from noted funding groups stating that they would decline any such funding requests where due diligence revealed the Managing Director of the company had an unpaid CCJ registered on his name for £254,000. However, none of this has been argued before a Judge as yet. The first hearing was on 6th March 2009 before a Master Foster. The Defendants asked that the case be struck off based on an alleged precedent. Mr. Power received the “skeleton argument” for this action some five minutes before entering the Court. In a previous court case a man who was given two years and three months imprisonment after being found guilty, was accidentally sentenced to two years and six months. As some of the sentence was due to run concurrently, a mistake had been made in the totting up of the sentence and he served an extra three months. At some point, (presumably after completing his sentence) despite himself, his legal representatives, the Judge and the court staff, all missing the original error, he sued for the compensation for the loss of three months liberty.
The Judge upheld the Defence’s claim that a civil servant who makes a mistake whilst discharging the normal duties of his job cannot be liable in law for such a mistake and therefore found against the Plaintiff. This same precedent was therefore represented to Master Foster as the reason Mr. Power’s claim should be struck off. And Master Foster allowed this flimsy reasoning to stand and found in favour of the Defendant’s, although immediately granting Mr. Power the Right to Appeal.
This appeal is to be heard on July 30th.
Mr. Power will argue that the precedent cited bears no resemblance or comparison to his case. Firstly, he was not guilty of any offence in the first place, as proofed by a Circuit Judge ruling that the CCJ was wrongly emplaced on his name in the first place. Secondly, Mr. Power was never advised of the CCJ so unlike the chap cited in the precedent who was present when he was found guilty and sentenced, he had no opportunity to redress the situation. Thirdly, the Treasury Solicitor’s argument that a civil servant who makes a mistake whilst going about his job cannot be declared negligent is also being contested by Mr. Power. He maintains that it was precisely because civil servant/s (unknown to this day) were NOT doing their job properly in the first place that this situation arose. If they had been discharging their duties, for which they are paid from the public purse, then this circumstance could never have occurred. If this precedent is allowed to stand, thus preventing Mr. Power from ever seeking compensation before a Judge in an open court then a dangerous and unsettling precedent is in place that would have shocking repercussions for every private citizen in the UK. It would mean any civil/public servant and/or offices of the civil service could commit any act of wilful negligence without fear of legal action and with absolute impunity.
You are already aware of the growing disparity between private business and public employ. We pay the taxes for civil servants wages and pensions. Indeed our pensions have collapsed whilst theirs have been growing. We work under an ever burgeoning set of directorial responsibilities, red tape and laws that prevent us from ever running our businesses in such a cavalier fashion. And of course we have no such protection in law from claims against us resulting from the negligent actions of our staff and ourselves if they are proofed to have negligently impacted on any of our fellow citizens. We work longer hours and enjoy significantly less absence from work due to sickness, holiday time and sundry days off. If this precedent is allowed to stand it will mean a new two tier society has been created, effectively an act of apartheid, legislated via the highest court in the land. It will mean that all the millions of civil/public servants will be working under a completely different circumstance to the army of self employed and private businesses who fund their existence. The only examples of such civil service power over the people can be found in communist, fascist and totalitarian regimes. They have never been implemented in any state before that has declared itself to be a “democracy”. The power of the individual will therefore be subsumed before the power of the State. No longer will we be able to sue any state body or its representatives. Indeed, they will be able to perform all manner of objectionable and dubious acts against the citizen without the citizen having any recourse in law. Would any taxpayer willingly pay taxes to support an unelected elite in the pursuit and maintenance of this goal? Therefore, if you wish to make a stand against the erosion of that most historic right, whereby both public and private citizens are held to be under the same principles of English law and jurisprudence, then I ask that this case be given as much prominence and publicity before it is too late and we are drawn into an “us and them” gulag mentality whereby the private individual no longer enjoys the same legal rights and privileges as the Government employee.
I received the above email this afternoon at the Libertarian Party Offices, and having spoken to Mr Power who has given me permission to publicise this case which could establish the legal precedent that no Civil Servant can be held accountable for his or her negligence.
For the first time, the ' rulers' will have enhanced legal protection from the consequences of their incompetence over us the 'ruled'. No more messy inquests into the shooting of unarmed electricians on the underground, no legal consequences for battering an innocent bystander at a demonstration so that he dies. You can now lose your life,your property and your wealth, and you will not be able to sue the State for redress.
In the dying days of this corrupt Parliament, the Treasury Solicitors are ging to argue that Civil Servants have no duty of care to the public and cannot be sued for negligence
If you wish to discuss this further please contact Andre Power anytime on 01702 389005.