Unlawful resolution

Legal brief

The task group resolution adopted by the March 13 conference was condemned as unconstitutional both by the Democracy Platform and several other opponents. This short note analyses this issue from a lawyer’s point of view. Since I am an academic, not a practising, lawyer, it cannot be taken as a formal ‘opinion’.

This provision is categorically incompatible with the task group resolution’s provision that local Socialist Alliance candidates must be previously agreed by local and national Respect.

It may seem surprising that these legal rules are, in fact, consistent with the results which would be achieved by reasoning from basic democratic principles. It should not be. The rules were not designed to regulate the relations between classes, but to protect the interests of capitalists against misconduct by other capitalists. The courts are understandably more solicitous of capitalists’ democratic rights - which may involve large sums of money - than of democratic rights in general. The workers’ movement should copy this democratism of the capitalists among themselves, not - as the SWP does - the bureaucratic dictatorships which they promote over the working class.