Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev amid Russian aid convoy ‘escalation’

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

British court rejects legal bid concerning EU treaty

Latest update : 2008-06-25

Britain's High Court rejected a lawsuit on Wednesday that sought to block the country's approval of an EU reform treaty.

London's High Court rejected Wednesday a legal bid to force the British government to hold a referendum on the European Union's Lisbon Treaty.
  
Businessman Stuart Wheeler, a backer of the opposition Conservative Party, launched the action on the basis that the governing Labour Party had promised a referendum on the EU draft constitution in its last election manifesto.
  
"The claim is dismissed," said Judge Stephen Richards.
  
Wheeler's lawyers applied for permission to appeal on the grounds of "serious and legal constitutional issues," but the judge refused the application.
  
The legal action has threatened to delay Britain's ratification of the EU reform treaty, the future of which was plunged into doubt by Ireland's "no" vote on the treaty in its June 12 referendum.
  
In the judgment the court ruled: "We are satisfied that the claim lacks substantive merit and should be dismissed."
  
"Even if we had taken a different view of the substance of the case in the exercise of the court's discretion, we would have declined to grant any relief, having regard in particular to the fact that parliament has addressed the question," it added.
  
In an unexpected turn of events, a judge last week asked the government to delay its almost-complete ratification of the treaty until he ruled on Wheeler's challenge.
  
The Lisbon Treaty Bill was given Royal Assent last week after being approved by both houses of Parliament, despite protests led by the Conservative Party, which called for a referendum.
  
But the ultimate step in the ratification process would come when Britain deposits its "instruments of ratification" in Rome -- home of the Rome Treaty of 1957 which set the cornerstone of what is today the European Union.
  
Britain's Europe Minister Jim Murphy welcomed the ruling.
  
"I am pleased that the judges have come down very clearly on the side of the government and found that this claim 'lacks substantive merit and should be dismissed'," he said in a statement.
  
"The judges have confirmed the government's position that the Lisbon Treaty differs in both form and substance from the defunct Constitution.
  
"The judges have also made a number of important points about the boundaries between parliament, government and the courts.
  
"With parliament's approval the government is proceeding to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, which is in our national interest and is a good treaty for the UK."
  
Despite the court's refusal to allow an appeal, Wheeler said afterwards that he had "high hopes of winning on appeal".
  
But judge Richards said: "We are satisfied that an appeal has no prospect of success.
  
"Whilst the issues raised are interesting and important, that is outweighed by the desirability of certainty and the avoidance of unnecessary delay in this matter.
  
"There is no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard."
  
Eurosceptics claim that the Lisbon Treaty, which replaced the draft constitution after its rejection by French and Dutch voters in 2005, is virtually the same document, and therefore requires a public vote.
  

Date created : 2008-06-25

COMMENT(S)