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Discussion > Supreme Court half reply to CC Symposium questions

WUWT has a post today about Monckton's FOIA request to the Supreme Court. They turned it down citing costs but gave him some answers anyway. The Q&A is rather verbose so below is an edited version.
(He asks readers to to send in similar FOIAs .. seems a bizarre tactic to me. He could mean that by sending smaller requests eg send me MR X's letters ..they'd each fall under the cost limit)

What irritates me is the Click-bait front page intro given by WUWT

Britain’s highest court apologizes for breaking the law but dodges questions about its widely-broadcast September 2015 climate-change propaganda event urging national and international courts to “scotch” the “claims” of skeptical climate scientists and researchers.
Actually they only apologise for not looking at the FOIA within the 28day time-limit

Nov 20, 2015 at 7:54 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Darm 403 error ..the proxy work around will screw up the URLs maybe

Nov 20, 2015 at 8:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterstewgreen2

Mostly paraphrased "" or \\ // indicated direct quotes

\\London, 18 November 2015 it is clear that I will not be able to answer your (FOIA) request in its current format.

In order to provide you with the information on the scale that you have requested would require attempting to retrieve the email accounts of some staff who no longer work for the Supreme Court, and then searching those accounts to locate, retrieve and extract information relevant to your request. I estimate that this will exceed the cost limits set out under section 12 of the Act.

However, to be helpful..this information is provided outside the terms of the Act.

I should begin by explaining that the Supreme Court did NOT host the whole symposium.This event was organized by King’s College, London, with the support among others of HM Government and the Journal of Environmental Law. The Supreme Court’s involvement involved hosting one element of the event, a public lecture by Philippe Sands QC which considered the challenges faced by courts in adjudicating cases related to climate change....

....The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom hosted a public lecture during the legal recess as one aspect of a wider three-day symposium (17-19 September) organized by King’s College, London, with the support among others of HM Government and the Journal of Environmental Law. The symposium was entitled Climate Change and the Rule of Law .. more details //

2. They confirm that the court website hosted pages

3. confirm that the 90min video on the court's Youtube account is an unedited version of the lecture \\We do not recognize the description “propaganda event"//

4. 5. They decline to give correspondence or list of attendees *by quoting the cost limit rule

However, details of those who were speakers or panel members at the event can be found at the following websites:
supremecourt.uk/news/climate-change-and-the-rule-of-law.html
kcl.ac.uk/law/newsevents/climate-courts/index.aspx
walker-institute.ac.uk/news/Climate_change_rule_of_law_Sept2015/report.htm
6. They decline to give working papers etc.*
7. They decline to state at whose initiative the conference was staged nor supply docs about planning*

8. "The former Chief Executive (Jenny Rowe) and President of the Supreme Court (Lord Neuberger) were both aware of the plans and the former granted permission for the public lecture to be hosted here .."

9. Asked to provide the names of people who disagreed with the decision to stage the conference they replied "No such records exist."

10. Asked to provide list of who they approached for funding , they decined*

11. They assert the total cost to SC was £775 for the video as KCL organised the rest

12. 13.14.15. Asked about Lord Carnwath they confirm that he "attended the whole symposium" his salary is about £200K , but it was all in the legal recess. They declined to give details of his correspondence with UNEP over the last 4 years* but "judicial office-holders are not covered by the provisions of the Act "

16 Asked about Lord Carnwath capacity. They reply he "attended the whole symposium, at the invitation of the organisers and as a senior judge with an interest in environmental law and as a member of the UNEP International Advisory Council on Environmental Justice"

17. Asked about Philippe Sands QC, He "was present for various elements of the symposium: the Supreme Court is only in a position to confirm his attendance at the public lecture he gave on 17 September 2015."

20. Seemingly asked about conflicts with current court cases. They reply "No cases related to climate change are currently lodged with the Supreme Court for consideration. Statute offers no provision for an alternative court of appeal as set out in your question."

My summary might not be 100% accurate

Nov 20, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Some Good comments on WUWT

@Steven Mosher November 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm
Break your request up into manageable chunks. That is how we did the climategate FOIA.
for example… you asked for mail , and they responded that some people dont work there.
So have readers do FOIA for mails from people who work there currently.
Many people make this mistake with FOIA and draft them like discovery requests..
you have to play the game better.
-------------------------------------

@ristvan November 19, 2015 at 8:54 pm
Issue. Under common law (UK, US, Canada…) appellate courts decide matters of law only. They do not decide matters of fact. Those are decided by juries, trial judges, or by ‘agencies delegated by law’ in the US) at the first trial level only. And the whatever fact results must be accepted as ‘true’ by appelate courts. Essence of Mass. v. EPA, sue and settle green strategy. The exception is if the ‘trial’ level had some fact determining procedural law defect. Then that is a matter of law, not fact. Essence of how SCOTUS overturning the EPA mercury rules this year.


@ristvan November 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm
The response posted above taught a number of things that have apparently been misrepresented. The whole event was neither sponsored by nor hosted by the SC. Only one part, a public lecture was given at its premises, and apparently two justices attended that lecture. The lecture is publically available as recorded, and has generated two quite capable and articulate opposing responses. One was posted at Climate Etc, the other linked to there. Carnsworth is not subject UK’s FOIA.
Seems to me there are better, more important things to be supporting, like Lamar Smith’s NOAA subpoena over Karl emails, where criminal obstruction of congress has already occured.
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@Monckton of Brenchley November 19, 2015 at 7:22 pm
BFL: Don’t be dishonest. Following the sentence you have quoted about scientifically qualified, knowledgeable and influential persons challenging what Sands calls “factual matters”, Sands says the courts should “scotch” their “claims”. That is an open declaration of prejudice from which the court should have

Nov 20, 2015 at 9:58 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

** oops top of the page, that first link got corrupted to the WUWT story (corrected link)

Nov 20, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen