Friday, 27 September 2013

Goliath win was unlawful but David still losses.

I was solely tempted to answer jaxxlands question  Does unlawful mean illegal? with

Unlawful means something that is against the law . Whilst illegal is a sick bird of prey.

But Frank H Little may well be right. in that .

The difference seems to be that "unlawful" actions can't be prosecuted. :

The subject of the question is of course to serious for my flippancy in that 

A pledge by Carmarthenshire council to cover the court costs of its chief executive fighting a libel case against a blogger was unlawful, auditors say.
The Wales Audit Office said the authority was wrong to provide indemnity in Mark James's libel action against Jacqui Thompson.
He won the case and Mrs Thompson was ordered to pay costs of £23,217.  in a David and Goliath battle in which Goliath won and  Mrs Thompson was ordered to pay costs of £23,217.
The council's appointed auditor from the Wales Audit Office, Anthony Barrett, has now told the council he views that arrangement as unlawful.
In a separate issue, his report also found that a council payment of £16,353 in lieu of pension contributions to Mr James was also unlawful.
Carmarthenshire council insisted that it still believes the decision about the libel case indemnity and the payment in lieu of pension contributions are both lawful.
The spokesman said its own independent legal advice, along with the outcome of the libel court case and the comments of the judge in that case "further reinforce our opinion that we acted properly".
"Regarding the issue of the indemnity to an officer of the council to take action for libel, we would like to make it clear that we consulted the Wales Audit Office prior to the decision being taken in January 2012 and that it has taken almost two years for these concerns to have been expressed," a spokesman said."We have discussed the matter with them on several occasions and in August of 2012 they indicated, in response to questions from a third party, that they agreed that the council had the legal powers to grant the indemnity. 
"It is disappointing that they have now expressed a different view so late in the day, and too late for the council to act upon it."

Well lets see the Independent legal advice . Many questioned the legal aspect of the councils indemnity   and it does seem that it was clearly against rules that Councils were forbidden to do this.

So lets see the full report.

Carmarthenshire council who often display supreme disdain for those who criticise it, which saw it act against Jacqui Thomas  her arrest by Police for trying to film council meetings and ended up in the London courts, where she counter sued Chief Executive  Mark James who had the advantage of the councils indemnity backing.  

It could well be that they simply note the unlawful ruling and simply try and move on because unless Local Government Minister Lesley Griffiths' take up the auditor's report with the Wales Audit Office. and then acts. There will be no action taken against  Carmarthenshire council either legally or by the Assembly Government  ,and Goliath wins again.

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