Robert Buckland is facing a lawsuit from Gina Miller-style professor at Oxford University, alleging breach of his legal obligation to comply with the Brexit Act.
The move, backed by one of Britain’s leading constitutional lawyers and a former legal adviser, could force him to resign as Lord Chancellor if confirmed by the courts.
There is a danger that a new dispute will arise between the government and “activist” lawyers. David Greene, the new president of the Law Society and a major critic of the ministers’ attacks on “left-wing” lawyers, has already been involved in the case, but has stepped aside due to his new role and possible conflict of interest.
But in defense of lawyers’ rights so that the government can take responsibility, Greene told The Daily Telegraph: “We have deep concerns about references to activists or lefties who do their job, that is, interpreting the law as issued by parliament. They do nothing more or less. ”
Legal objections to Mr Buckland are raised by Professor Joshua Silver, an Oxford University physicist who invented self-correcting lenses and is led by constitutional expert and former lawyer Khawar Qureshi.
He claims that Mr Buckland, QC, has failed in his duty as Lord Chancellor to comply with the Internal Market Act, under which the United Kingdom reserves the right to infringe international law.
In a letter to Mr Buckland, they quoted his “manifest inaction” by not advising the government not to break the law, his “consent” to possible violations by voting on the bill, and his indication that he would resign only if the government violated the law “in a way [he] found unacceptable. ”
They said that “everyone raises serious concerns that the Lord Chancellor has violated (and continues to violate) his constitutional and legal duty.”
They responded to Mr Buckland on 4 November – and then decide whether to proceed to judicial review, which would make his position “unsustainable” if he found that he had violated his legal obligation.
Conservative and legal sources argued that it was a “frivolous” politically motivated move, pointing to a previous action by Professor Silver, who, after giving a speech at a Conservative party conference, reported to then-Home Secretary Amber Rudd police in the West Midlands as a crime of hatred.
One source claimed that Green’s involvement in the case was “very inappropriate” and “shamelessly guerrilla” as the then vice president of the Law Society.
However, Professor Silver said: “It seems to me that the current government is now violating the rule of law. Naturally, I hope that the government will acknowledge that it is making a mistake and change its direction before its behavior has to be reviewed by the courts. ”
The bill gives the government the power to amend the Brexit Exit Agreement in the event of a possible violation of international law. Two government officials resigned in protest: Sir Jonathan Jones, a Treasury lawyer, and Lord Keen, a British lawyer for Scotland.
Following the Conservative uprising, ministers agreed on an amendment to allow only powers to amend the Brexit Exit Agreement with the prior consent of MEPs.
Greene – who also advised on the Article 50 case against the government – said he did not deal with the case in person, although his company did. This has now been taken over by another company.
Mr Buckland’s spokesman declined to comment.