The British government may ask the European Union Court of Justice to help it protect the British monarchy from public scrutiny according to press reports. This would be a demonstration of unusual desperation by a government that usually seeks to distance itself from the Europe Union.
The appeal to European Union judges is being considered in the event that the British Supreme Court refuses to overturn an earlier Court of Appeal ruling. That ruling would require the publication of letters from Charles Windsor to government ministers.
In March 2014 the Appeal Court quashed as unlawful a government attempt to stop publication.
The Appeal Court was strongly critical of the government case. It said that Attorney General Dominic Grieve “had no good reason for overriding the meticulous decision” of a tribunal that the letters should be published. It also called the original tribunal decision “an impressive piece of work”.
Judge John Dyson said Grieve could not issue the veto “merely because he disagrees with the decision” of the tribunal. The judge also commented that the Attorney General “could point to no error of law or fact in the [tribunal’s] decision”. None of the government departments affected had asked for an appeal against the tribunal ruling.
Despite the judge’s comments the government appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. That court is considering the case on Monday and Tuesday of this week. It is expected to issue its decision at a later date.
But now it seems that the government may not be satisfied with the decision of Britain’s highest court if it goes against monarchical privilege. It may then ask European judges to overrule the judges of its own country.