Sworn by John Bernard Hurst (Deponent)
This is the first affidavit by this deponent.
Deponent …. John Bernard Hurst
I, John Bernard Hurst of an address shown overleaf make oath and say as follows:
1. I make this affidavit from facts within my knowledge save where otherwise appearing and where appearing I believe the same to be true.
2. I completed 30 years service in the Metropolitan Police in 2008. I was trained from texts which included information on the Constitution including treason and sedition. I was not allowed to have unsupervised contact with the public until I had passed qualifying examinations. I was confirmed as an efficient Constable after two years. During my service from 1978 to 1985, when the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 established the Crown Prosecution service, I had 7 years practice as a common law prosecutor in Magistrates Courts. I was an elected Police Federation Representative from 1986 till 1992 and was formally trained in the role of and gathered experience as a “McKenzie Friend”. I was in contact with members of the legal profession throughout and frequently had occasion to question their training which appeared not to have included the Constitution.
3. I make this affidavit following personal confirmation by me of the text of the peace treaties known as Magna Carta and the Declaration of Rights displayed by the British Library, personal experience in Courts of all kinds and research from publicly available sources on the present day nature of legal education. I will present evidence which brings me to the conclusion that that since 1971 solicitors and barristers have been trained according to a regime that is repugnant to the common law rule expressed in Article 45 of Magna Carta and have fallen into error through ignorance of the common law and the Constitution.
4. I was a researcher for the Petition that was submitted to all members of the House of Lords and resulted in Article 61 of Magna Carta being activated by the formation of a “Barons Committee” which petitioned Her Majesty in 2001 requiring Her compliance with Magna Carta and the Declaration of Rights. In the course of my researches I obtained an opinion from the late Leolin Price QC. He stated that “The British Constitution has not been an examined part of the legal education syllabus since the early 1970’s”. He was referring to the effects of the “Ormond Report” which I will describe below.
5. I provide this information in the form of a sworn affidavit which I know will be entered as evidence in proceedings. I have standing as a result of my duty of allegiance to The Crown and the reciprocal protection which The Crown is required to provide to the subjects. I also have a statutory obligation as a British Subject to uphold the law per the Crown and Parliament Recognition Act 1689, a constitutional Act which applies to all, not just Crown Officers:
“ And bee it enacted by the King and Queenes most excellent Majestyes by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by authoritie of the same That all and singular the Acts made and enacted in the said Parlyament were and are Laws and Statutes of this Kingdome and as such ought to be reputed taken and obeyed by all the People of this Kingdome...”.
6. Magna Carta and the Declaration of Rights are constitutional statutes which ratified peace treaties and re-stated the common law as an exercise of the Royal Prerogative. Here is what Halsbury’s Laws of England in its chapter on constitutional law has to say on this subject:
“ 368. Relations of prerogative to common law and statute.
The prerogative is thus derived from and limited by the common law, and the monarch can claim no prerogatives except such as the law allows. In particular no prerogative may be recognised that is contrary to Magna Carta or any other statute, or that interferes with the liberties of the subject.
The courts have jurisdiction, therefore, to inquire into the existence or extent of any alleged prerogative, it being a maxim of the common law that the King ought to be under no man, but under God and the law, because the law makes the King. If any prerogative is disputed, the courts must decide the question whether or not it exists in the same way as they decide any other question of law. If a prerogative is clearly established, they must take the same judicial notice of it as they take of any other rule of law...”.
The case of Nichols v. Nichols, 1576, stated "Prerogative is created for the benefit of the people and cannot be exercised to their prejudice".
7. This principle, that the Courts must adjudicate on and respect prerogative like any other form of law, is the reason why Crown officials, particularly members of the legal profession who are all officers of the Courts, must know the law. The prerogative in question is the appointment of officers of the Courts with rights to conduct litigation and of audience. Appointing persons who are insufficiently educated in the constitutional rights of the people cannot be beneficial to the people.
8. I am mindful that it is an overt act of the treason to destroy the constitution of the country, that all persons who incite, aid or abet treason are themselves guilty of treason as principals and may be indicted accordingly, that in a case of treason a person who gives assistance after the commission of a crime does become thereby a party to the crime and that the common law offence of compounding (misprision) of treason is specifically retained by section 5(5) of the Criminal Law Act 1967. Section 5(5) is in effect a way that standing in proceedings can be established by a person who petitions a Court about his constitutional rights being infringed, he is obliged to bring the matter to notice.
9. For translation of Magna Carta from the Latin and expert commentary I rely on “Magna Carta by William Sharp McKechnie:
“ CHAPTER FORTY–FIVE.
Nos non faciemus justiciarios, constabularios, vicecomites vel ballivos, nisi de talibus qui sciant legem regni et eam bene velint observare.
We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only such as know the law of the realm and mean to observe it well….
“The object of this plainly worded clause was to prevent the appointment of unsuitable men to responsible posts under the Crown. The list of officers is a comprehensive one—justices, sheriffs, constables and bailiffs—embracing all royal ministers and agents, both of the central and of the local government, from the chief justiciar down to the humblest serjeant.3 This clause was directed in particular against John’s foreign favourites such as the Poitevin Bishop of Winchester, Peter des Roches, who had wielded the authority of chief justiciar in 1214 when the King was abroad,4 or such as Engelard de Cigogné, stigmatized by name in a later part of Magna Carta.5 Such men had no interests at stake in England, and little love for its customs and free traditions. In future John must choose a different type of servants, avoiding all such unscrupulous men, whether Englishmen or foreigners, as were ready to break the law in their master’s interests or their own. But what class were to fill their places?
Bishop Stubbs credits the framers of the Charter  with an intention to secure the appointment of men well versed in legal science: “on this principle the steward of a court–leet must be a learned steward.”1 The clause of Magna Carta, however, refers to royal nominees, not to the officers appointed by mesne lords to preside over their feudal courts. The barons appointed their own stewards and bailiffs, and had no wish to hamper their own freedom of choice; but only that of the King. Further, the barons did not desire that John should employ men steeped in legal lore, but plain Englishmen with a rough–and–ready knowledge of insular usage, who would avoid arbitrary acts condemned by the law. The barons at Runnymede desired precisely what the council of St. Albans had desired on 4th August, 1213, when it issued formal writs to sheriffs and foresters to observe the laws of Henry I. and abstain from unjust exactions;2 and these laws of Henry were but the laws of Edward Confessor (or, in reality, of Canute) slightly amended.
The attitude of John’s barons was the same as that of Henry’s barons, when the latter declared, in 1234, in emphatic terms, that they did not wish the laws of England to be changed.3 They were far from desiring to be governed by ministers deeply versed in the science and literature of jurisprudence, since these would necessarily have been churchmen and civilians...”.
Magna Carta: A Commentary on the Great Charter of King John, with an Historical Introduction. by William Sharp McKechnie (Glasgow: Maclehose, 1914).
10. I note that instead of being instead of being given a broad appreciation of the law including the Constitution before being made officers of the Courts members of the legal profession are taught “Legal Method” and are trained to research cases that come before them individually. Lawyers conclusions are challenged (only occasionally) in the higher Courts by individuals trained by the same method. This system, I submit, breaches the common law rule that “No man may sit in judgement in his own cause” by its lack of examinations as well as Article 45 of Magna Carta (see below) which requires knowledge of the law as a pre requisite for being appointed to any Crown Office.
11. I say that such want of knowledge must tend to breach of the rule that no person is to be condemned unless that person has been given prior notice of the allegations against him and a fair opportunity to be heard (the audi alteram partem rule) which is a fundamental principle of natural justice. A lawyer who is not qualified cannot give a fair hearing.
12. I say that the requirement for the taking of an oath of office, which derives from the common law rule expressed in Article 45, must require from candidates both elements that are specified, prior knowledge of the laws of the realm and an undertaking to observe them well in the future.
13. I say that the legal opinion of any lawyer trained post 1971 is subject to challenge which can only be met by requiring them to state any authority that they might be relying on in sufficient time for representations to the contrary to be made. I submit that lawyers are in the same position as private individuals, they are entitled to regulate their conduct according to law, statutes, regulations and decided cases which when challenged they must state or counter.
14. For the avoidance of doubt, this authority from Blackstone quoted by McKechnie confirms that the procedures by which Magna Carta was obtained, diffidatio and trial by battle, were lawful and not duress:
“ A metrical chronicle (4) records the threat to depose the King, (John) unless he fully amended the law and furnished undoubted guarantees for a lasting peace. On 5th May, the barons went through the ceremony of diffidatio, or formal renunciation of allegiance,(1) a recognised feudal right, and not involving treason if justified by events and properly intimated to the overlord.(2)
(4) Chronica de Mailros, sub anno 1215. 1. Blackstone, Great Charter, p. xiii, citing Annals of Dunstable (p. 43), says they were absolved at Wallingford by a Canon of Durham. 2. Cf. Adams, Origin, 181 n.; 306, 312; cf. also infra under c. 61.
15. Blackstone’s Commentaries confirms that “Right of War” sets lawful title to The Crown and the limitations which bind the King:
“THIS conquest then by William of Normandy was, like that of Canute before, a forcible transfer of the crown of England into a new family: but, the crown being so transferred, all the inherent properties of the crown were with it transferred also. For, the victory obtained at Hastings not being a victory over the nation collectively, but only over the person of Harold, the only right that the conqueror could pretend to acquire thereby, was the right to possess the crown of England, not to alter the nature of the government. And therefore, as the English laws still remained in force, he must necessarily take the crown subject to those laws, and with all it's inherent properties; the first and principal of which was it's descendibility. Here then we must drop our race of Saxon kings, at least for a while, and derive our descents from William the conqueror as from a new stock, who acquired by right of war (such as it is, yet still the dernier resort of kings) a strong and undisputed title to the inheritable crown of England...”.
Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England
Book the First : Chapter the Third : Of the King and His Title P 193.
16. My researches have revealed the following information:
17. The then Lord Chancellor, the Rt. Hon. Lord Gardiner, was largely responsible for the 1966 House of Lords decision infringing the common law principle of stare decisis (applying precedent). This is the text of the Practice Statement:
“ Their Lordships regard the use of precedent as an indispensable foundation upon which to decide what is the law and its application to individual cases. It provides at least some degree of certainty upon which individuals can rely in the conduct of their affairs, as well as a basis for orderly development of legal rules.
Their Lordships nevertheless recognise that too rigid adherence to precedent may lead to injustice in a particular case and also unduly restrict the proper development of the law. They propose therefore, to modify their present practice and, while treating former decisions of this house as normally binding, to depart from a previous decision when it appears right to do so.
In this connection they will bear in mind the danger of disturbing retrospectively the basis on which contracts, settlement of property, and fiscal arrangements have been entered into and also the especial need for certainty as to the criminal law.
This announcement is not intended to affect the use of precedent elsewhere than in this House...”.
— Lord Gardiner's statement in the House of Lords, 26 July 1966.
18. Lord Gardiner was also responsible for the creation in 1965 of the “Law Commission”, an appointed body which usurped Parliaments common law obligation to keep the law of England and Wales under review and to recommend reforms. Recent information has come to light that the main criteria for appointment as a Judge is “To demonstrate a life time commitment to equality and diversity”. This too is inconsistent with common law precedents which made The Judges “Guardians of the Coronation Oath” and the Coronation Oath Act 1688 which require “Justice and Mercy” in all Judgements not giving favours to some of Her Majesties subjects but not others.
19. In December 1967 Lord Gardiner established a committee under the chairmanship of Sir Roger Ormrod to inquire into the education of the legal profession in England. The report of the committee was presented to Parliament over three years later as REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL EDUCATION, CMND. No. 4595 (1971). This is the regime by which the present generation of lawyers were trained, the “Legal method” approach which is referred to in Para 10. above.
20. Here is an article which was posted in the “UK Constitutional Law Blog in 2015:
“ Surprises in Magna Carta by Dawn Oliver.
I assume that I am not the only public lawyer who decided to read Magna Carta and some literature about it for the first time this year, and found some surprises...”.
“Prof Dawn Oliver Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law, Faculty of Laws, UCL SLASH
In this post Ms. Oliver admits that she has never read all of Magna Carta. I understand that no contributor to the Blog challenged her in this. I can attest that she failed to respond to E-mail messages from me about her post.
21. Here is what the “UK Constitutional Laws Blog has to say about its activities:
“ The Association.
The United Kingdom Constitutional Law Association (UKCLA) is the UK’s national body of constitutional law scholars affiliated to the International Association of Constitutional Law. Its object is to ‘encourage and promote the advancement of knowledge relating to United Kingdom constitutional law (broadly defined) and the study of constitutions generally’..”.
22. The significance of this manifest collective ignorance is emphasised in the UK Supreme Courts 2017 Brexit Judgement:
“ 274. … The respondents have done a great service in bringing these issues before the court at the beginning of the process. The very full debate in the courts has been supplemented by a vigorous and illuminating academic debate conducted on the web (particularly through the UK Constitutional Law Blog site)...”.
23. I submit that, for the reasons given, the claimed “academic debate” between lawyers is unlikely to have been properly informed. A properly qualified layer would know this Judgement from the previous generation and not permit such contempt of Court by allowing material not adduced as evidence to be taken into consideration:
“ The due administration of justice requires first that all citizens should have unhindered access to the constitutionally established courts of criminal or civil jurisdiction for the determination of disputes as to their legal rights and liabilities; secondly, that they should be able to rely upon obtaining in the courts the arbitrament of a tribunal which is free from bias against any party and whose decision will be based upon those facts only that have been proved in evidence adduced before it in accordance with the procedure adopted in courts of law; and thirdly that, once the dispute has been submitted to a court of law, they should be able to rely upon there being no usurpation by any other person of the function of that court to decide it according to law. Conduct which is calculated to prejudice any of these requirements or to undermine the public confidence that they will be observed is a contempt of court" (at p. 309).
"Lord Diplock (A-G v. Times Newspapers 1974).
24. I note that reasoning for the 2017 Supreme Court “Brexit” Judgement included following statement:
“ Para. 44. In the early 17th century Case of Proclamations (1610) 12 Co Rep 74, Sir Edward Coke CJ said that “the King by his proclamation or other ways cannot change any part of the common law, or statute law, or the customs of the realm”. Although this statement may have been controversial at the time, it had become firmly established by the end of that century. In England and Wales, the Bill of Rights 1688 confirmed that “the pretended power of suspending of laws or the execution of laws by regall authority without consent of Parlyament is illegall” and that “the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regall authoritie as it hath beene assumed and exercised of late is illegall”.
I note that the Bill of Rights is given the effect of an Act by the Crown and Parliament Recognition Act 1689 together with five others including the Coronation Oath Act. As the preamble to the Bill of Rights makes clear, the common law procedures by which the Declaration of Rights was made were the same as for Magna Carta, diffidatio and trial by battle.
25. My overall conclusion is that, as described above, since 1971 the laws and the effects of the laws of the Constitution have been suspended by members of the legal profession. I submit that legal education must be reformed and the law of the Constitution taught again as a prior qualification for lawyers before they are given rights to conduct litigation and address the Courts.
26. All the facts and circumstances deposed herein are within my knowledge and expertise except such as are sworn herein from information only in accordance with my reasonable knowledge and sources of information as appear within the present affidavit.
Signed…………………………………………...John Bernard Hurst.
in the Countyof ………………………………………………………………
this ………….. dayof ………………………………………………………………………….. 20…………..