Who will watch the watchmen? A reply to Lord Carnwath and Philippe Sands QC on climate change and the law

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“Who will watch the watchmen?” is a translation of the phrase “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” made famous by the Roman Poet Juvenal in his satires.

Guest essay by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley. The Denning Lecture in the Church of St Dunstan, “the Cathedral of the Weald”, Cranbrook, Kent 23 October 2015

LORD DENNING, now merry in heaven, is celebrated for many qualities, not least his readiness to take on the legal establishment in what he rightly saw as the overriding interest of reaching a just judgment. In that gentle Hampshire accent from the ancient village of Whitchurch, where he lived in a fine, stone-built house overlooking the church, he would raise a finger and a smile and reply to those who asked him how it felt to be overturned so frequently on points of law by the House of Lords:

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“Oi took no oath to do law. Oi took it to do justice. They did law. Oi did justice.”

In honouring that great Custos Rotulorum today, we need only look towards the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to realize how sorely we need good judges and true – men of Lord Denning’s singular stamp. For he was the redoubtable champion of the little guy against big business, big unions, big bureaucracy, big government. For this reason, though he was regarded with stuffy exasperation in the stuffier chambers of the stuffiest of professions, he was arguably the most popular, influential and well-loved justice of our time among the general public.

His Lordship’s judgments richly deserve to be regarded as works of literature no less than of law. His principle in drafting his opinions was simple: “Accuracy, brevity, clarity, aboideth these three, and the greatest of these is clarity.” His sentences were famously short and simple. His lines of argument were forceful, straightforward, comprehensible and clear. He flattered all the non-legal minds into whose purview his judgments came, for he gave us the impression that we, too, could almost understand the law, and perhaps even love it a little, as so many of us loved him. Above all, he was by instinct always ready to defend the ordinary citizen against the over-mighty forces of intrusive government, citing Pitt the Elder but adding his own characteristic rider (italicized):

“‘The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail. Its roof may shake. The wind may blow through it. The storm may enter. The rain may enter. But the King of England cannot enter. All his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.’ So be it – unless he has justification by law.”[1]

A dismal contrast to the splendid readiness of the late Master of the Rolls to keep the panjandrum of totalitarianism from bursting in upon us and rolling over us was visible at the recently self-aggrandized Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in mid-September 2015, where a strange theatrical event took place: a conference of national and international judges and law professors under the troubling title Climate change and the rule of law.

Lord Carnwath, a Justice of the Court and a tendentious campaigner on environmental and climate issues, introduced the conference with these shamelessly partisan sentiments:

“President Obama has said we are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it. On that basis, the forthcoming Paris negotiations under the UN Climate Change Convention are a crucial test of our ability as a global community to address those challenges.

“The intention is that the commitments which emerge from those negotiations should have legal force. But what does that mean in practice? Much has been written about the science and the politics, but much less about the legal machinery available to give effect to those commitments, which will need to be developed in the future – or, indeed, the role of the courts, national or international, in administering it.

“Ultimately it will be for us as judges, national or international, to work it out with the help of legal practitioners and academics. We need to prepare ourselves for that task and to help our judicial colleagues round the world to do the same. The purpose of this conference is to stimulate such a debate, which I hope will continue up to Paris and beyond.”

In short, His Lordship is more than eager for the courts to be empowered to inflict totalitarian regulations and restrictions on the people worldwide, in the name of “addressing … challenges” whose genuineness he injudiciously and unjudicially assumes without verification and without first having taken the trouble to hear both sides in evidence.

Carnwath should urgently reread Lord Denning’s words in a celebrated judgment, explaining why the judiciary must be, and be seen to be, impartial:

“The reason is plain enough. Justice must be rooted in confidence: and confidence is destroyed when right-minded people go away thinking: ‘The judge was biased.’ … The court looks at the impression which would be given to other people. Even if he was as impartial as could be, nevertheless if right-minded persons would think that, in the circumstances, there was a real likelihood of bias on his part, then he should not sit. And if he does sit, his decision cannot stand.”[2]

Carnwath introduced a lecture by Philippe Sands QC, professor of international law at University College, London, on Adjudicating the future in international law. Sands, like Carnwath, accepted without question the establishment position on the climate. The very title of his talk betrayed the relentless and often pusillanimous prejudice that was evident throughout. “Adjudicating the future”, forsooth!

The aprioristic premise of Carnwath, Sands and just about all of their no doubt carefully-chosen audience was that everything in the sacred texts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was unquestionably gospel truth.

Sands and other speakers at the conference took the view that it was the duty of the international courts to reach findings of fact in support of the IPCC, and, in Sands’ profoundly prejudice-laden word, to “scotch” the research results of researchers who challenge the “factual matters” on which those attending the conference seemed unanimously to agree without the slightest evidence or question, even where those researchers were “scientifically qualified, knowledgeable and influential persons”.

That conference of very senior national and international judges was in reality a nest of activists ruthlessly determined not merely to disregard but openly to flout the two principles of natural justice recognized in the laws of England and Wales: that none should be the judge in his own cause (nemo sit iudex in causa sua), and that both sides should be fairly heard (audiatur et altera pars).

Here is a characteristically unsatisfactory passage from Sands’ talk:

“The International Court of Justice or International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea could be asked, for example, to confirm (as a scientific matter) that emissions reductions are needed – nationally and globally – to stay below the globally agreed temperature threshold of 2 degrees Celsius.

“As I noted at the outset, there is a broad emerging consensus on many of these factual matters, but they remain subject to challenge in some quarters, including by scientifically qualified, knowledgeable and influential individuals, and the courts could play a role here in finally scotching those claims.

The words in bold type were not in Sands’ script. He added them on the fly. It is often in ad-libs of this kind that the true (and, in the present instance, frankly malevolent) intent of the speaker is revealed. The conference of judges, in defiance of the English tradition of hearing both sides before making any pronouncement, had made up their minds ab initio and a priori.

They are indeed judges in their own cause – the cause of mawkish, half-baked, anti-science, to-hell-with-the-evidence, hard-Left environmentalism that is so dear to our future King, who sent these pecksniff propagandists a dim-witted letter of support and has likewise refused either to appreciate or to respect the iron constitutional obligation upon him, akin to that which rests upon the Justices and the courts, to keep what the Greeks called “holy silence” on all matters of current political contention.

Worse, the disgraceful but revealing ad-lib perpetrated by the unfortunate Sands evinces a determination not to give any hearing to those who have published in the learned journals their scientific results casting doubt on the apocalyptic claims of the profiteers of doom before “finally scotching” what he calls the scientific sceptics’ “claims”.

Lord Denning’s opinion on the obligation of visible impartiality in the judiciary has already been cited. Let us cite him now on the audiatur et altera pars principle:

“If the right to be heard is to be a real right which is worth anything, it must carry with it a right in the accused man to know the case which is made against him. He must know what evidence has been given and what statements have been made affecting him and then he must be given a fair opportunity to correct or contradict them.”[3]

And what steps did Carnwath or Sands take to suggest that the courts should hear both sides before reaching any scientific findings? Precisely none. Those of us who have researched these questions deeply, and who have published our findings in the learned journals, are not to be invited to present any evidence, any more than they were fairly represented (if at all) at the justices’ unbecoming political rally. To make the point clear that only one side of the scientific case will be permitted, Sands said this of the International Court of Justice:

“… the court has a potentially significant role to play in helping the world understand and decide on the science of climate change and to recognize that the room for real doubt has disappeared.

This time the emboldened words of incurable but no doubt profitable prejudice are in the printed text of Sands’ insubstantial lecture.

The prejudice expressed both by Carnwath in citing Mr Obama with approval and by Mr Sands in his menaces to independent scientific researchers, combined with the unquestioning enthusiasm with which the audience of personages whom Lenin would have characterized as “useful” received those remarks, raises a question without precedent in the annals of British justice. Not merely one judge but an entire court, at a partisan political event bought and paid for by Her Majesty’s Government, by a rent-seeking university law department also profiting by the taxpayer’s involuntary generosity, by a foreign agency to which Lord Carnwath acknowledges allegiance and by an alien bank that profits from substantial investments in coal-fired power stations, an event held not merely within the precincts of the court but in two of its courtrooms, not behind closed doors but across the internet, have publicly disseminated an unreasoning collective prejudice on a matter of current political controversy that may yet well end up in court, if only to bring to book the profiteering pseudo-scientific scamsters who have stretched the evidence for supposed concern about our largely imaginary influence on the climate beyond all reason, and have even tampered with that evidence.

UKIP, which received one vote in eight at the last general election, opposes the climate scam root and branch for what it is – an international racket got up by the governing class as a Trojan horse for the introduction of global, unelected, totalitarian government. UKIP’s climate spokesman, Roger Helmer MEP, is far more knowledgeable about climate science and economics than Carnwath or Sands will ever be. They cannot fairly claim, then, that the climate question is settled politically, any more than they can legitimately claim that it is settled scientifically. Even if the classe politique were united on the climate question, which it is not, the judges have no locus to join forces with them politically.

The entire Supreme Court, now that it has taken money from the Government and other inappropriate sources, and has unlawfully misapplied those funds for the purpose of proclaiming very publicly an irremediable prejudice on a political question on which opinion as well within as among the parties is divided, must henceforth recuse itself from hearing any cases concerning the environment and climate. At once an obvious difficulty arises. For the Supreme Court is the ultimate court to which the appeal courts refer contentious cases of all kinds, including climate and environment cases. It construes its own role as follows:

“The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland; hears appeals on arguable points of law of general public importance; concentrates on cases of the greatest public and constitutional importance; [and] maintains and develops the role of the highest court in the United Kingdom as a leader in the common-law world.”[4]

Lord Carnwath and the president of the Court, Lord Neuberger, now face two choices. They must either hold another public event at which they hear – and are seen to hear – the sceptical case, or give written undertakings that the Court will forthwith recuse itself from hearing any future environment or climate cases. If the Court, bending to the fitful wind of transient political fashion, insists on continuing to close its ears to the sceptical case, it must without further ado invite the grim Ministry of Justice (O for the kindlier days of the Lord Chancellor’s Department!) to bring forward urgently whatever legislation may be necessary to make alternative arrangements for hearing final appeals in environment and climate cases.

Either way, the Court must disclose, under the Freedom of Information Act, the sums it received from each sponsor of its unlawful political event, and declare which department or departments of government paid for the conference. It will no doubt seek to maintain that its workings are exempt from FOIA requests. However, its workings are not in issue. What is in issue is the funding for a partisan and public political event held by it on its premises.

The relevant Ministers should repay to the Treasury the sums unlawfully squandered on promoting a partisan political prejudice in what was supposed to be the nation’s highest and most impartial court of appeal. In the event that Ministers fail to repay the taxpayer, judicial review of Ministers’ administrative decisions both to subsidize the event and to refuse to pay for it out of their own pockets should be sought.

Sands lists the usual wearisome catalogue of extreme, pusillanimous, scientifically-baseless and easily-discredited assertions lifted incuriously from the prejudiced documents of the IPCC. He talks of dangerous warming when, notwithstanding that almost half of Man’s influence on the climate since 1750 has arisen since 1990, there has been no statistically-significant warming in the quarter-century since the IPCC’s First Assessment Report in that year, and none at all for almost 19 years. He talks of dangerous sea-level rise when the Envisat satellite, during its entire eight years of operation, showed sea level rising at a rate equivalent to no more than 1.3 inches per century, and such little sea-level rise as other, more suspect datasets evince arises chiefly from an artificial “glacial isostatic adjustment” that does not reflect any real, physical rise in sea level. He talks of dangerous ocean “acidification” when the oceans are and must under modern conditions remain pronouncedly alkaline. He talks of dangerous extreme-weather events, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while making lurid predictions, has had to confess both in its Fifth Assessment Report and in its Special Report on Extreme Weather that there is remarkably little evidence for any link between global warming and extreme weather to date. He talks of an “emerging consensus” that peer-reviewed results[5] show to be represented in just 0.3% of published climate papers.

After Sands’ catalogue of catastrophisms drawn from the documents of the IPCC, he adds the following remarkable paragraph:

“These are not the words of doubt. They indicate that we have gone well beyond the classical standards on the burden of legal proof, whether it be balance of probabilities, or beyond reasonable doubt, or the standard of conviction intime that I am directed to apply by Swiss law acting as an arbiter at the Court of Arbitration for Sport at Lausanne. Just this week the UK Met Office issued a new report, entitled Big Changes Underway in the Climate System? We are told that in 2015 the Earth’s average surface temperature is running at or near record levels. Scientific evidence tells us that climate change is happening, the textbooks tell us that it’s a subject for international law, one addressed by treaties and other international instruments.”

Sands has not for an instant given serious consideration to the possibility that the IPCC, whose accident-prone and often downright dishonest documents he quotes without the slightest question, may have a very large political as well as financial self-interest to promote. That is why he has not bothered to check whether any of the pseudo-scientific points he plucked from its latest Synthesis Report has any real justification in fact.

Sands’ failure to consider even the possibility that there might be another side to this question, still less to consider that the other side might actually right and true, is reprehensible, and his demand that the courts should “scotch” the legitimate scientific research results of those of us with whom he presumes on no evidence to disagree, and the acquiescent silence of those present and of the Court’s justices and administrators, are gravely at odds with the democratic legal tradition of these islands, and still more gravely at odds with the obligations of justices and officers of the Court.

Later in his propaganda presentation, Sands says that the International Court of Justice or the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea

“could be asked, for example, to confirm (as a scientific matter) that emissions reductions are needed – nationally and globally – to stay below the globally agreed temperature threshold of 2 C°” [above pre-industrial temperature, or 1 C° above today’s temperature].

But nowhere does Sands provide any scientific justification for the assertion, absurd on its face, that a global temperature just 1 C° warmer than today’s temperature will be in the least damaging, still less that it will be so damaging as to require the concerted action of governments to establish a global government to make the harm go away. It is far more likely that 1 C° will be beneficial. Nor does Sands provide any evidence that the target adopted at the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 has any scientific basis. He seems unaware that this target was dreamed up as a political device by a member of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change, who has subsequently admitted that the figure was purely political and had no scientific rationale at all. Imagine an international court, such as the new “Climate Change Tribunal” that is proposed in the current drafts of the impending Treaty of Paris, requiring nations to set a limit to their emissions on the basis not of any scientifically-derived result but of what is known to be a purely totalitarian political assertion without scientific justification. Imagine the dismal, intellectually-bankrupt world the Supreme Court has in mind for us.

What is worse, there is no clear statement, anywhere in international law, that requires the 2 C°-above-pre-industrial target to be adhered to. It is a mere aspiration. It is not the law. Therefore, it is not a sound basis upon which to found any judgment in an international court. It is not the role of the courts to make the law, however much the likes of Carnwath and Sands may nurse the frankly totalitarian ambition to do so.

On one point, it is not unreasonable to concur with Sands. He says,

“One of the most important things an international court could do – in my view it is the single most important thing it could do – is to settle the scientific dispute. A finding of fact … would be significant and authoritative and could well be dispositive on [a] range of future actions, including negotiations.”

The courts are indeed a good forum to settle scientific disputes, because in that forum – as in no other – both sides are fairly heard, as long as the action is genuinely adversarial and not an artificial or “sweetheart” action such as Massachusetts v. EPA or the recent Urgenda case on the Continent, where both sides hanker after the same totalitarian outcome and seek to inveigle the court into rubber-stamping a decision really intended to bind third parties who are not parties to the action and have not had their objections heard.

In genuinely adversarial cases, the courts, by their very rules of procedure, allow proper cross-examination of each party by the other. In the climate debate, cross-examination of the believers has rarely proven possible in any other forum because they duck out of debate almost every time, using a variety of lame excuses. For they know they will nearly always lose. Whatever they may say in public in that manically messianic tone that is de rigueur, they know that the facts and the science are not on their side.

Yet the forensic process of examination and cross-examination is precisely valuable only when the courts are, and are determined to be, and are seen to be, impartial. Would a coal company, shall we say, faced with an action by some lavishly-funded “green” lobby group or other, feel in the least bit confident appearing before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in its present over-politicized and under-informed state, now that its pantomime of hate is in the public domain and consciousness?

How many of the Justices have contributed anything to the peer-reviewed journals of climate science or economics? How many of them have ever heard any case examining whether the New Superstition to which they have now publicly declared their undying devotion is founded in the truth? What, then, are they doing proselytizing for their socially convenient, politically expedient, financially profitable but scientifically questionable and constitutionally totalitarian opinion, without first having heard the evidence on both sides?

The Court, having collectively issued its premature opinion on the climate question, and having not demurred at Carnwath’s citation of Mr Obama, of all people, as though he were some sort of expert on the climate, and having not demurred at Sands’ statement that expert scientific researchers who do not share his inexpert view should have their results “scotched”, is in no position to render any assistance whatsoever either to the citizens within its jurisdiction or to other national or international courts. By its extraordinary and unprecedented decision to broadcast its rank, frank prejudice for all to see, it has forfeited any right to hear any climate or environment case whatever.

The Supreme Court has sunk very low. It has reduced itself to just another rent-seeking campaign group that knows just one thing: governments will subsidize the climate-extremist viewpoint. After all, the UK Government subsidized its wretched conference. But governments will not subsidize the sceptical viewpoint, even though, on the evidence to date, sceptical results have proven far closer to the truth than the bizarre, exaggerated and serially, materially failed predictions on the basis of which Carnwath and Sands presume to lecture us about the need to empower them to bully scientific researchers who disagree with the government-funded side of the case from which they themselves profit or hope to profit.

It is appropriate to put the Supreme Court’s demand that the legitimate scientific researches of those of us who have dared to question the magnitude of the warming our enrichment of the atmosphere with CO2 may cause should be “scotched” into its current political context. Here is a note of just a few similar attempts to stifle scientific debate and research on the climate question in the past decade or so. It will be seen from this list that Sands and Carnwath have placed themselves and the Supreme Court in less than savoury company.

2005: Margo Kingston, in Australia’s Daily Briefing, said: “Perhaps there is a case for making climate change denial an offence. It is a crime against humanity, after all.”

2006: Bill McGuire, professor of “climate change impacts” at University College, London, said: “We have Holocaust deniers; we have climate change deniers. And, to be honest, I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference.”

2006: The Grist.com website called for Nuremberg-style trials for climate skeptics. The article was later retracted.

2006: Heidi Cullen featured Dave Roberts, who said online, “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards – some sort of climate Nuremberg.” The remark was not later retracted.

2006: Mark Lynas, a “green” campaigner, wrote: “I wonder what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead. I put [their climate change denial] in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial – except that this time the Holocaust is yet to come, and we still have time to avoid it. Those who try to ensure we don’t will one day have to answer for their crimes.”

2006: Spiked Online reported that when a correspondent for the American current affairs show 60 Minutes was asked why his various feature programmes on global warming did not include the views of global warming sceptics, he replied: “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”

2007: Ellen Goodman, in the Boston Globe, said: “Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.”

2007: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lashed out at global warming skeptics, saying: “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors.” The penalty for treason is death.

2007: Yvo de Boer, secretary general of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said ignoring the urgency of global warming would be “criminally irresponsible”.

2007: Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, a UN special climate envoy, said: “It’s completely immoral even to question” the UN’s scientific opinion on climate.

2008: Dr James Hansen of NASA demanded that skeptics be “put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature”. The penalty for crimes against humanity is death.

2008: David Suzuki, a Canadian environmentalist, said government leaders skeptical of global warming should be “thrown into jail”.

2008: Alex Lockwood, a British journalism professor, said that writers questioning global warming should be banned.

2009: A writer at Talking Points Memo said global warming “deniers” should be executed or jailed. He later retracted this remark.

2010: James Lovelock, inventor of the “Gaia hypothesis”, told The Guardian: “I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

2010: Dr. Donald Brown, Professor of “Climate Ethics” at Penn State University, declared that skeptics, who had caused “a 25-year delay in acting to stop climate change”, may be guilty of a “new crime against humanity”. The penalty for crimes against humanity is death.

2010: A video from the “10:10 campaign” showed climate skeptic children being blown up by their teacher in class, and their classmates were spattered with their blood and guts.

2011: An Australian journalist said climate skeptics should be “branded” with cattle-irons to mark them out from the rest of the population.

2011: Another Australian journalist said skeptics should be “gassed”.

2012: Professor Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz, Austria, recommended the death penalty for skeptics. He later withdrew and apologized for his demand.

2012: Dr. Donald Brown, Professor of “Climate Ethics” at Widener University School of Law, again declared that skeptics may be guilty of a “new crime against humanity”. The penalty for crimes against humanity is death.

2014: Dr Lawrence Torcello, assistant philosophy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, wrote that people who disagreed with him on climate should be sent to jail.

2014: During a February cold snap, the New York Times ran a cartoon headed “Self-Destructing Sabers for Dispatching Climate-Change Deniers” and showing (top right panel) a climate skeptic being stabbed with an icicle.

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2014: The gawker.com website said: “Those denialists should face jail. They should face fines. They should face lawsuits from the classes of people whose lives and livelihoods are most threatened by denialist tactics.”

2014: The host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show promoted Soviet-style re-education for climate skeptic politicians by conducting an on-air poll on the question “Should climate-denying Republicans be forced to take a basic earth science course?”

2015: Katie Herzog at Grist.com on 16 January wrote: “If this planet is to survive the scourge that is humanity, we all have to stop reproducing. Yes, all of us. In that spirit, I propose we … sterilize every human male on his 10th birthday.”

2015: A comment on the webpage of the Brisbane Times about a category 5 cyclone along the Queensland coast on 19/20 February said: “These type of weather events could happen further south in future and be more intense with global warming … if anyone has to suffer out of this one I hope it is a climate change denier, if anyone.”[6]

2015: The Australian Capital Territory’s Arts Fund gave $18,793 “to assist with costs of the creative development of a new theatre work, Kill Climate Deniers.

2015: At a propaganda rally hosted by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in London, Philippe Sands QC said that international courts should be deployed to “scotch” the “claims” of “scientifically qualified, knowledgeable and influential individuals” who disagreed with what he called the “consensus” as to his viewpoint on climate change.

The context of Sands’ repellent remarks, then, is the increasingly hysterical and desperate politically partisan campaign to try to silence those of us whose researches have led us to conclusions at odds with the imagined (and imaginary) “consensus” that the Supreme Court, on no evidence, actively endorses.

The desperation of the totalitarian faction arises not from any genuine concern about the climate, but from fear that unfolding events will ever more clearly demonstrate that that faction was at all material points scientifically incorrect in its overblown exaggerations.

Not only is the Supreme Court’s self-serving misconduct grave: it is contemptible. It is a denial and a repudiation of everything that British justice once stood for. Above all, its misfeasance is a rejection of the ancient principles of which Lord Denning was the champion, that none should be the judge in a cause he has declared to be his own, and that both sides of every case should be fairly heard by justices who are impeccably, determinedly, visibly impartial, and who take care to make no public pronouncement on any currently-contentious question of fact unless and until they have heard both sides. Carnwath, by running his little Christmas pantomime of hate in the very courtrooms of what was once regarded as Britain’s highest court but is now yet another mere totalitarian poodle feeding off the taxpayer-funded largesse wantonly scattered about by the governing elite, has in effect recused not only himself but also the entire Supreme Court from exercising any legitimate judicial function with respect to the environment or climate – or, for that matter, with respect to anything else.

For if a justice or a court has acted in a visibly prejudiced fashion, declaring an individual or collective opinion, or keeping silent when such a declaration has been made and should have been swiftly and trenchantly repudiated as fundamentally contrary to the principles of natural justice, then that justice and that court are forever tainted. They can no longer be trusted to exercise any judicial function or to act in any judicial capacity.

With the eager assistance of Sands, then, Carnwath has precipitated what bids fair to be a constitutional crisis of no small magnitude. It is now open to anyone whose case would otherwise be considered by the Supreme Court to demand that the case be transferred to another legal jurisdiction – perhaps the Court of Session in Scotland, which is generally less politicized and more circumspect (as well as more competent) than its pompously self-opinionated British counterpart has proven to be.

That fatal remark by Sands to the effect that the legitimate research results of scientists and investigators who, like me, have published their findings in the leading reviewed journals of climate science and economics should be “scotched” by the courts for what are transparently political rather than legitimately scientific reasons; that fatal failure either by Carnwath, who congratulated Sands when he should have reproved him and should have distanced the Court from his unacceptably prejudiced and hate-filled remarks; and that fatal silence of his fellow justices in the face of Sands’ pusillanimous and ignorant extremism, leave no doubt as to the now-ingrained and publicly-displayed prejudice not only of Carnwath but also of the entire Supreme Court on the climate question.

Not one Justice has come out, as all should in duty and conscience have done, to repudiate Carnwath’s political rally and to set themselves and the Court aside from his explicit endorsement of Sands’ talk, with its vile proposal to “scotch” scientific research results with which he profits by disagreeing, and which he has insufficient native wit or scientific knowledge to comprehend, let alone to judge, still less to dismiss.

Not one Justice has recalled the wise words of Lord Chief Justice Phillips in 2007:

“A judge should value independence above gold, not for his or her own benefit, but because it is of the essence of the rule of law.”

The Justices, and particularly Carnwath, are also in direct breach of the chapter on Impartiality of the official guidelines for the judiciary:

Chapter three: Impartiality

3.1 A judge should strive to ensure that his or her conduct, both in and out of court, maintains and enhances the confidence of the public, the legal profession and litigants, in the impartiality of the judge and of the judiciary.

3.2 Because the judge’s primary task and responsibility is to discharge the duties of office, it follows that a judge should, so far as is reasonable, avoid extra-judicial activities that are likely to cause the judge to have to refrain from sitting on a case because of a reasonable apprehension of bias or because of a conflict of interest that would arise from the activity.

3.3 A specific application of that principle is that a judge must forego any kind of political activity and on appointment sever all ties with political parties. An appearance of continuing ties such as might occur by attendance at political gatherings, political fundraising events or through contribution to a political party, should be avoided. The need for abstinence also involves not participating in public demonstrations which, by associating the judge with a political viewpoint or cause, may diminish his authority as a judge and create in subsequent cases a perception of bias. Where a close member of a judge’s family is politically active, the judge needs to bear in mind the possibility that, in some proceedings, that political activity might raise concerns about the judge’s own impartiality and detachment from the political process.

3.4 Another application of the principle, though one difficult to define and apply in specific situations, is the expression of views out of court that would give rise to issues of perceived bias or pre-judgment in cases that later come before the judge. This question is considered in more detail in Section 8.2.[7]

Chapter 8.2 says –

“… many aspects of the administration of justice and of the functioning of the judiciary are the subject of necessary and legitimate public consideration and debate in the media, legal literature and at public meetings, seminars and lectures, and appropriate judicial contribution to this consideration and debate can be desirable. It may contribute to the public understanding of the administration of justice and to public confidence in the judiciary. At the least, it may help to dispel misunderstandings and correct false impressions. There is no objection to such participation provided the issue directly affects the operation of the courts, the independence of the judiciary or aspects of the administration of justice.

“Care should, however, be taken about the place at which, and the occasion on which, a judge speaks so as not to cause the public to associate the judge with a particular organization, group or cause. The participation should not be in circumstances which may give rise to a perception of partiality towards the organization (including a set of chambers or firm of solicitors, group or cause involved or to a lack of even-handedness.

“There are plainly risks in a judge, whether exercising a criminal or a civil jurisdiction, who may have to deal with a wide range of people in his or her jurisdiction, being exposed to public debate in such a way that the authority and status of the judicial office may be undermined. Consultation with Heads of Division, the presiding, resident or designated judge, as the case may be (the “head of the appropriate jurisdiction”), will almost always be desirable. The risk of expressing views that will give rise to issues of bias or pre-judgment in cases that later come before the judge must also be considered.”[8]

The Justices of the Supreme Court, and the Court itself, have fallen foul of these provisions of the guidelines for the judiciary. It was legitimate that they should discuss the judicial aspects of considering climate-change cases. It was, however, far from legitimate that they should declare, or by their silence acquiesce in, what amounted to a public, corporate declaration of prejudice by the Court and at the Court in favour of a single, narrow politico-scientific opinion on a matter of active and current political and scientific debate.

Worse, Carnwath and his cronies are in breach of statute law, and recent statute law at that. Section 3(1) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 says –

“… all with responsibility for matters relating to the judiciary or otherwise to the administration of justice must uphold the continued independence of the judiciary.”

It is self-evident that when judges indulge in political campaigns paid for by HM Government and broadcast from their own coutrooms they do not, in any sense, “uphold the continued independence of the judiciary”. Rather, they forfeit it and cast it to the winds.

The Supreme Court, by broadcasting its untutored prejudice for all to see, has abdicated. Let us sweep it away and start again. “Tom” Denning would have been delighted with that thought. Just as the Judicial Committee of their Lordships’ House so often and yet so inappropriately overturned that learned, gentle tribune of the downtrodden, let us now, appropriately, not merely overturn its shoddy, smarmy, self-satisfied successor, the Supreme Court, but overthrow it outright. The nation, and the wider jurisprudential world, would be a better place without them and without their small-minded, ill-informed, self-interested, totalitarian prejudices.

“Be you never so high”, said Lord Denning in one of his many famous cases, “the law is above you.”[9] The Supreme Court is as high as a career in the law will take you, but its justices are about to find out, to their cost not only in reputation but perhaps also in place, on this as on so much else “Tom” Denning was right. He was right because he was just. He did right because he did justice. The Supreme Court doesn’t do justice. It doesn’t do facts. It doesn’t even do law. Away with it!


[1] Southam v. Smout [1964] 1 Ch 223

[2] Metropolitan Properties Co. (F.G.C.) Ltd. V. Lannon [1968] EWCA Civ 5 [1969] 1QB 577

[3] Kanda v. The Federation of Malaya [1962] AC 322 at 327.

[4] https://www.supremecourt.uk/about/role-of-the-supreme-court.html

[5] Legates, D.R., W.W.-H. Soon, Briggs, & C.W. Monckton of Brenchley, (2013) Climate consensus and misinformation: a rejoinder to “Agnotology Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change”, Sci. Educ., doi:10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9.

[6] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cyclone-marcia-live-coverage-20150219-13iuaw.html.

[7] https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/JCO/Documents/Guidance/judicial_conduct_2013.pdf

[8] Ibid.

[9] Paraphrasing Thomas Fuller (1733), in Gouriet v. Union of Post Office Workers, [1978] AC 435.

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131 thoughts on “Who will watch the watchmen? A reply to Lord Carnwath and Philippe Sands QC on climate change and the law

  1. Yup, we are coming to a head, where the blind worms gnawing at the foundations of civilization, cross breed with the fools and bandits our wealth has empowered.
    All the institutions of civilization are under attack.
    To protect your descendants we will strip you of your rights, property and right to reproduce.
    Every where you look there is another statist do-gooder ready to kill you to protect your health and safety.
    time to move the United Nations headquarters to Coats Island Nunavut Canada.
    This will protect them from Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.
    And let them demonstrate this wonder lifestyle they proclaim.

    A brief review of History seems to indicate that once the Parasitic horde exceeds 10% of a population, decline is imminent.
    The success of the bureaucratic global power grab, contains its own destruction.
    Civil society can only exist with the very beliefs these idiots are undermining.
    Law,equality before that law, private property, individual rights.
    All things the UN holds in contempt.
    Grinding productive persons to a standstill and imposing overlords from the delusions of adequacy brigade..yup thats gonna work.

    • “Every where you look there is another statist do-gooder ready to kill you to protect your health and safety.”

      Here is what C.S.Lewis had to say on that topic:
      “I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.”

  2. There is nothing much to prevent the Law society or Oxford Union to now have an open debate entitled
    Separation of Powers.
    That the spectre of Catastrophic Climate Change behoves us to set up a totalitarian state.

    • A national treasure indeed; few here will fail to agree the importance of Lord M’s argument. But a little over-egged, as usual, m’lud? “Accuracy, brevity, clarity, aboideth these three, and the greatest of these is clarity.” Too much collateral for the other side to pick upon, and thereby avoid the central point?

      • Mothcatcher should not whine. The lecture was primarily aimed at lawyers; the arguments are rooted in the two principles of natural justice recognized in the laws of the United Kingdom; and necessary quotations from relevant documents were given.

        The pressure is inexorably mounting on the “Supreme” Court, whose festival of hate has backfired badly on it. I am waiting for answers to my FOIA questions. If I don’t get proper answers, the Information Kommissar will be called in. if, as usual, he is useless and comes to the aid of the non-disclosers, judicial review may well follow: but only after the “Supreme” Court has been offered a way out of the dilemma on which Carnwath and Sands have impaled it.

  3. But what have the MSM had to say about this?
    Not a lot.
    If MSM was doing the job we think it is supposed to do, this would have been the biggest story of the year.

    • The MSM has redefined their “job”. They view themselves as the vanguard that will help to usher in universal peace and prosperity. All it takes is giving govt enough power to force everyone to behave as the liberals deem best.

      • The Marxstream media unanimously backed appeasement and, in doing so, backed Hitler. The ever-dreadful Daily Express even gave Goebbels its front page in 1933 to tell the readers that the Jews were sweeties and were not being persecuted, golly gosh no. It was the Express’ front-page lead.

        Do not expect the Press to speak up for democracy. Nearly all journalists are totalitarian creatures of the Establishment upon which they fawn and which feeds upon them. I speak as a former journalist who did his best to oppose the Treaty of Maastricht, by which, at a stroke of an inept biro, John Major signed away our democracy to unelected foreign Kommissars.

        I was a lone voice, widely regarded as mad, until Britain was driven out of the European exchange-rate mechanism in 1992, an event that I alone among leading journalists had persistently predicted. Indeed, John Major had had me fired when a new and sycophantic editor, one Stewart Steven, was appointed. Steven called me in and said the Prime Minister had asked for me to be dismissed.

        I replied that a journalist whom the Prime Minister wanted dismissed was perhaps worth a doubling in salary rather than dismissal, but I was told that the Editor wished to defer to the Prime Minister. I received an enormous six-figure payoff for going quietly. Two months later I fell seriously ill (for reasons quite unconnected with my dismissal at the Prime Minister’s demand), and I’d have had to stop working anyway, but my contract would have given me nothing in compensation for my illness (which persisted for decades and was nearly fatal).

        So John Major, in trying to do me harm, was characteristically inept as well as vicious: he did me a much-unintended favor instead. And three weeks after I left, Britain was driven humiliatingly out of the European exchange-rate mechanism, leading to years of economic chaos and a historic defeat for the Conservatives under the hapless Major at the 1997 general election. Moral: attack Monckton at your peril, for the Curse o’ the Viscounts may descend upon you.

    • The media by and large now believe that their job is NOT to show up tyrants, to uncover corruption, to give light to the lies, but to push the progressive narrative, to “do good” and change the world. They fail to see that no effort to change the world will come to good if no one is watching out for the liars and thieves.

  4. One of the foundations of democracy is an independent judiciary. But it would noiw seem they moving towards being puppets of political correctness. Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of democracy ?

    • We saw that when Obama decided that he no longer had to obey any law that he disagreed with.
      Prior to that, we had the political elites pushing through massive changes to their countries constitution without even bothering to ask the citizens if that was what they wanted.

    • Herr Herbst asks the right question. I am going to wait and see whether I get any sense out of the “Supreme” Court in its answers to my questions. If not, I shall write to the Chief Justice (not to the fatally prejudiced Carnwath: he no longer counts) suggesting a way out of the mess Carnwath and Sands have dropped the Court into. If that way out, which will be reasonable and proportionate, is not accepted by the Court, and if the Court makes no counter-proposal to put right the prejudice that it has exhibited, judicial review of its refusal to put matters to rights will be quietly applied for (the courts do not like being used as part of someone’s PR machine).

      If, as seems certain, the case is successful, it will then of course be permissible to publicize the judgement against the “Supreme” Court, which will then be invited – on pain of contempt of court – to reconsider its decision not to take public steps to purge the prejudice that it has unwisely and very publicly demonstrated.

      • Lord Monckton,
        Thank you for the excellent essay. I hope your confidence in the success of the case is well-founded! When so many government officials are stained with green advocacy, how does one put an end to wagon-circling and towing of the alarmist line? After years of bombardment by MSM etc., the ridiculous concept of “climate justice” may have superseded plain old justice in the collective psyche; effectively licensing activities which corrupt or erase impartiality. Sands and Carnwath have clearly demonstrated a willingness to break laws to serve their grander designs, but IMO the populace is unlikely to view their actions as such because they Believe that “saving the earth from CO2” is the higher ethical priority.
        May your efforts continue serve to and enlighten!

  5. By extension, longer term cycles beyond that of El Nino and La Nina are deemed illegal and irrelevant by order of the court and a plurality of radicalized advocacy groups. So help me Gaia.

  6. How odd that senior judges – renowned for demanding fair hearings for both sides in any legal dispute they must pass their judgement on, have suddenly forgotten the most abiding rules of legal practice; that all sides and all required evidence shall be heard.

    And now they abandon those sacred principles? Advocates, indeed.

    • How disgusting that a senior British judge should quote an American president. If judges must quote political nobodies, let them at least quote British Prime Ministers.

    • Cheshirered has got it in one: the “Supreme” Court, of all institutions, has abandoned the two principles of natural justice in the light of which every case in the British courts must be decided.

      RoHa objects to a British judge citing a U.S. President. I have no objections to a judge doing that: but to do so as though Mr Obama were some sort of an authority on climate change seems more than a little strange, and suggestive more of a hard-Left enviro-Fascist political prejudice on the part of the dismal Carnwath than of a genuine and open-minded willingness to hear both sides before rushing to judgement.

  7. I think those V’s are supposed to be U’s. They used to make that mistake all the time in Roman times. It’s one of the reasons they get no respect.

  8. Sands is quoted for –

    “Scientific evidence tells us that climate change is happening, the textbooks tell us that it’s a subject for international law, one addressed by treaties and other international instruments.”

    What scientific evidence? – none was presented
    Which textbooks, international laws … treaties … instruments? – none referenced

    Thank you, Lord Monckton and I especially enjoyed the image of a “totalitarian poodle”.

  9. A remarkable family, father a draper and mother a schoolmistress who had five boys and a girl. The second son, Reg, became a lieutenant-general, and the youngest, Norman, a vice-admiral and Chief of Naval Intelligence. The eldest, Jack, was killed in 1916, leading his men into action at Geuedecourt; the third boy, Gordon, a midshipman at Jutland, died of tuberculosis contracted during his naval service. “They were the best of us,” Lord Denning would say of his dead brothers. (Daily Telegraph oblt.)

    Mandy Rice-Davies said that Lord Denning was “quite the nicest judge I ever met”. She spoke with some authority after her experiences during the Profumo Scandal.

    ‘It happened on April 19 1964. It was bluebell time in Kent’, he began his judgment in Hinz v Berry (1970).

    This website shows when bluebells appear in UK (half the world’s population apparently), possibly a useful proxy!

    http://www.naturescalendar.org.uk/map/current.htm?rsid=164&reid=3&ry=2013&rs=S

  10. One of the things not published is the temperature of our entire interglacial with error bars.
    Let these scientists show the people what they know and how well they know it.
    Provide all data, codes, assumptions, etc.
    Prove the case to the scientists that disagree with them.
    Show how they got to their belief that agw would destroy the world.
    Show why they deny all of the good extra CO2 has given us.
    Again, provide all data, codes, assumptions, etc.
    They must know why they believe it so show the rest of us.
    I’d like to believe, too.

    • One of the things not published is the temperature of our entire interglacial with error bars.

      Such a thing is physically meaningless.

  11. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was extremely biased from the very beginning. This should be evident from the: Report of the second session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 28June1989. https://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session02/second-session-report.pdf

    These are some revealing quotes from the report:

    “In welcoming the delegates to the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) Headquarters … The Executive Director of UNEP, hailed the fruitful alliance between WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and UNEP. The firm commitment of prof. Obasi, the Secretary-General of WMO, coupled with the determination of UNEP leadership, has resulted in a partnership which is helping to unify the scientific and policy-making communities of the world to lay the foundation for effective, realistic and equitable action on climate change.”

    “The Executive director stated that the impacts of climate change and global warming would have serious consequences for humanity. In Egypt alone, global warming could flood much of the Nile Delta and Drown 70 centuries of civilization in less than one, and could inundate one fifth of the nations arable land.”

    “It would be desirable for the Panel´s report to be ready by august 1990 for presentation to the Second World Climate Conference and to the United Nations General Assembly. It should be born in mind that both the governing council of UNEP and the executive Council of WMO expected the first report of IPCC to form the basis for international negotiations on a global convention on climate change. The report can also play a valuable guiding role for the large number of conferences, meetings and symposia on climate change being held all over the world. For all of these reasons, the report should be completed in good time.”

    “The issuance of the report would only be the beginning of a far more arduous task. To tackle the problem of climate warming effectively, radical changes would be necessary in international relations, trade, technology transfer, and bilateral and multilateral strategies. The panel´s continued work would be the only guarantee of the concerted response to the global threat of climate change”

    “In his opening remarks , Prof. Bolin said that the primary objective of IPCC, in making its first assessment, is to produce a document which could provide guidelines for the formulation of global policy and which would enable the nations of the world to contribute to this task”

    “IPCC´s first report will contain the 20-page summaries for policy-makers to be produced by the working groups and an overall integrated summary of these placed in perspective. Professor Bolin suggested that the integrated summary be written by a drafting group consisting of the officers of IPCC and the chairmen of the Working Groups. He asked that this plan of his be enforced by the panel.”

    “The panel invited interested UN organizations, regional or global intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and private institutions that wish to to contribute in the matter, to collaborate with appropriate analyses. …. The panel invited the contribution from these organizations in order that its own work may be improved.”

    Imagine the pressure on the participants. A pressure to conform with the prejudice of the leaders.

    United Nations Environmental Program and World Meteorological Organization created Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC is by no means an independent scientific body. This should also be evident from the Principles Governing the Works by IPCC:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf

    These principles are not enforcing a scientific method upon the works by IPCC. The principles are imposing a mission upon IPCC, and a principle to strive for consensus, and an organization structure where dissenting ideas must be diminished.

    The hypothetico-deductive method is fundamental to all search for knowledge. Fundamental for scientists as well as courts. A method which was first formulated by Karl Popper in The logic of scientific discovery: http://strangebeautiful.com/other-texts/popper-logic-scientific-discovery.pdf

    IPCC is a biased organization which need to be abolished – it is not an independent scientific body.

    Lord Carnwath and Philippe Sands are biased and unable to consistently apply a method which is fundamental in the search for truth. They cannot sit, or their decisions cannot stand.

    • Philippe Sands is an advocate. While one may consider his views – not just on Climate Change – stupid or misguided, he is perfectly entitled to make them from whatever pulpit is offered to him.

      As a judge, and particularly as a senior judge, Lord Carnwath should not publicly advocate his personal prejudices, particularly when they are so easily exposed as being unbalanced and erroneous. By doing so he has brought not only himself but all his colleagues on the bench into disrepute.

  12. The King, the Courts, the ones of power has to have a moment when the choice is clear.

    Like this:
    My grandfather, 1/2 Apache 1/2 Prussian. He the great grand son of Apache Chief Mangus Colorados.
    Seems Mangus was a bit of a big man and very good at knife fights and war with Mexicans and American Buffalo troops. He lost his war but fought one last time in chains with hot irons on his feet.
    So grand dad came by it honest. His dad who married an Apache lady had done four years in the civil war after he got off the boat from Europe.

    Time of the start of the big depression of the 1920’s / 1930’s. The big bank in the county seat of the county in Texas has the big money and the owner of that bank was also the biggest rancher and too the sheriff.

    Thus all the power needed it would seem. The little bank in one of the little “farm and ranch” areas borrowed from the big bank to keep from foreclosing on the farmers and ranchers and taking their property and horses etal. as that would put them all out of business and people would starve out and leave.

    So, old big boy sheriff got him a paid posse and headed horse back and one old car to the small town.
    sheriff in the car. Now gran dad has him some recon people in the big town and got smoke signals on the dust up coming.

    The meet up took place on a bridge over a creek about 4 miles south of the little town. 6 of the local ranchers horse back, grand dad out front and 12 to 20 of the others and the car with the sheriff.

    Out of the way you, says the sheriff,, ” I know you, your that breed from that Apache family that took over the old Plam place and you run horses from New Mexico and sell them to Ft. Sill. You better git out to the way, I am the law and I have all these guys who know how to use the guns they have.

    Grand dad kept it simple: “That all good, your guys may be that good, they may get all of us, your bank may take the stuff and the land. He pointed his colt at the sherriff, but it will not mean a thing to you, you being the only one I will kill today.”

    The big guy allowed them to sign a note for 5 years and pay interest only.

    Rich guy did die in his sleep years later, even richer.

    Like that it comes sometimes to have freedom, justice, the law and liberty. .

  13. “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    Lord Christopher Monckton, hold your head up high. You are one of them.

  14. MY GOSH! why are they so worried about us skeptics? They are so shrill and hateful, it is hilarious! Why do they not just go ahead and give up their use of carbon and set an example? That speaks volumes about their intent.

  15. Just as an aside but I believe pertinent ( Great article by Christopher Moncton, thank you).
    My parents when I was growing up would always tell me and my brothers, “if you are in trouble find a policeman or go into a store and ask for help”. I remember very clearly one incident when I was about 8 years old. I did get help from the police man. He escorted me home and I clearly remember the fact he was even polite to me telling me and my mother I had done the correct thing, I remember his uniform to this day very plain not intimidating and pretty much the only thing that stood out was the cap he was wearing.
    Today if you asked for help (if you can get it)? The uniform is very intimidating.
    Flack jackets, radio gear with antennas hanging out, weapons on their belts,
    Jack boots
    Reminds you of anything? And to me it is from both sides no matter if it is the Left or the Right, we are living in a deteriorating society. (Who would have believed this 50 years ago I wonder).

    • Good observation. I remember when the police wore a navy blue serge uniform. Today they look like Darth Vader’s goons. Very intimidating.

      • I have no respect for the Police. They are, IMO, just a state sanctioned bullyboy gang. None I have met would stand a chance in a real fight. They don’t even need a warrant to strip search you in Australia. You won’t find them stopping real criminals/crime…most known to them anyway…nah! Like the person in the Lindt coffee shop shootings in Sydney. Just pulling people up for driving 5kph over the speed limit or for stepping on the cracks in the pavement.

        The days of the “Bobby on the beat” are long gone.

  16. Certainly a moving account and an admirable position. Perhaps a member of the British House of Lords can actually shame the Supreme Court, I don’t know. I believe here in the US, any such attempt by a citizen would be doomed.

    If for some reason they insist on settling the issue in court and in the absence of dissenting scientific evidence, would you mind asking them to change the value of Pi to 3 while they’re at it?

    • Well…. the always “wise” legislative branch of a US State did decide to “fix” the value of PI to a convenient value of 3.2 (close enough for hand grenades and horseshoes);

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill

      But PI resisted these “legal” attempts to “Declare The Truth” and still after more than a century refuses to be equal to “3.2”.

      Maybe these IDJITIS over there in the formally “Great Britain” could buy a clue with some “climate reparations” money…???

      Cheers, KevinK

      • If one were going to legislate for a suitable value of pi, the fraction 355/113 = 3.1415929 is remarkably close to 3.1415927. When I was a lad at Harrow, I learned that if pi were applied to 40 places of decimals one could measure the diameter of the known universe to the precision of the diameter of a proton. So I learned pi to 40 places, and can recite it accurately to this day.

  17. This was a very difficult article for me to read. Has the world gone truly mad? Do these tactics not alarm even the believers? Are there not jurists who decry the tactics alone? What hope is there for us if even the courts are now corrupted?

    How will we ever prevail?

    • So true for those who have not had any law courses. Just read the article slowly. Law has its own vocabulary just like science has.

      • No, I don’t mean that it was difficult to understand. It was difficult to believe. Difficult to believe that the country that gave us such auspicious beginnings in the rights of men could be involved in such a trampling of our basic rights. Frankly, this entire story has horrified me. I am beginning to despair that we will avoid untold damage to our democratic societies.

    • Do not dispair. Via posts like this rebroadcast far and wide (via email, social media,…) to those that vote, and also to those who deign to advocate such methods (Sen. Whitehouse comes to mind.) you raise tactical awareness. Then comes substantive awareness. Then comes the ‘revolution’.
      Momentum and politics (e.g. OBummer, the Pope) have been on their side, but the high water mark was AR4, that years Peaxe Nobel. Tide started going out with Climategate and Copenhagen. Facts and logic are on our side. Key to guerrila warfare is to pick your battles and outlast the enemy. Sniper stuff. Like this Monckton essay.

  18. Ultimately it will be for us as judges, national or international, to work it out with the help of legal practitioners and academics. We need to prepare ourselves for that task and to help our judicial colleagues round the world to do the same.

    Proverb: If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    With limited tools, single-minded people apply them inappropriately or indiscriminately.

  19. pecksniff propagandists

    Ah! Dickens.

    Here’s the rule for bargains: ‘Do other men, for they would do you.’ [Mr. Pecksniff]

    Martin Chuzzelwit

    • One solution for all.

      Let them have what they want, but only people that believe in it pay for it. Everybody that disagrees with it because based on political agenda not science, don’t pay a penny towards it.

      They can send forms out to everyone and people tick the box on their beliefs whether they pay towards it or not. Just don’t bring in people that think you CAGW cause is a load of pseudoscience money grabbing for the rich nonsense.

      Could even have a extra box for people that want to contribute a lot more because they think it’s a serious problem.

      • Your speech was not a minute too long. I love the English language – I love an impassioned, intelligent speech. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has strayed from where it belongs – to my mind you have proved it. Thank you.

  20. “Carnwath, by running his little Christmas pantomime of hate in the very courtrooms of what was once regarded as Britain’s highest court but is now yet another mere totalitarian poodle feeding off the taxpayer-funded largesse wantonly scattered about by the governing elite, has in effect recused not only himself but also the entire Supreme Court from exercising any legitimate judicial function with respect to the environment or climate – or, for that matter, with respect to anything else.”

    It is a scary thought to realize the Supreme Court is not unbiased, and are “True Believers” when it comes to climate chnage.

    I don’t guess the corruption can go much higher. No, I wouldn’t want the people on this court hearing any legal case of mine, on any subject. They have already proven themselves untrustworthy and very confused.

    I presume Supreme Court members can be removed from Office under British law for malfeasance.

    A very informative article, Lord Monckton.

    TA

    • TA raises the appropriate question: how, without resorting to violence and terror, can we remove the “Justices” of the “Supreme” “Court” from “office”. The answer, constitutionally speaking, is a petition to the Monarch addressed by both Houses of Parliament. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority in both Houses are among the naivest of the True-Believers in the New Superstition, so they will no more dream of doing the right thing on this than on anything else to do with their passionate but misguided credo.

  21. “The reason is plain enough. Justice must be rooted in confidence: and confidence is destroyed when right-minded people go away thinking: ‘The judge was biased.’ …”

    Even more damaging is when enough people that are not “right-minded” leave knowing that the judge (or whoever did ’em wrong) was biased.

    I’m somewhat of a pessimist, I think there are more “not-right-minded” folks than otherwise.

  22. “It is now open to anyone whose case would otherwise be considered by the Supreme Court to demand that the case be transferred to another legal jurisdiction – perhaps the Court of Session in Scotland…”

    As an American not familiar with the use of ‘Scotch’ as a verb, I have to assume that transferring cases to Scotland is not what Philippe Sands meant by “Scotching” a claim.

    OK. I finally found an online dictionary with definitions for ‘Scotch’ in addition to alcoholic drink, cutting or scoring, or being thrifty. It gave the following list of synonyms:

    baffle, bilk, cross, foil, frustrate, queer, spoil, thwart.

    I had no idea that a word like ‘Scotch’ could have so many meanings. I also learned from my search that “Scotched in Scotland” is the title of the 158th short made by the Three Stooges for Columbia Pictures. They made 190 shorts in 25 years. That’s about 7 and 1/2 features per year. No wonder Curly died so young.

  23. Thank you Monckton of Brenchley. Your earlier post seeking information alerted me to this circus. I know Denning M.R. and his outstanding judgements but this crew I do not recognise as jurists. It was a political event and I, an outsider, had a strong feeling that Carnwath and others speechifying were seeking higher office within the E.U. If that was the Supreme Court of England they have abandoned their independence for tyranny.

    NZ some time ago gave up the English courts and set up their own Supreme Court. It seems that we have been well proven right.

    There is no proof of global warming likewise there is no proof that we are not about to enter a serious cooling phase. These present matters may yet be self righting.

    • The Privy Council, totally independent of the “legal” system in NZ? A legal system that allows application to re-apply after failure? Thanks Helen Clark.

    • In response to Kevin, no mere evidence will now persuade the True-Believers to recant. Since a Spanish-style Inquisition is no longer practicable (though many would like such an entity to be directed against blameless skeptics), the only thing that will work is prosecution of one or two of the more notorious outright freudsters: Mann, Karl, Cook and suchlike monosyllabically-yclept climate cr**ks. Once one or two of the fiddlers are behind bars, the remaining profiteers of doom will run for cover.

      In the meantime, their best escape route is actually to bully the world into cutting its CO2 emissions, for only then will their foolishness be concealed forever. If CO2 continues to increase at or above the rate predicted by the IPCC in 1990 (at present, emissions are somewhat above the then business-as-usual scenario), when temperatures continue to fail to rise at anything like the predicted rate their folly will be exposed for all to see – if, that is, the Marxstream media can be persuaded to mention that there has been no global warming for 18 years 8 months and counting …

  24. Thank you Monckton of Brenchley. I know the fine judgments of Denning M.R. but do not recognise this circus. Your previous post seeking information caused me to watch the proceedings. I am a stranger to these courts but had a strong feeling that some speeches were political promotionals designed to get attention for higher EU appointments. Law was not an issue but the attitudes of an expression of tyranny was.

    There is no proof of global warming or of global cooling but if we are on the cusp or have entered a stage of serious cooling these matters will be resolved outside the legal system.

  25. This one comment really struck a chord with me;

    “2006: Mark Lynas, a “green” campaigner, wrote: “I wonder what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead. I put [their climate change denial] in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial – except that this time the Holocaust is yet to come, and we still have time to avoid it. Those who try to ensure we don’t will one day have to answer for their crimes.””

    Millions have already died at the hands of environmental activists (DDT etc). Millions have died at the hands of dictators (Mao, Stalin etc). Why are these types not considered criminals? Not one person, to my knowledge, has died from an opinion about climate change that does not follow the consensus or alarmist view.

  26. Like vultures, these jurists stand waiting for Parliament to make it an offense to use coal, or oil or gas for heating and lighting, then to pounce upon their prey.

    And what will the public have to replace of fossil fuels when the wind does not blow and the Sun does not shine?

    Time to pack our bags and find some place in the world where doddering old fools will not be allowed to turn off the lights and the central heating.

  27. “2011: An Australian journalist said climate skeptics should be “branded” with cattle-irons to mark them out from the rest of the population.”

    I suspect this is a reference to Richard Glover one of the many overpaid ABC staff/propagandists we tax payers are forced to maintain. Like it or not, and about half the population doesn’t, this bloated Green/left organisation consumes more than a billion of our tax dollars every year to present its one dimensional view of the world.

  28. “We have Holocaust deniers; we have climate change deniers. And, to be honest, I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference.” – Bill McGuire

    I counted 15 instances above where influential people called for climate change skeptics to be either jailed or executed. The funny thing is, I don’t think anyone of importance is calling for Holocaust deniers to be similarly punished. If there isn’t a “great deal of difference,” why are skeptics being singled out? If anything, these people believe that skeptics are much worse than Holocaust deniers. Otherwise, they would not be calling for such harsh punishment for one group while simply winking at the other.

    • In response to Louis, Richards devotes the chilling first volume of his excellent trilogy on the Third Reich to the question how one of the most civilized nations on the planet could have been captured by the National Socialist brand of hard-Left totalitarianism. The answer, in a nutshell, is that long before the Nazis took power they directed organized campaigns of hate-speech against any who, daring to speak up against them, had become effective in capturing public opinion.

      In the end, all who wanted a quiet life learned to be silent, just as the vast majority of the opponents of environmental-Socialist totalitarianism are terrified into silence by the same tactic today, this time inflicted on us globally by a number of well-funded advocacy groups dedicated solely to discrediting and trashing the reputation of anyone who dares to speak out in opposition to the New Superstition.

  29. When I clicked on “Post Comment,” my latest comment disappeared into the ether. Was it because I quoted someone above who used the “D” word?

  30. Mark Lynas, a “green” campaigner, wrote: “I wonder what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead. I put [their climate change denial] in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial – except that this time the Holocaust is yet to come, and we still have time to avoid it. Those who try to ensure we don’t will one day have to answer for their crimes.”

    That depends, Mark, on whether or not we can put you and like minded deniers of the reality of (not nearly enough) climate change, on trial…

    Be careful what you wish for.

  31. Quote:
    His principle in drafting his opinions was simple: “Accuracy, brevity, clarity, aboideth these three, and the greatest of these is brevity.”
    _________________________________

    Someone has not taken Denning’s advice about brevity. The jury is still out on the clarity aspect, too.

    Ralph

    • ralfellis:

      I beg to differ.

      You do OK on brevity and clarity: it is accuracy which your writings lack.

      Richard

    • In response to Mr Ellis, Denning said, “The greatest of these is clarity,” echoing the Lord of Life, Who said, “Faith, hope and charity, abideth these three, and the greatest of these is charity.”

      An hour-long lecture is perforce an hour long. Mr Ellis is not obliged to read it. Has he ever complained before that any hour-long lecture is – er – an hour long? If not, why whine now?

  32. My notes on Professor Sands’ lecture (https://ipccreport.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/notes-on-sands-lecture_ty.pdf) have been discussed elsewhere. For example by Judith Curry: http://judithcurry.com/2015/10/11/adjudicating-the-future-silencing-climate-dissent-via-the-courts/#more-20199.

    I sent them to Professor Sands with a copy to Professor Liz Fisher (Professor of Environmental Law at Oxford and one of the organisers of the symposium). Here are their replies:

    His: “Thank you very much indeed for getting in touch. I am a strong believer in competition amongst ideas, and welcome yours in that spirit. Best PS”
    Hers: “Dear Robin Thank you for these. I am glad you found the lecture stimulating. Yours Liz”

    But don’t give up on English lawyers. A good friend – a QC and retired judge – commented:

    “I looked at the lecture and was very impressed by your reasoned and authoritative response … I think it is a very poor reflection on Professors Sands and Fisher that neither gave you the courtesy of a proper response to the points you made.”

    • In reply to Robin Guenier, I too sent a copy of the Denning Lecture to Sands to offer him the chance to correct anything he thought unfair, and received a brief reply saying he didn’t mind it being circulated because he was in favor of free speech.

      I wrote again asking whether he was also in favor of academic freedom of research and publication, but of course I got no answer to that, for the unanswerable is not often answered.

  33. The IPCC is a foreign entity. Letting a foreign entity interfere with the law of the land is treason. Or should be.

  34. We know from transcripts that speakers at this event have ruled themselves out of ever working in an English court again. What we do not know is what the audience of this meeting thought and if they agreed with all of the speakers.

    It is one thing to call for the removal of people from the legal profession how have declared themselves biased in advance, but we need to be careful that sensible people do not suffer.

  35. “of personages Lenin would have characterized as ‘useful'” .. I have to stop reading for a moment and be thankful to have lived in a time of hearing/reading the likes of William F. Buckley, Eric Hoffer, Thomas Sowell, Christopher Monkton of Brenchley. Language. Words. Let there be light. Bravo!

    • The fastest way to destroy a pompous fool with power is to make him look foolish in the eyes of the majority.
      Once people start pointing and laughing, the power evaporates as thier supporters desert them rather than be laughed at as well.
      Just look at Senator Whitehouse, one writer reduced him to a frothing lunatic, just think of what a sustained barrage could do.

  36. Lord M, It might add to your already very effective essay if you put (in parentheses), Lovelock’s change of heart where he now admits he was wrong about this issue.

  37. As the organizer of Christopher Monckton’s quite excellent lecture I would like to make it clear that the event took place in Church House ,an adjunct property,rather than ‘ in ‘ St Dunstan’s itself .This was by agreement with the Church Wardens beforehand.

    Lord Monckton not only spoke brilliantly but raised a good sum for Church Restoration at his own expense.

    We are grateful to him for his learned and well researched illustrated talk .

    Should anyone else be able to persuade him to speak then you have a winner !

  38. I suspect that Philippe Sands and Lord Cornwath will completely ignore this, as they ignored the response by Robin Guenier a couple of weeks ago.
    It’s curious that top lawyers seem to be unable or unwilling to engage in debate with people who they disagree with. They ought to be used to that and good at it.

    • Thanks Paul. Top lawyers are usually very willing to engage in debate – these seem to be the exception..

  39. Micheal Gove (Lord Chancellor of the UK) needs to read this. How can we make him aware of this? Or has our good lord already done so?

  40. I assume from its context that “scotching”, “to be Scotched”, or “Scotch” has some alternate history as a verb meaning something unthinkable?

  41. This is both an important and well written commentary on extremely prejudicial behaviour among senior judges that should entirely disqualify them from sitting in judgement of any case of importance to society in general, not limited only to those issues of controversy in climate science or related public policy. A few key thoughts arose as I read this that may deserve consideration.

    This execellent presentation details the repeated calls for punishment, jailing, censoring, identification and “branding”, and even an implied or explicit desire to execute those who fall into the open minded and scientifically competent portion of the human population who find the case for catastrophic anthropogenic global warming unconvincing and the proposed policy responses highly dangerous to both the environment and the welfare of societies. It is remarkable to me how similar these proposals appear to the behaviour of the Nazis when they wished to identify, marginalized, incarcerate and ultimately murder those portions of the European population that they wished to dispose of with such sadistic efficiency.

    I imagine that Stalinist USSR, and Maoist China probably could have provided very similar examples of exactly the same type of behaviour and in all cases the totalitarian governments of the time very likely could count on the self-serving and uncritical support of indivials in all parts of governance who wished more to keep their position and prestige than to serve truth and social justice.

    Perhaps this explains why the term “denier” comes so easily to the tongue of the advocates for settled science when faced with constructive, scientifically valid, and apparently more reliable interpretations of climate science that what they promote. Perhaps it is because their own inner workings are so close to that which the traditional denier is said to deny that they wish to project their own complicity onto those who have had the strength of character to stand their ground and say “no”, rather than to grasp at the unearned treasures spilling from the public coffers to anyone willing to join the mob of collaborators.

    This is a mob of individuals from societies which have reached a level of developement, through the harvest and consumption of fossil fuels, where life is comfortable and rewarding. But it is a mob that now conspires to deny that same level of development to those who live on a few dollars a day or less and die early for want of all the necessities of life we in the more fortunate societies have in abundance.

    There is nothing but shame in such behaviour and history will ultimately judge it without mercy.

  42. Thank you Lord Monckton. Your eloquence, scholarship and determination are an inspiration for me, and, I reckon, many thousands of others around the world.

  43. A wonderful analysis of this dispicable situation again by the Noble Lord Monckton who must have a unique brain for presenting the facts so concisely, so professionaly and in so much detail. Please refrain from criticising his presentation when the work that he has done on our behalf is so incredibly important to our cause – that is not what we are here for. Let us be extremely thankful that we have a voice on our side as powerful as Lord Monckton’s, an advocate of genuine science, who can put a case as well as any of the tunnelled vision and undemocratic fanatics that he writes about. Thank you Lord Monckton, I look forward to hearing that Judge Carnwath has resigned from his position as Justice of the Supreme Court following such biased and undemocratic principles that he has been found to be secretly advocating and publishing for the exclusive cult of which he is so obviously a very active member.

  44. It is interesting that only skeptics get the death penalty. Believers who create lots of CO2 are exempt.

  45. Occasionally I look up the wiki entry on Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, just to see whether or not it has become more snide or snarky in the interim since I last read it…it predictably continues its downward spiral. As is the case with all entries about well-known personages to the right on the political spectrum, he is damned with factoids.

    Wikipedia is a good resource for some subjects – e.g., their often-lengthy entries on popular sit-coms – but otherwise the Leftists guard the portal, making sure that only their version of any contested issue is given seat and voice and respect.

    In Britain the class divide is a deep chasm. We don’t have a parallel here in North America; the closest we come is the ridicule heaped on the South, especially southern speech patterns. Lord Monckton is able to be a (successful) gadfly because of his ‘high-born’ position, and as the English would say, his proper vowels. Meanwhile political personages like Tommy Robinson, an underclass gadfly who fights back openly against the growing lack of free speech in the soviet U.K., is stripped of his business, his possessions, his bank account, and his freedom. The last time he came out of prison he had to have his teeth rebuilt (or so it would appear from his pictures).

    I beg of you, Lord Monckton, as a Catholic who lives what he preaches: the next time Tommy Robinson is put in prison – or worse – please help his family. Remember the Beatitudes…

  46. Two points: 1) I have hung out with some of the key sceptics these haters are busy hating, and if I do say so (including myself) it is a pretty poorly funded, gray-haired, eccentric and ragged bunch to be blaming for a failure of the warmists to achieve total control of the world economy. In other places they do let slip that they also blame the stupid masses.
    2) This is an exceptionally well-written piece, even considering Monckton’s usual wit.

  47. Lord Monckton: I agree with Craig Loehe that this is an exceptional well written piece.

    Still…

    “…The words in bold type were not in Sands’ script. He added them on the fly. It is often in ad-libs of this kind that the true (and, in the present instance, frankly malevolent) intent of the speaker is revealed. The conference of judges, in defiance of the English tradition of hearing both sides before making any pronouncement, had made up their minds ab initio and a priori.

    They are indeed judges in their own cause – the cause of mawkish, half-baked, anti-science, to-hell-with-the-evidence, hard-Left environmentalism that is so dear to our future King, who sent these pecksniff propagandists a dim-witted letter of support and has likewise refused either to appreciate or to respect the iron constitutional obligation upon him, akin to that which rests upon the Justices and the courts, to keep what the Greeks called “holy silence” on all matters of current political contention.

    Worse, the disgraceful but revealing ad-lib perpetrated by the unfortunate Sands evinces a determination not to give any hearing to those who have published in the learned journals their scientific results casting doubt on the apocalyptic claims of the profiteers of doom before “finally scotching” what he calls the scientific sceptics’ “claims”.

    Lord Denning’s opinion on the obligation of visible impartiality in the judiciary has already been cited. Let us cite him now on the audiatur et altera pars principle:

    “If the right to be heard is to be a real right which is worth anything, it must carry with it a right in the accused man to know the case which is made against him. He must know what evidence has been given and what statements have been made affecting him and then he must be given a fair opportunity to correct or contradict them.”[3]

    And what steps did Carnwath or Sands take to suggest that the courts should hear both sides before reaching any scientific findings? Precisely none…”

    Sands and Carnwath actions, is to establish and bless a standing Kangaroo Court (my apologies to Australia); i.e. the judgment and plaintiffs are known, only the offenders are yet to be identified.

    “…Sands said this of the International Court of Justice: “… the court has a potentially significant role to play in helping the world understand and decide on the science of climate change and to recognize that the room for real doubt has disappeared.”

    This time the emboldened words of incurable but no doubt profitable prejudice are in the printed text of Sands’ insubstantial lecture.

    The prejudice expressed both by Carnwath in citing Mr Obama with approval and by Mr Sands in his menaces to independent scientific researchers, combined with the unquestioning enthusiasm with which the audience of personages whom Lenin would have characterized as “useful” received those remarks, raises a question without precedent in the annals of British justice. Not merely one judge but an entire court, at a partisan political event bought and paid for by Her Majesty’s Government, by a rent-seeking university law department also profiting by the taxpayer’s involuntary generosity, by a foreign agency to which Lord Carnwath acknowledges allegiance and by an alien bank that profits from substantial investments in coal-fired power stations, an event held not merely within the precincts of the court but in two of its courtrooms, not behind closed doors but across the internet, have publicly disseminated an unreasoning collective prejudice on a matter of current political controversy that may yet well end up in court, if only to bring to book the profiteering pseudo-scientific scamsters who have stretched the evidence for supposed concern about our largely imaginary influence on the climate beyond all reason, and have even tampered with that evidence…”

    “…The entire Supreme Court, now that it has taken money from the Government and other inappropriate sources, and has unlawfully misapplied those funds for the purpose of proclaiming very publicly an irremediable prejudice on a political question on which opinion as well within as among the parties is divided, must henceforth recuse itself from hearing any cases concerning the environment and climate. At once an obvious difficulty arises. For the Supreme Court is the ultimate court to which the appeal courts refer contentious cases of all kinds, including climate and environment cases…”

    Carnwath and Sands have directly involved the High Court and indeed many other high ranking judges. Though a case could be made that these other high ranking officials were already considering or believing in one sided judicial decisions.

    Shouldn’t these statements have introduced your legal discussion?

    Perhaps just prior to “…Lord Carnwath, a Justice of the Court and a tendentious campaigner on environmental and climate issues…”?

    I would think your requests for complete FOIA revelations and for absolute assurance of Court and legal balance would also be right up front before the dissections of Carnwath, Sands and their leftist associates?

    This would introduce the complaints and corrective measures that you thoroughly define, up front as metrics along with Lord Denning’s exemplary standard. Though I confess to being a firm believer that justice is governed by just laws, not laws governed by a judge’s opinion of what makes justice.

  48. Katie Herzog at Grist.com on 16 January wrote: “If this planet is to survive the scourge that is humanity, we all have to stop reproducing. Yes, all of us. In that spirit, I propose we … sterilize every human male on his 10th birthday.”

    I’m thinking why not be really sure and sterilize all females on their 10 birthday.

  49. “…[I]t is gradually becoming more and more obvious that neither famine nor earthquakes nor microbes nor carcinoma, but man himself is the greatest peril to man, just because there is no adequate defense against psychic epidemics, which cause infinitely more devastation than the greatest natural catastrophes.” –CG Jung, 1944

  50. How did it come to pass that the entire supreme court was present at this meeting; in the UK no less; the English speaking world’s cradle of jurisprudence? Are members of this court no better than sheep? The Law is normally based on precedent and what we see here is unprecedented. The Lenin reference is apt since the soviet model dispensed with precedent entirely.

  51. Thanks, Christopher, Lord Monckton. This is an excellent essay.
    Yes, the menace of totalitarianism is the most dangerous of the problems facing humanity, not bogus “climate change”. Real climate change has been happening from the beginnings of planet Earth and will continue to happen until the Sun quits. We, carbon-based creatures better adapt, or perish.

  52. Outstanding introduction and exploration of the legal profession being led astray.

    I am particularly taken with the precission, brevity & clarity of Lord Monckton’s own submissions , for example quite outstanding in the case of Dimmock vs. the Secretary of Stare for Education.
    Now I understand where he takes it from.

  53. A short while ago, I commented in another forum, on judicial activism in relation to another issue. The same comment applies here:

    “I agree.

    The only thing about which our jurists should be partisan is the primacy of the law itself. If they choose to enter the political arena then they risk undermining the very democracy that supports them in the exercise of their legitimate constitutional role.

    Jurisprudence possesses a collective supremacy in the interpretation and application of both the common, and the statutory instruments of the law. In a relatively stable democracy it is possible to fall into the error of forgetting that this possession is held solely by courtesy of, and in the service of, society which has ordered it so.

    To paraphrase, ‘The Law was made for Man, not Man for the Law’. And the Law, both in person and in fact, has no business in curtailing our democratic freedom to continue the process of creating or renewing our notions of morality. That process is what led to the construction of the Law in the first place.

    Fine asses they will look, if they hew the branch upon which they sit.”

    • ** For purposes here, substitute ‘pursuit of truth’ for ‘notions of morality’. Although there is an obvious interdependence, they are of course distinct.

    • …speakers at the conference took the view that it was the duty of the international courts to reach findings of fact in support of the IPCC,

      Then why have a court, if it is their “duty” to ignore hearing anything from the other side? The court must absolutely support the IPCC without question. There is nothing more to discuss.

      Have I got that about right, Lord M?

      And if so, wouldn’t an inexpensive rubber stamp work just as well as the court?

  54. I’ve noticed that Lord Carnwath led in February for the Supreme Court in denying a plea by the poor Shetlanders not to have the landscape and birds ruined by a windfarm. Given his bias, should not this judgement be set aside? Is there a Shetlander in this blogosphere?!

  55. Wonderful stuff, Lord M. Go for it! Surely the real problem here is too many Courts….Supreme, European, …too many Tribunals and Judicial Enquiries, with too many Judges and consequent dilution of top talent with political appointments and propensity to make mischief not judgments.
    Didn’t notice Lin Yutang’s famous truth on first scan through all this:

    “Where there are too many policemen, there is no liberty. Where there are too many soldiers, there is no peace. Where there are too many lawyers, there is no justice.” There are an awful lot of lawyers.

    • DV,

      Excellent point. Shakespeare had something to say about that. I think if he was still around he’d extend it to judges, too.

      The proliferation of courts is just an extension of the statist propaganda we’re now seeing everywhere. It’s the ‘appeal to authority’ logical fallacy, and now it’s official.

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