When I read this article, and also subsequent articles from other journalists, I was of a mind that it is what government does – changes the goal posts to suit it needs – in this case retrospective justice. However, during my research, I was taken to the following publication ‘The legislative sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament‘ and the following quote
Each Parliament is absolutely sovereign in its own time and may legislate as it wishes on any topic and for any place
Parliament has the power to legislate retrospectively as well as prospectively. This means that Parliament can render illegal and impose penalties on actions which were perfectly lawful when they were committed. Also, actions which were unlawful at the time of commission, may be rendered lawful or not subject to any legal sanction or proceedings.
So the end result would seem to be, that governments are unique, and resolve their issues in their own way, without necessarily having to conform to what previous governments have said. However, legislation is still legislation, and it would seem to me that for an integral part of a published Act of Parliament to be changed, then it must be debated in the House and agreed by both Houses. The Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 set the relevant date as being 1 January 2014, not 2017; so we must only assume from this change that ‘someone’ has something to hide.
So an end to donation secrecy in Northern Ireland. It’s been long awaited, but today James Brokenshire made good his party’s promise in their Northern Irish manifesto… From Hansar…