No punishment without law.

No one shall be held guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time it was committed…

9 Coombe Park,
Bal Lake,
Cornwall TR14 0JG

19th January 2007
The Secretary of State,
Department for Communities and Local Government,
7th Floor, Eland House,
Bressenden Place,
London SW1E 5DU Fax:-020-7944-8974 1 of 6

Dear Secretary of State,

“The United Kingdom’s Draft Second Report to the Council of Europe on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities”.

Exclusion of the Cornish from the Framework Convention

Article 7 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights

No punishment without law

No one shall be held guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time it was committed…

1. It is contended that the exclusion of the indigenous Cornish from the provisions of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities” represents condemnation, of those who claim to be in “association with a national minority” (Article 14), through their treatment as if this association were a criminal act. This association is treated as an abnormality, which is encouraged among officials and the population by government publicity. This undeclared policy constitutes punishment without law in violation of Article 7 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

2. This claim is substantiated by the juxtaposition and inter-relationship of the following Quotations, Charters and Acts of Parliament against the background of an unwritten constitution and the exclusion of a statutory guarantee of equality before the law from English law.

3. Date:- c.330 B.C. “The inhabitants of Britain who live in the promontory called Belerion (West Cornwall) have adopted a civilised way of life because of their interaction with traders and other people. It is they who work the tin………..” (The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek, Professor Barry Cunliffe, Walker & Co., New York, 2002). The body in control of administration and quality in respect of tin production was known as the Stannaries possibly from Roman times.

4. 16th March 1337 – Charter 11 Ed 111 – “We have advanced our most dear first begotten son Edward whom we have caused to have precedence over others to be Duke of Cornwall over which a while ago Dukes for a long time successively presided as chief rulers”.

5. 17th March 1337 – The first Duchy of Cornwall Charter grants to the Duke the Stannaries of Cornwall and profits of the Stannary Court and the tax on tin production called ‘coinage’. (This first Duchy Charter was published by HMSO 1978 as Statutes in Force, Constitutional Law, original in Latin).
6. The Cornish were charged a double tax compared to tin production in Devon for which G.R. Lewis, The Stannaries, Harvard,1908 provides the taxation records and attributes the difference in tax to the racial differences between the Anglo-Saxons of Devon and the Celts of Cornwall. Lord Coke confirms the English custom of double taxing the goods of foreigners. (4 Co.Inst.33).

7. 18th March 1337 – The second Duchy of Cornwall Charter grants the Duke “the King’s writ and summons of Exchequer” throughout Cornwall.

8. The Prince’s Case 1606, Lord Coke asserts that a Charter can only confirm and could not acquire ownership of property, and that therefore, the Charters must be deemed to be Acts of Parliament. Also, Cornwall should always remain as a Duchy . (8 Co.Rep 27a) In the Case of the Stannaries Lord Coke observes that:- “now a reason cannot easily be rendered for things done before time of memory, yet it may well be that the land of the county was the demesne of the King, and upon grant of the land the King reserved the mines to himself : for these mines of tin are of great antiquity”. (12 Co.Rep 9). There is no reference by Lord Coke the “acquisition” of a “private” estate and no reference to Magna Charta(1215), Article 52; (1297), Article 29.

9. Lord Coke makes no reference to either a Charter or an Act of Parliament in respect of the King’s acquisition of the Stannaries when he states:- “it may well be” that the King “reserved the mines (i.e. the Stannaries) to himself”. The acquisition of property under the Land Registration Act 2002, still assumes that since: “The Crown is the only absolute owner of land” (explanatory notes) “Her Majesty may grant demesne to herself”. (section 79, note 129). “Her Majesty in Her private capacity includes the Duke of Cornwall” Crown Proceedings Act 1947, section 38 (3). (13). The selectivity and arbitrary nature of this right to acquire private property as a “regal” right (12) without reference to a refusal or compensation is a serious cause for concern. The right would extend to the Duke and the Duchy of Cornwall. Coke suggests that the Stannaries were arbitrarily designated demesne. (8+9). To retain such provisions is totally alien to the international principle of equality before the law.

10. Trial at Bar 1828 – “The public has an interest in everything that is done in the Duchy”. (Lord Chief Justice Tenterden, Rowe v. Brenton, Concanen Edition 1830, page 110). The Lord Chief Justice makes it quite clear that the Duchy of Cornwall is public and that Cornwall is the Duchy. . Despite the eminent position of Lord Coke and the Lord Chief Justice, the Duke’s constitutional “public power” has now been converted to, and exercised through the Duchy of Cornwall Estate as, a “private power” (28) without explanation.

11. Cornwall Submarine Mines Act 1858 confirms that the foreshore of Cornwall is “part of the soil and territorial possessions of the Duchy of Cornwall. In the Cornwall Foreshore dispute between the Crown and the Duchy of Cornwall 1854-1858, the Attorney-General to the Duchy claimed that the Charters of 1337 (5) granted the Duke “the government of Cornwall”. “Territorial possessions” are not applicable to a private estate. (28).

12. The Duchy of Cornwall Management Act 1863, section 37, provides the legal basis for the acquisition property under the heading of “regalities” and “reputed” claims by the Duchy. Regalities and reputed claims to property are not available to every private estate.(28).

13. The Crown Proceedings Act 1947, section 40 (2g) reveals that the Duke of Cornwall has the right: “to control or otherwise intervene in proceedings affecting his rights, property or profits”. This provision is incompatible with a private estate. (28). It appears to be a feudal legacy transposed into statutory law without regard to the “independence and impartiality” of the courts.

14. The Crown Estate, under its Act of 1961, is a public body subject to the freedom of Information Act. (The Crown Estate has no holdings in Cornwall, Letter, 7th January 2005). It exercises corporate responsibility and provides affordable homes within its area. The Duchy of Cornwall has been arbitrarily excluded from the Crown Estate Act. This appears to be a decision by the Crown in its capacity as the only absolute owner of land. (Land Registration Act 2002). (23).

15. The provisions of the Duchy of Cornwall Management Acts 1863 – 1982 (18) do not authorise public grants and both the Crown Estate and the Duchy of Cornwall do not provide affordable housing in Cornwall.

16. Limitation Act 1980, section 37, provides special exemptions and privileges under the heading: “Application to the Crown and the Duke of Cornwall”. These provisions have been extended to the Duchy of Cornwall Estate.(28).

17. Supreme Court Act 1981, s.120 – Duchy exemptions in the administration of bona vacantia in Cornwall. Not a provision for a private estate. (28). The Duchy of Cornwall Estate, is provided with the “right” to claim: castles, intestate estates, bona vacantia, foreshore, mineral rights, gold and silver, treasure trove and the unchallengeable right to transfer pre-England archaeological sites in Cornwall to English Heritage, not, a Cornish heritage.

18. The “duty” of HM Treasury in respect of the Duchy of Cornwall has been regulated by law. “The Treasury shall have regard to the interests of both present and future Dukes of Cornwall. (Duchy of Cornwall Management Acts 1863-1982, section 8 of the 1982 Act). The Act makes it clear that HM Treasury has a “duty” which appears to have become a general “duty” of all branches of government to guarantee an income from the Duchy of Cornwall Estate in Cornwall for the Duke.
This does not apply to any other ‘private’ estate. (28).

19. Cornwall County Council Act 1984, section 50 “Saving for Duchy of Cornwall”.
Not a provision for a private estate. (28).
20. Town and Country Planning Act 1990, section 293, “Application of Act to Crown Land”, includes Duchy land. Not a provision for a private estate. (28).

21. Tamar Bridge Act 1998, section 41, “Crown rights” - “Nothing in this Act affects prejudicially any estate, right, power, privilege, authority or exemption of the Crown including the Duchy of Cornwall”. (25). These provisions are not applicable to all private estates. (28).

22. The Freedom of Information Act 2000, under sections 35; 36 and 37 which includes communications between Ministers and the royal family or household, declares: “The duty to confirm or deny does not arise”. This form of censorship appears designed to include protection for the financial interests of the Duke of Cornwall.

23. Land Registration Act 2002, section 84 note 135 the “Disapplication of requirements re Duchy land”. The repeated refusal of the Secretary to the Duchy of Cornwall to reveal a list of Duchy properties to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (February 2005) is in keeping with this “disapplication” of registration which would conceal the Cornish and Stannary benefits accruing to the Duchy of Cornwall if not already achieved elsewhere.

24. Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 – Exemptions for the Duchy as part of the Crown – section 111, part 8; and section 84. The Duke and Duchy are exempt from legal action. Not applicable to a normal private estate. (28).

25. Home Office 26th January 2005 – “Thank you for your letter dated 4th January 2005 in which you requested information relating to the Cornish and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCPNM) including any reference to the history of Cornwall and the Stannaries. After careful consideration it has been determined that this information is exempt from disclosure by virtue of section 35 1 (a) (b) (c) (d) of the Freedom of Information Act”. (22). It would appear that any ethnic group or national minority not having a connection with the Stannaries as claimed by Charter of 1337 (5) as the property of the Duke of Cornwall, the Heir to the Throne, can be considered for inclusion within the terms of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

26. Department for Constitutional Affairs – 4th April 2005 – “You ask for the definitions of the legal meaning of Crown rights, the originating authority for the said Crown rights and other sections found in a number of Acts of Parliament. I am afraid that we are not able to provide you with legal advice”. Crown rights include Duchy rights but not minority rights. (19+20+21).

27. Office for National Statistics – 22nd May 2006 – “The main criteria for including any question in the Census were that there was a clearly demonstrated user requirement”. Minorities, other that the Cornish, are apparently deemed to have demonstrated sufficient user requirement to be included in the 2011 Census.

28. HM Treasury 26th July 2006, “The Duchy was set up as a private estate by charter in 1337 by Edward III for his son Prince Edward (5) to provide an income for him and future Dukes from the assets. It remains private because it has never been taken into public ownership by purchase, under statute or otherwise”. This would appear to be based on the false assumption that Cornwall was “terra nova” on the arrival of the English, a premise not discussed by Lord Coke. (8+9). Who might own, control or claim the assets has been left as an unsolved mystery.

29. The legitimate cultural interests of the Cornish people are being denied by the secrecy surrounding the Duchy of Cornwall relationship with “the history of Cornwall and the Stannaries” (25) effectively suppressed by Duchy exemption from the Freedom of Information Act 2000, section 37, or s.35 and s.36. (22).

30. Assisted by the oath of allegiance and the misleading intent of the Freedom of Information Act, the “duty” (18) for the executive, legislature and judiciary, and government departments, including the Education and Census divisions, appears to mean exercising authority to act within the law or outside the law to satisfy the demands of a feudal institution with centuries of experience in acquiring property. (Refer the Nullun Tempus Acts).

31. “The history of the Cornish and the Stannaries” (25) is being officially suppressed in order to facilitate the flourishing of an alleged private status of the Duchy of Cornwall Estate and thereby to place it above and beyond the reach of the law and public scrutiny. The feudal process of obtaining an income from Cornwall has been, in effect, preferred and retained rather that imposing a general taxation on the English national majority for the upkeep of the heir to the throne.

32. The Cornish are being “held guilty of the criminal offence” (ECHR Article 7) of failing to follow the commonly accepted practice of remaining silent with regard to the “rights, property and profits” (13) affairs of the Heir to the Throne. It may appeal to the English national ego not to be reminded of their exemption from the payment of taxes for the heir apparent. We, the Cornish, are expected to obediently accept without question the right of His Royal Highness to act behind the scenes and in secret in matters concerning his “rights” over Cornish culture and traditions and accept his right to suppress the Cornish identity and the Stannaries if he should so desire. This would probably secure instant approval ratings from the English national majority.

33. We the Cornish, are expected accept as the norm the Duchy of Cornwall’s right to enforce its preferences upon government departments in respect of “the history of the Cornish and the Stannaries” (25) a matter held by the Home Office, in support of the Duke, to be” exempt from disclosure”.(25). This is the modern version of middle age legislation and other documents being written in Latin to deny access by the general public. It is assumed that there is something to hide.

34. The “exempt from disclosure” of “the history of the Cornish and the Stannaries”, (25) on behalf of the Heir to the Throne, involves yet another “duty”: (18) “the duty to confirm or deny does not arise”. (22). This configuration amounts to an official “duty” to deny of the right of the indigenous Cornish (3+4) to exist in free and unmolested association as members of the Cornish national minority of Celtic ethnicity, roots and language. Cornwall’s identity and cultural heritage is being stolen and its contribution towards the development of the United Kingdom is being denied.

35. Such a confluence of official acts, as outlined above, is considered to represent state organised punishment without law and exposing indifference to the discipline of honest self-analysis that would require the enactment of appropriate legislation to deny the right of the Cornish to exist as a national minority in order to justify the enforcement of bureaucratic opinions such as those which support the present exclusion of the Cornish from the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

Yours faithfully,


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