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Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Case of the Ship Money, R v Hampden 3 State Trials 381 (1640), and its relevance today

In The Ship Money Case [R v Hampden 3 State Trials 825 (1637), superseded by Act Declaring the Illegality of Ship-Money, Aug. 7, 1641, 17 Charles I, chapter 14], a bare majority of the judges of the Court of Exchequer Chamber voted for the Crown and against Hampden, the tax payer, who objected to being forced to pay purported taxes absent parliamentary consent.

7 of the 12 judges supported the King. 2 of the 7 died shortly thereafter. In regard to the remaining 5 judges who supported the King, the House of Commons impeached 3 and disabled 2 from continuing as judges.

More recently, the High Court decided Miller v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [November 3, 2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin) (Thomas, LCJ; Etherton, MR; and Sales, LJ), (available here).

100 years from now which will be recognized as the more odious decision? Hampden or Miller? Hampden merely opposed Parliament; Miller opposed a national popular referendum. 


Twitter: ( @SethBTillman ) 

My prior post: Seth Barrett Tillman, Justice Thomas’ Worst Decision: Brexit, The New Reform Club (Nov. 3, 2016, 1:21 PM). [here

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