Quick summary in 12 steps:
1. The biggest problem with the first Brexit Referendum was cheating and lying in politics. We must find a way to stop lying in politics before we have another referendum, or we risk politicians simply cheating and lying their way through it again like last time.
2. Lying in politics destroys public trust in the systems of democracy and government
3. It keeps happening and nobody is acting to stop it. So, we are.
4. We are prosecuting Boris Johnson MP for misconduct in public office, which is a criminal offence contrary to the common law.
5. The case is based upon abuse of public trust by lying to the public about the UK’s spending on EU membership (which is not £350 million a week or £20 billion a year as Mr Johnson has repeatedly claimed)
6. No legal team has ever used this offence in this way before, it is innovative legal solution to an ancient problem.
7. Our legal team, led by Lewis Power QC, is of the opinion that we have a strong case and plentiful evidence with a reasonable prospect of conviction. We believe we can win this.
8. If we win, we may set a precedent in the common law making it illegal for elected representatives to lie to the public about public spending. This could be influential in other common law jurisdictions around the world, not just the UK.
9. Mr Johnson may also go to prison (but this is a decision that can only be decided by a judge, dependent upon a ruling from a jury within the courts system. Mr
10. We’re aiming to go to court by late November (yet to be confirmed, may be after this)
11. But, we can’t do all of this without more funding and more public awareness
12. Fund us today and spread the word! We need you to join us, as almost 7000 other people already have over the last two years!
1. Quick summary
2. Lewis Power QC's legal opinion
3. Videos from Brexit Justice backers
4. Brexit Justice Case Overview Document (44,000 words)
5. Press coverage 2018
6. Key further reading
7. Important misconduct in public office cases
8. UK Spending on EU budget contributions (financial documents)
9. Information for journalists
10. What happens to the money if the prosecution fails or the CPS/Attorney General shut it down for political reasons
11. How to contact Marcus J Ball
1. Quick summary:
My name is Marcus J Ball, I am a private prosecutor and the founder of Brexit Justice.
I believe that democracy cannot truly function when we are unable to trust what our elected representatives tell us. I believe that when politicians lie, democracy dies. I feel that the dishonest conduct of elected representatives during the Brexit referendum amounted to abuses of public office and public trust. Brexit Justice exists to apply a legal solution to this problem.
Which is why over the last two years I have crowdfunded £200,000 from 5000 people and instructed a legal team to help me build a private, criminal prosecution case for misconduct in public office. We have decided that the target of our prosecution should be Boris Johnson MP.
‘…the kernel of the offence is that an officer, having been entrusted with powers and duties for the public benefit, has in some way abused them, or has abused his official position’
-PD Finn, ‘Public Officers: Some Personal Liabilities’ (1977)
'The real damage is not to be measured by material loss to the State or gain to the offender; the real harm is the damage to the institutions of government and public confidence in them'
-R v Macdonald (NSW 2017)
We have identified the evidence, the legal team, the research and the precedents that we feel we're going to need. We now estimate that we will eventually need £2 million in order to prove that we have realistic prospects of fully financing our action.
This will clearly be incredibly expensive, it will be hard and they will try to stop us. But, we have a strong case and I believe that it is totally vital that we bring it. After two years of immense effort I need your help in a big way, let's do this thing.
Marcus J Ball
2. Lewis Power QC's Legal Opinion Statement:
Lewis Power QC is leading the legal team, he will be accompanied by two junior barristers, one of whom is already selected. Mr Power QC’s work covers criminal fraud litigation, fraud, money laundering, bribery & corruption, offshore & international, murder & manslaughter, terrorism, and war crimes. He was recently acknowledged as being in the top ten list of barristers in the UK by Legal 500. He was described as being ‘A strong trial tactician, he is devilishly effective in front of a jury’.
Mr Lewis Power QC has reviewed all of the case discussion, he is the only QC to have reviewed all arguments and information. Upon raising our funds, Lewis Power QC will lead preparation of the documents required for the laying of an information at the magistrate’s court.
Mr Power QC’s legal advice as of May 11th 2018 is that there are reasonable prospects for convicting Mr Boris Johnson MP for the offence of misconduct in public office. He advises that the prosecution can go ahead, beginning with the laying of an information at the magistrate’s court. Please note, Mr Power QC’s full legal opinion will not be published at this time as it is intended to be used within court. Journalists are welcome to contact Church Court Chambers to confirm with the clerks there that Mr Power QC is instructed on our case and is in approval of the prosecution.
3. Videos from Brexit Justice backers:
(sent in by backers, feel free to make your own and publish them on YouTube, I'll put some of them here)
4. Brexit Justice Case Overview Document (44,000 words):
Download & Read here: https://goo.gl/mihxWC
(Download and read this document for an overview of the majority of our work over the last two years. It includes links to spending reports, a breakdown of 50 example evidence events, case precedent analysis, research discussion and a lot of background information. It is just over 44,000 words in length)
Disclaimer:This legal research is the work of Marcus J Ball and Brexit Justice, not Crowdfunder.co.uk.
5. New press coverage 2018
(I'll fill this in as we go)
New European(September 6th)- https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/boris-johnson-faces-court-over-brexit-350-million-1-5682332
Eastern Daily Press(September 6th)-http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-faces-brexit-court-battle-1-5682596
New European 2 (September 10th)-https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/boris-johnson-court-case-1-5688337
NoMajesty(September 11th): https://nomajesty.com/politics-update-11-09-2018/
6. Key further reading:
Misconduct in Public Office Issues Paper 1: The Current Law (A broad, in depth coverage of misconduct in public office cases by the Law Commission, discussing issues such as 'acting as such' and duties as 'state functions' in detail).
David Lusty: Revival of the common law offence of misconduct in public office (Excellent research on misconduct in public office according to case law in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK)
7. Important misconduct in public office (MIPO) cases:
Attorney General's Reference No 3 of 2003 (Bailii.org) (2003 UK 's understanding of the MIPO offence)
The Queen V Huy Vinh Quach (2010) (Most up to date understanding & only case to fully examine 'acting as such')
R V Mitchell 2014 (Bailii.org) (Discusses duties that represent the fulfilment of one of the responsibilities of government)
Obeid v R  (Jade.IO) (MIPO case member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales. Fundamental duties of a Member of Parliament according to the common law)
R v Macdonald 2017 (Jade.IO) (MIPO case against member of New South Wales elected legislature (like an MP) who was also a Minister)
R V Kennet , Henly v Mayor of Lyme , R V Pinney  and Livingstone V Adjudication Panel for England  (These cases consider Mayors of London and Bristol to be public office holders, they are of value for several reasons, not all are available in full)
8. UK Spending on EU budget contributions (financial documents)
European Union Finances 2015: statement on the 2015 EU Budget and measures to counter fraud and financial mismanagement (information from The Treasury on how the UK's 'rebate' (abatement) works, including that the abated money is not paid to the EU or sent back from it)
UK Statistics Authority statement on the use of official statistics on contributions to the European Union (makes several criticisms of the £350 million a week claims. Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, states that the UK’s contribution to the EU is paid after the application of the rebate)
UK Perspectives 2016: The UK contribution to the eu budget (explains again that before the UK government transfers any money to the EU an abatement is applied)
House of Commons Library: A guide to the EU budget, by Matthew Keep (Explainer of how the UK's payments to the EU works, how they are calculated and etc.)
9. Information for journalists:
(The overview document at point 4 contains answers to many FAQs, there is a lot of information in there including evidence breakdown and case law discussion)
Some older press coverage from 2016:
Business Insider(2016): https://www.businessinsider.com/brexit-justice-european-union-boris-johnson-2016-9
New Internationalist(2016) : https://newint.org/blog/2016/07/25/could-brexiteers-johnson-gove-farage-be-prosecuted-for-lies
Previously covered by:
10. What happens to the money if the prosecution fails or the CPS/Attorney General shut it down for political reasons?
As made clear within point 17.4 of the Brexit Justice Case Overview Document the Director for Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General both have the legal right to close down this prosecution case. On top of this, there is the possibility that the case fails. We do not feel that this is likely at all though as we have spent 2 years building this case and gathering evidence for it. However, anything can happen in court and there are no guarantees of success. I feel we have a responsibility to try regardless.
If such a thing occurs the money raised will NOT be used as profit or gifted to Marcus J Ball. The plan at present is to use the remaining funds to use a JR (Judicial Review) to challenge decisions that we need to. And after this, to re-target the next key Member of Parliament who made use of the claim for a second prosecution case. We will keep going until we have no options left to us. We have a duty to do so.
11. How to contact Marcus J Ball:
https://www.marcusjball.com/ (please use the email send box here)
(Phone number available upon request)
Brexit Justice Ltd. 130 Old Street, London, England, EC1V 9BD
Company number 10520032