Consent of the Governed

Gavin Armstrong made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Justice

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Ministry of Justice did not have the information requested.

Gavin Armstrong

Dear Ministry of Justice,

1. Statutes and Acts are only given the force of law by the consent of the governed. Please show through relevant documentation how Statute and Acts can be endorsed without consent.

2. Assuming that the Ministry of Justice does have my consent. I now wish to withdraw my consent to be governed. Please outline the necessary steps to be taken in order to do so.

Yours faithfully,
G. Armstrong

Data Access & Compliance Unit, Ministry of Justice

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Walsh-Atkins, Eirian, Ministry of Justice

Dear Mr Armstrong,

Before I respond to your questions, I should like to explain that your
email is not in fact an FOI request, and is being dealt with as standard
correspondence. An FOI request should describe the information
requested, and your emails have simply asked a question. For example, if
you had asked for 'all information, papers and notes relating to the
endorsement of statute', this would have been an FOI request.

Statutes and Acts draw their authority from Parliament, as described in
the preamble to Acts of Parliament "Be it enacted by the Queen's most
Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament
assembled, and by the authority of the same,...". Parliament itself
draws its legitimacy from a number of sources, not least of which is the
participation of the majority of the citizens of the United Kingdom in
its operation, through exercising their right to vote or by paying
taxes.

The Government of the day is formed by the party or parties which can
maintain the confidence of the House of Commons, the democratically
elected chamber. That is the cornerstone of the UK's system of
representative democracy.

The question of withdrawing one's consent to be governed is a more
abstruce question, probably more suited to the realms of political
philosophy than a central government department. You may wish to read
works by authors such as John Rawls, JS Mill, Rousseau, John Locke and
Thomas Hobbes for thoughts in this area. The Laws of England by William
Blackstone also has an interesting discussion on natural allegiance and
tacit consent to be governed.

Thanks

Eirian Walsh Atkins

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could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in
mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message
by e-mail.

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monitored, recorded and retained by the Ministry of Justice. E-mail
monitoring / blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be
read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not
broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

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