The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday on the case of the banned London bus adverts.
Frank Cranmer reports at Law & Religion UK The ‘Ex-gay’ London bus advert ban – again.
…Lord Dyson MR (with whom Briggs and Christopher Clarke LJJ concurred) pointed out that a claimant who established the unlawfulness of an administrative act was entitled to a remedial order and that where a decision was shown to be unlawful, the court should be wary of refusing relief on the grounds that the decision-making body would have reached the same decision had it acted lawfully (para 44). So on the question of how to proceed, he approached the matter on the basis that:
“(i) the decision may have been made for the improper purpose of advancing the Mayor’s re-election campaign; (ii) the judge was right to hold on the evidence before her that the disallowing of the advertisement did not infringe the Trust’s Convention rights and (iii) it is inevitable that, if TfL were required to reconsider the question, it would not reach a different conclusion from that reached on 12 April 2012″ (para 45).
On the issue of the Mayor’s involvement, he concluded that it was in the interests of justice that a further enquiry be conducted by the court as to whether or not the decision had been instructed by the Mayor and whether or not it had been made for an improper purpose. The Mayor (on behalf of the GLA) should be added back as a defendant and the case remitted to the judge for her to make th necessary order and give appropriate directions (para 48). He rejected the Article 10 point and, further, rejected an appeal to Article 9 on the grounds that, on the facts, it added nothing to Article 10…
The full text of the judgment is available here.
Notice that as Frank says, the arguments made about Articles 9 and 10 were rejected. Thus the only issue that remains open is whether or not the Mayor improperly interfered with TfL’s decision making.
However, to read the press release from Christian Concern, you might think the judgment contained more than it actually does: Master of the Rolls demands Mayor of London be investigated for political intervention in ‘gay bus advert’
Read the paragraphs of the judgment referenced in the press release to see for yourself.