UKIP Judgement Handed Down

Trinity barrister Philip Engelman appeared for the UKIP Party, Chairman and Branch in a case concerning the application of the rules relating to political parties, which have not been considered by the Court of Appeal for many years. 

There was an intractable dispute at Branch level between the Chairman and its former Press Officer which resulted in the latter being expelled from Branch meetings. Subsequently the National Party declined to immediately accept an application for renewal of membership on the grounds of their concerns as to the previous political affiliations of the Party member. HHJ Fox, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, ruled in favour of the Party member who claimed that he had been expelled from the Party. He gave judgment against the Party, the Chairman of the local Branch and the Branch itself. 

At a hearing that took place on 21st July 2011 the Court of Appeal overturned the judgments against both the Chairman and the Branch but upheld it against the Party. 

The Court of Appeal ruled that the relationship between the member, Party, Chairman and Branch were matters of contract and no claim could be maintained against either the Chairman or the Branch. The Court further ruled that the Appellant’s submissions that the public law concepts of reasonableness and proportionality, were not appropriately applied by the Judge. It affirmed that the ordinary principles of contract apply with “at most” those of good faith, natural justice and the right to a fair trial.

A copy of the recently handed down Judgment can be found by clicking here.

Philip Engelman is a member of Trinity Chambers' Employment, BusinessRegulatoryChancery and Administrative and Public Law Groups. He has recently been recognised in this year's Legal 500 Directory and is described as ‘a formidable strategist and a persuasive advocate’.

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