Judicial Review of Trident – permission for a JR not granted on 10th June 2008
Mr. Justice Simon refused NIS permission to bring a Judicial Review of the Government's White Paper, 'The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent', published on 4 December 2006. He did not accept that The White Paper's assertion of compatibility of the Government's decision to replace the UK's nuclear weapons system with its international law obligations requires adjudication by a Court.
Although losing the case was disappointing, it was expertly presented by Mike Fordham QC to a packed court, including seven MoD and Foreign & Commonwealth Office NPT staff. To get a discussion on the replacement of Trident into the high court was an achievement and NIS is grateful for the support of individuals and organisations, and to generous donors who made the case possible. The only way to progress nuclear weapons through the court is to go through each legal process. Other recent military cases have failed at this point; yet have gone on to succeed in being heard on Appeal.
Our legal advice is that we still have a strong case that the government is in the wrong and NIS has therefore decided to appeal. Our lawyers, Public Interest Lawyers, will submit a new skeleton argument in the light of the full Judgment and if this is successful we proceed straight to an Appeal Hearing. If not, we seek an Appeal Permission oral hearing. While the legal team has generously offered to keep costs low, we need to raise £1,000 to apply for permission and a further £4,000 if we proceed to an oral permission hearing. If we get permission to appeal by either route, we would then have time to raise the cost of preparing and presenting the Appeal. Any help or advice on fund-raising would be welcome.
If you are able to support our Judicial Review Fund, please do so by using the Donation button on the NIS website homepage at http://www.nuclearinfo.org or by sending a cheque, marked JR Fund on the reverse, to NIS, 30 Westwood Road, Southampton SO17 1DN. Thank you.