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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: And they're off - UK election rant
Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
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quote:
Originally posted by Gildas:
I thought that the common law did have an effect on the abolition of slavery inasmuch as Lord Mansfield's judgement that it was illegal in England and Wales did it quite a lot of damage. According to wikipedia something like 14,000 - 15,000 slaves were freed at the stroke of a pen.

But at the same time the British merchant fleet was the largest participant in the Triangular Trade with the infamous Middle Passage of slaves, and slavery was rife in most American colonies. Jamaica and Barbados depended on slavery. Upper Canada had to pass the Act Against Slavery, 1793 to keep the slaves of Loyalists out of the colony. New York was still a slave state at the time, as was New Jersey. Only Pennsylvania and New England were abolitionist.

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NDP Federal Convention Ottawa 2018: A random assortment of Prots and Trots.

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Alwyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
You quote the JCHR in that post as explicitly saying that her death was not due to "officials misinterpreting the Human Rights Act". Note that that leaves it wide open as to whether they correctly interpreted it, resulting in the perp's release.

Why would they put that bit about misinterpreting in if it was nothing to do with the act at all? ...

I see. The Joint Committee explored the possibility that the HRA had been 'correctly interpreted'. From the Joint Committee report:

"We also asked if [Mr Bridges] could provide any evidence that at the principal decision-making points in the management of Rice's case, including at the time of his release on licence and in deciding the conditions to which he should be subject on release, human rights considerations had the effect described in the report, and whether in Mr. Bridges' view this was because of a correct or incorrect interpretation of the requirements of the HRA by the relevant decision-makers.

35. In his reply Mr Bridges himself points out that his report "made no comment about the Human Rights Act itself" and that it was a huge distortion of his report's findings to say that Rice was released in order to meet his human rights. He also says, significantly, that he did not think that decision-makers are interpreting the Act wrongly, and that in his experience the great majority of case managers are either fully aware that the HRA does not prevent them from carrying out their public protection responsibilities or would at least know whom to consult to check."
(source, para. 34)

The Committee concluded that, in this case as in other cases, "...the Human Rights Act has been used as a convenient scapegoat for unrelated administrative failings within Government" (same source, para 40)

[ 17. May 2010, 15:41: Message edited by: Alwyn ]

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Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
]Ask Naomi Bryant. Except you can't, because she's dead. Killed by a dangerous convicted criminal who was freed because of human rights concerns.

This quote says it all:
quote:
But Mr Bridges said the failures in the Rice case had been exacerbated by two instances where parole and probation staff had allowed human rights considerations to undermine the importance of public protection.
And just in case you think I mined the gutter right-wing press for that quote, it's from the Guardian.
Escept it doesn't say it all. I've just read the Guardian report and there was a lot more going on the ideas about Human Rights which aren't fully explained in the article. What were this human rights considerations anyway? But they are only a small part of a series of bad decisions and the Human Rights Act was not invoked in court. How would a Bill of Rights change things?

Carys

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:

Why does it sound like a good idea? What in your view is wrong with the wording of the existing Act? (Which is after all, as others have said, codification of English legal principles that are older than the EU)

What real harm has been done by any UK courts using the HRA? [/QB][/QUOTE]


I have no problem with Uk courts using the HRA. my objection is to the appellate jurisdiction of the court in Strasbourg, allowing cases to be decided by judges who are (mostly) not from our jurisprudential traditions and are operating outisde a UK context (not that i'm saying that our traditions and context are innately superior, just that there needs to be some contextual and jurispeudential consistency, which is I think soemthing that is less likely to be provided by the Strasbourg court than by domestic ones). So if it were up to me I'd keep the Act but get us out of the Convention. Except of course that we can't really do that- it's a condition for membership of the Council of Europe (which is a more or less good thing) and in any case we have to set an examnple for those remaining places in eastern & southern Europe which really do need the Convention rights. So we're stuck with it, as the lesser of two evils.

[ 18. May 2010, 08:00: Message edited by: Albertus ]

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Alwyn
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Cod posted a carefully reasoned argument and no-one has replied yet, so I'll have a go.

quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Under common law, the Courts only have the power to ask whether the decision-maker had the power to make that decision. It is a simple yes/no, and the political merits of the decision traditionally aren't the preserve of the Court, which has no expertise to examine them.

It seems to me that the enactment of human rights legislation drives a wedge through all this, because government officials must take human rights into account when making decisions. It allows the Court to look at the merits of the decision under this guise.

Judges stand accused of two (linked) wrongs here: taking into account the political merits of decisions and making decisions on isses on which they lack expertise. However, interpreting the law is a core competence for judges. That is what judges are doing when they apply human rights law.

Also, your argument seems to over-state the distinction between (supposedly) 'merits-free' common law cases and 'merits-based' human rights cases. In judicial review under common law, the boundary between merits and legality is blurred already, as judges decide whether a decision as, for example, 'irrational' or 'disproportionate'.

quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
Given that Britain, unlike France, has no tradition of administrative courts, and given that judges from overseas might not appreciate the local context of any particular decision, it is clear that this new approach is likely to cause difficulties.

True, the UK has no tradition of a specialist Administrative Court (not before 2000, anyway).

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights understand that different countries have different legal traditions. They have been giving countries leeway to apply human rights principles differently in different contexts, through the 'margin of appreciation' doctrine, since Handyside v UK in 1976.

quote:
Originally posted by Cod:
I think there is a further problem with human rights legislation that goes back to my example of searching pupils' school bags for knives, as mentioned above.

If i understand you correctly, you're arguing that (under common law) schools can rely on consent to search pupils' school bags. Human rights principles stop schools from relying on consent because human rights cannot be waived. You argue that human rights laws on (as you put it) "rights of privacy and unreasonable search" make a big difference. Schools face an unpredictable risk of litigation and a (potentially) much bigger penalty for breach of human rights than a common law interference with property. Did I summarise your argument accurately?

The New Zealand Bill of Rights prohibits "unreasonable search or seizure, whether of the person, property, or correspondence or otherwise." I can see how teachers could feel uncertain about whether a search of a school bag would be considered 'unreasonable' or not.

However, the privacy right in the European Convention on Human Rights provides a bit more information. It says (Article 8):

"1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

Paragraph 2 goes further than the word 'unreasonable' in telling us when a search is permissible. A search of a bag for a knife can be justified under grounds including 'public safety,' 'the prevention of disorder or crime' and the 'protection of the rights and freedoms of others'.

Of course, teachers cannot be completely certain, even with that information. So the UK Government issued guidance:

"Schools are able to ‘screen’ all pupils for knives at any time, without consent, even if there is no obvious reason for suspicion (screening is when an electronic ‘wand’ or a screening arch is used to find metallic objects). They can also search any pupil for a knife without consent if they have reasonable grounds for suspicion, or call in the police to conduct a search.

If a pupil refuses to be searched or screened, the school can refuse to have the pupil on the premises."

I suspect that, if they thought a student had a knife and might use it, teachers would prefer to call in a police officer anyway (who would have the training and legal powers to act) rather than carry out a search without consent. Otherwise - in addition to any risk of being attacked - the teacher would risk civil action and criminal prosecution for assault, under the common law (not human rights law) which could be career-ending.

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Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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Alwyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
... my objection is to the appellate jurisdiction of the court in Strasbourg ...

Does it help to know that the European Court of Human Rights doesn't have an appellate jurisidction in relation to decisions by UK courts? More information is here (scroll down to 'Relationship with the European Court of Human Rights').

[ 18. May 2010, 08:50: Message edited by: Alwyn ]

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Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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Matt Black

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Indeed; the main point of the HRA was to directly incorporate the Convention into UK law, thus rendering the ECHR's jurisdiction unecessary.

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Indeed; the main point of the HRA was to directly incorporate the Convention into UK law, thus rendering the ECHR's jurisdiction unecessary.

Which seeing as it is a codification of English legal principles anyway, simplified things greatly.

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Ken

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Pre-cambrian
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And making null and void all those scares about UK cases being heard by judges from alien legal backgrounds.

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RadicalWhig
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Matt Black, ken and Pre-Cambrian all make good points.

It is worth pointing out, as well, that the ECHR was never intended to be a stand-alone "Bill of Rights" (or equivalent) upon which all of a country's civil, legal, religious, political, social and economic rights should be based. It was intended only as a backstop, to set a very general "floor" below which no civilised country should fall.

Most other signatories have their own (often more detailed and more comprehensive) sets of rights enumerated in their own Constitutions. The UK is unusual in this respect, in not having a Constitution of that sort - which means that we have forced into reliance (or possibly over-reliance) on the ECHR instead.

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Albertus
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OK, fair point about the appellate jurisdiction of the ECHR. I was posting in a hurry and didn't get my facts straight.
However, I think I'm right in saying that the UK courts applying the HRA do so in the context of the ECHR's jurisprudence- which does come from ratehr a different point than ours generally does.
As for the Convention/ HRA codifying common law rights- if so (and I'll agree that the convention as originally written does this)- in that case, why bother with them? The point is that our domestic laws safeguard most if not all of what's in the HRA/ Convention - so we could quite happily do without them. But we do need to support the Convention because there are member states of the Council of Europe where the extra protection is required.

[ 18. May 2010, 17:42: Message edited by: Albertus ]

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lowlands_boy
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And, right on cue, the government is to establish a commission to review the HRA, having failed to get an alleged terrorist deported.

[ 18. May 2010, 20:33: Message edited by: lowlands_boy ]

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RadicalWhig
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
<...>in that case, why bother with them?
<...> The point is that our domestic laws safeguard most if not all of what's in the HRA/ Convention - so we could quite happily do without them.

Two words: Parliamentary Sovereignty.

That pernicious, destructive, illiberal and undemocratic doctrine of English law (it has never been fully accepted in Scots law, but that's ignored) means that the Government, backed by a well-whipped majority in both houses, can strip us of our most important and fundamental right without any means of constitutional protection. The litany of rights which have been eroded and restricted by "tough" governments eager to "do something" about crime, terrorism, hippies and protesters, would go on for a long time. At least, in the absence of a proper Constitution, ECHR and HRA provide some minimal protection.

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Radical Whiggery for Beginners: "Trampling on the Common Prayer Book, talking against the Scriptures, commending Commonwealths, justifying the murder of King Charles I, railing against priests in general." (Sir Arthur Charlett on John Toland, 1695)

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Mad Cat
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<tangent>

Separated at birth?

The Deputy Prime Minister

Chandler Bing

</tangent>

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Alwyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
I think I'm right in saying that the UK courts applying the HRA do so in the context of the ECHR's jurisprudence- which does come from ratehr a different point than ours generally does.

You're right, UK courts 'take into account' decisions of the European Court of Human Rights when applying the HRA. They are required to do so by section 2 of the HRA; even if that requirement didn't exist, it's normal for senior judges to take into account relevant decisions from other jurisdictions, as Sober Preacher's Kid pointed out earlier; for example, in Hirst v UK, UK judges took into account jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Dominic Grieve had a fair point when he argued that UK judges in Ullah interpreted 'take into account' to mean something much more than that. However, this is (arguably) a wrong turn by UK judges and is not a problem inherent in the HRA.

You wrote that the Court's jurisprudence 'comes from rather a different point'. Would you be willing to say more about what you mean by that? What, specifically, you see as the downside of that?

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Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
And, right on cue, the government is to establish a commission to review the HRA, having failed to get an alleged terrorist deported.

Ah, but there's the rub: alleged terrorist. This guy has not had the evidence against him tested in a court of law. Why should he be deported to face torture just because the authorities here or there don't like the cut of his jib? I'd say that was the HRA working in an exactly correct manner - protecting the human rights of someone who may well be completely innocent, and is, indeed, deemed to be so under the Common Law.

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To those who have never seen the flow and ebb of God's grace in their lives, it means nothing. To those who have seen it, even fleetingly, even only once - it is life itself. (Adeodatus)

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Matt Black

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Better to keep your enemies (alleged or otherwise) close and under surveillance than to ship them to Pakistan and lose all contact with them until they resurface to commit an atrocity, surely?

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Moth

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
And, right on cue, the government is to establish a commission to review the HRA, having failed to get an alleged terrorist deported.

Ah, but there's the rub: alleged terrorist. This guy has not had the evidence against him tested in a court of law. Why should he be deported to face torture just because the authorities here or there don't like the cut of his jib? I'd say that was the HRA working in an exactly correct manner - protecting the human rights of someone who may well be completely innocent, and is, indeed, deemed to be so under the Common Law.
The worrying thing is that the authorities don't seem well able to prosecute alleged terrorists. If they are so convinced that he is a danger (and they may well be right) what is wrong with our criminal law/laws of evidence that his prosecution is impossible? Alternatively, why has the police investigation not turned up enough evidence?

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Inger
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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
And, right on cue, the government is to establish a commission to review the HRA, having failed to get an alleged terrorist deported.

I know this is being 'blamed' on the HRA, but aren't there other international conventions that prevent the deportation of people to places where they may face death or torture? I was under the impression that that was the case.

Isn't that in fact the basis for the whole asylum system? That Britain (like other countries, and not just European ones) has an obligation to protect people who may face death or torture?

Edited to add afterthought.

[ 19. May 2010, 09:52: Message edited by: Inger ]

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Inger:
I know this is being 'blamed' on the HRA, but aren't there other international conventions that prevent the deportation of people to places where they may face death or torture? I was under the impression that that was the case.

We need another Australia - somewhere we can send them that won't be too bad for them, but where they'll be well and truly out of our hair.

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alienfromzog

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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Better to keep your enemies (alleged or otherwise) close and under surveillance than to ship them to Pakistan and lose all contact with them until they resurface to commit an atrocity, surely?

For once, Matt I agree. A more difficult question in the abstract would be, even if it is against our national interests should we refrain from sending someone back who may face torture.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
We need another Australia - somewhere we can send them that won't be too bad for them, but where they'll be well and truly out of our hair.

Great. Then we'll never win at any sport.

AFZ

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aumbry
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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
And, right on cue, the government is to establish a commission to review the HRA, having failed to get an alleged terrorist deported.

Ah, but there's the rub: alleged terrorist. This guy has not had the evidence against him tested in a court of law. Why should he be deported to face torture just because the authorities here or there don't like the cut of his jib? I'd say that was the HRA working in an exactly correct manner - protecting the human rights of someone who may well be completely innocent, and is, indeed, deemed to be so under the Common Law.
The worrying thing is that the authorities don't seem well able to prosecute alleged terrorists. If they are so convinced that he is a danger (and they may well be right) what is wrong with our criminal law/laws of evidence that his prosecution is impossible? Alternatively, why has the police investigation not turned up enough evidence?
I think the problem is that for a conviction to be successful the intelligence gathering that brings these people to the authorities' notice would be thoroughly compromised.

It is quite extraordinary that foreigners who are considered dangerous cannot be removed from this country back to their homeland so that we have the odd situation whereby a person coming here to work can be deported without fuss whereas a person who may be intending to blow us up cannot be.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
And, right on cue, the government is to establish a commission to review the HRA, having failed to get an alleged terrorist deported.

Ah, but there's the rub: alleged terrorist. This guy has not had the evidence against him tested in a court of law. Why should he be deported to face torture just because the authorities here or there don't like the cut of his jib? I'd say that was the HRA working in an exactly correct manner - protecting the human rights of someone who may well be completely innocent, and is, indeed, deemed to be so under the Common Law.
The worrying thing is that the authorities don't seem well able to prosecute alleged terrorists. If they are so convinced that he is a danger (and they may well be right) what is wrong with our criminal law/laws of evidence that his prosecution is impossible? Alternatively, why has the police investigation not turned up enough evidence?
I think the problem is that for a conviction to be successful the intelligence gathering that brings these people to the authorities' notice would be thoroughly compromised.

It is quite extraordinary that foreigners who are considered dangerous cannot be removed from this country back to their homeland so that we have the odd situation whereby a person coming here to work can be deported without fuss whereas a person who may be intending to blow us up cannot be.

Isn't it just as surprising that alleged fraudsters are allowed to buy properties, direct companies and employ people, yet it happens all the time. No, the allegations haven't been proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court.

If the national security case really is so strong, charge them, try them and then start the debates on whether they should be detained here or "in their homeland". Until then, habeus corpus. Even if they are foreigners, who as any fule kno are lower than whale shit. [Biased]

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Matt Black

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Isn't this why we have the spooks and 00s?

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aumbry
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You should not need to have as your threshold a criminal conviction if the matter is of deportation of a foreign national with no right to be here.

Plenty of people are deported for lots of less serious reasons and no trial and conviction is required.

[ 19. May 2010, 11:11: Message edited by: aumbry ]

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aumbry
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Habeous Corpus sounds good but is irrelevant.
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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
And, right on cue, the government is to establish a commission to review the HRA, having failed to get an alleged terrorist deported.

Ah, but there's the rub: alleged terrorist. This guy has not had the evidence against him tested in a court of law. Why should he be deported to face torture just because the authorities here or there don't like the cut of his jib? I'd say that was the HRA working in an exactly correct manner - protecting the human rights of someone who may well be completely innocent, and is, indeed, deemed to be so under the Common Law.
The worrying thing is that the authorities don't seem well able to prosecute alleged terrorists. If they are so convinced that he is a danger (and they may well be right) what is wrong with our criminal law/laws of evidence that his prosecution is impossible? Alternatively, why has the police investigation not turned up enough evidence?
I think the problem is that for a conviction to be successful the intelligence gathering that brings these people to the authorities' notice would be thoroughly compromised.

It is quite extraordinary that foreigners who are considered dangerous cannot be removed from this country back to their homeland so that we have the odd situation whereby a person coming here to work can be deported without fuss whereas a person who may be intending to blow us up cannot be.

Isn't it just as surprising that alleged fraudsters are allowed to buy properties, direct companies and employ people, yet it happens all the time. No, the allegations haven't been proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court.

If the national security case really is so strong, charge them, try them and then start the debates on whether they should be detained here or "in their homeland". Until then, habeus corpus. Even if they are foreigners, who as any fule kno are lower than whale shit. [Biased]

Is it proven beyond reasonable doubt that he will face torture in Pakistan ? Or is the burden of proof lower for that ? A number of his co-accused appear to have returned voluntarily to Pakistan. Apparently, one of the two in question is still in prison anyway under immigration powers.

How about he is now subject to the same asylum application procedure as any other asylum applicant ?

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
You should not need to have as your threshold a criminal conviction if the matter is of deportation of a foreign national with no right to be here.

Plenty of people are deported for lots of less serious reasons and no trial and conviction is required.

Yes, many are deported for more reason than they have no right to reside here. The alleged terrorists also have no right to remain but, crucially, they were and are in danger of their lives were they to return to their homeland.

Still, they are foreigners of a different race and religion, so what duty do we have for our fellow man?

btw, if habeus corpus for one it is irrelevant for all.

lowlands boy: I don't know what, if any, burden of proof there is. Maybe he/they will apply for asylum.

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Matt Black

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And on what basis is it alleged that their lives are in danger? It seems that there are a lot of allegations flying around in this case.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
And on what basis is it alleged that their lives are in danger? It seems that there are a lot of allegations flying around in this case.

Here we go again. On the basis of the evidence presented to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. That commission also stated that the men were a security risk to the UK, but that was the assessment from the intelligence services, not a court judgement, and we have had some iffy intelligence assessments in the recent past.

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
You should not need to have as your threshold a criminal conviction if the matter is of deportation of a foreign national with no right to be here.

Plenty of people are deported for lots of less serious reasons and no trial and conviction is required.

Yes, many are deported for more reason than they have no right to reside here. The alleged terrorists also have no right to remain but, crucially, they were and are in danger of their lives were they to return to their homeland.

Still, they are foreigners of a different race and religion, so what duty do we have for our fellow man?

btw, if habeus corpus for one it is irrelevant for all.

lowlands boy: I don't know what, if any, burden of proof there is. Maybe he/they will apply for asylum.

But you use the word alleged in connection with their activities, since it is not proven in court beyond reasonable doubt, although this was the SIAC judgement. You then say, without any qualification,
quote:

crucially, they were and are in danger of their lives were they to return to their homeland

as if this were more than an allegation, i.e. proven,even though this also emanates from the SIAC judgement

So you seem quite happy not to accept the SIAC judgement that they are terrorists, but happy to accept that they shouldn't be sent back. Which made me wonder if you thought the burden of proof was different for those two things ?

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Alwyn
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quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
It is quite extraordinary that foreigners who are considered dangerous cannot be removed from this country back to their homeland so that we have the odd situation whereby a person coming here to work can be deported without fuss whereas a person who may be intending to blow us up cannot be.

The general rule is that foreigners who are considered dangerous can be removed. The exception is that they cannot be removed if there is a real risk of that they would be tortured or killed.

Do you want there to be more, or fewer, people in the world who are willing to carry out terrorist attacks against British people? If the UK Government hands over people to be tortured, will there be more, or fewer people in the world who hate Britain?

Torture creates martyrs. Terrorist groups like to see themselves as martyrs; they call their attacks 'martyrdom operations'. Fair trials show the world that we follow our own rules. Fair trials show that terrorists are criminals, not martyrs. The right place for a terrorist is a cell in a maximum security prison, not a torture chamber.

quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
I think the problem is that for a conviction to be successful the intelligence gathering that brings these people to the authorities' notice would be thoroughly compromised.

Do you think it will be news to terrorist groups that Western intelligence agencies bug their phones? Conor Gearty and the Society of Conservative Lawyers and Liberty (plus a former Commissioner of the Metropolitan police and a former Director of MI5) are right - the law should be changed to allow the use of intercept evidence.

If we don't have the evidence for a trial, as Matt Black argued, it's better to keep them under surveillance than to hand them over to torturers (and create martyrs).

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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
And on what basis is it alleged that their lives are in danger? It seems that there are a lot of allegations flying around in this case.

Here we go again. On the basis of the evidence presented to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. That commission also stated that the men were a security risk to the UK, but that was the assessment from the intelligence services, not a court judgement, and we have had some iffy intelligence assessments in the recent past.
But there is no more proof for that than there is for the terrorism allegation. Why should a tribunal give greater weight to the one allegation? What's sauce for the goose etc

[ 19. May 2010, 11:58: Message edited by: Matt Black ]

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lowlands_boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
And on what basis is it alleged that their lives are in danger? It seems that there are a lot of allegations flying around in this case.

Here we go again. On the basis of the evidence presented to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. That commission also stated that the men were a security risk to the UK, but that was the assessment from the intelligence services, not a court judgement, and we have had some iffy intelligence assessments in the recent past.
But there is no more proof for that than there is for the terrorism allegation. Why should a tribunal give greater weight to the one allegation? What's sauce for the goose etc
Yes. According to the siac's own page
quote:

As specified in the 1997 Act, the SIAC panel consists of three members. One must have held high judicial office; and one must be - or have been - a senior legally-qualified member of the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal (AIT). The third member will usually be someone who has experience of national security matters

Therefore to say
quote:

That commission also stated that the men were a security risk to the UK, but that was the assessment from the intelligence services, not a court judgement, and we have had some iffy intelligence assessments in the recent past.

is not correct - it is the SIAC's assessment of "the assessment from the intelligence services".

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
I think the problem is that for a conviction to be successful the intelligence gathering that brings these people to the authorities' notice would be thoroughly compromised.

Do you think it will be news to terrorist groups that Western intelligence agencies bug their phones? Conor Gearty and the Society of Conservative Lawyers and Liberty (plus a former Commissioner of the Metropolitan police and a former Director of MI5) are right - the law should be changed to allow the use of intercept evidence.

If we don't have the evidence for a trial, as Matt Black argued, it's better to keep them under surveillance than to hand them over to torturers (and create martyrs). [/QB][/QUOTE]

It's not just wiretaps though. If your man inside Al Qaeda has to enter the witness box and withstand a flurry of cross examination from Rumpole of the Bailey he ain't going back to work on Monday. What if you've turned someone who has family back in Af-Pak? I broadly agree with you about intercepts but it's not the only problem.

That said, the position in English Law has always been that knowing is not enough, it is proving that is necessary to secure a conviction. There is no reason to change that. We didn't eliminate the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt when the Abwehr, KGB or IRA were operating on these shores. I see no reason why we should regard a bunch of hamfisted Islamonumpties as being greater cause to give up our liberties for a mess of security service pottage.

Incidentally, I imagine the security services are well aware that the British courts frown on the interogation methods of the Pakistani Counter Terrorist Service. I wonder if cases of this sort are not a kind of psyops directed at the British government, in order to bully them into abandoning our various human rights commitments and against the persons concerned who, lets face it, is going to be regarded as being well and truly blown by his alleged comrades.

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Alwyn
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quote:
Originally posted by lowlands_boy:
Is it proven beyond reasonable doubt that he will face torture in Pakistan ? Or is the burden of proof lower for that ?

The standard of proof is lower in 'risk of torture' cases for the same reasons that the standard of proof is higher in a criminal trial.

The reasons are (I believe) about the consequences if a wrong decision is made, and the fact that the State (one side in the case) is more powerful than individual(s) on the other side.

(Gildas - I agree that wiretaps are not the only problem and that we should not give up our liberties)

[ 19. May 2010, 12:56: Message edited by: Alwyn ]

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Ender's Shadow
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quote:
Originally posted by Gildas:
That said, the position in English Law has always been that knowing is not enough, it is proving that is necessary to secure a conviction. There is no reason to change that. We didn't eliminate the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt when the Abwehr, KGB or IRA were operating on these shores. I see no reason why we should regard a bunch of hamfisted Islamonumpties as being greater cause to give up our liberties for a mess of security service pottage.

I'm pretty certain that Habeas Corpus was suspended in the UK during WWII, and we resorted to trials without juries in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The problem is that the scale of damage being attempted by Al Quida is far greater than that achieved by the IRA, and they have no compunction about killing people, including themselves, in a way radically different to the attitude of the IRA. They are thus perceived to be a far greater threat...

The issue about intercept evidence is problematic. This story explains the problem - a issue of Common Law rights, rather than the HRA ironically enough.

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Alwyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Ender's Shadow:
This story explains the problem - a issue of Common Law rights, rather than the HRA ironically enough.

If the use of intercept evidence in criminal trials is really that problematic, and if the reasons given are the real reasons for not using it, how come intercept evidence was successfully used in the trial of Ian Huntley?

"Whilst Ian Huntley was held in custody in relation to his suspected involvement with the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, two phone calls that he had made were intercepted, without the participants’ knowledge at the time, and the detail of what was said was presented in evidence in court." (Society of Conservative Lawyers, p. 6)

What are the real reasons why they're reluctant to use intercept evidence? Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, said:

"The true reason for the prohibition on admitting telephone tap evidence in court is that the Security and Intelligence Services do not, unless they regard the task as necessary for their own purposes, follow leads or events which the material in question records so as to establish an evidential trail. As Mr. Justice Newman recently observed:

'The Security Service material … is not recorded and prepared for the purposes of being presented and used as evidence in an adversarial hearing'.

Professor Conor Gearty put it more bluntly in an article he wrote for the London Review of Books in March 2005:

'The intelligence services have never understood the need for a criminal process: their ideal world would be one in which official suspicion led straight to incarceration. That is why they so fervently oppose the idea that any of the ‘evidence’ they build up should be exposed to the rigours of a criminal trial'" (source, p. 12)

But Keir Starmer isn't an expert on prosecutions ... no, wait, what's his job again?

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It seems ironic that as suspected Al Khaida members they cannot be deported from Britain in case they might be subject to torture in Pakistan but once in Pakistan* as members of AK they would be a legitimate target for British and American forces to kill as enemy taliban.

All a product of the strange topsy turvey world of liberal governments that are keen on warmongering.

*To the extent at least that they are within drone range of Afghanistan.

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After having my pension savaged by Gordon Brown my alternative means of saving has been to buy a very small second home to rent out. The new government intends to destroy this investment. Marvellous. Why do Governments punish savers?

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alienfromzog

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
Yes, let's perpetuate the lie that the world-wide economic and banking crisis is all Labour's fault.


No-one is saying that. What we're saying is the seriousness of the effect it's had on Britain is Labour's fault.

I know it's probably a mistake to be ressurecting this thread but here goes:

quote:
Our Prime minister, yesterday:

Mr Cameron started his speech by saying problems were "even worse than we thought" and blamed the last Labour government for the "debt crisis".

He accused them of a "public sector splurge" at a time when the private sector was shrinking.

And he said figures which the Labour government had refused to publish showed the UK would be paying £70bn in debt interest within five years - more than it spent on schools in England, tackling climate change and transport.


I am horrified by this extreme dishonesty. [Mad] And with the important exception of Andrew Neal on the BBC's daily Politics show, the complete lack of any questioning of this by the media... BBC iPlayer

Let's just be clear on a couple of things:

1. The deficit is quite big. No one ever said otherwise.
2. It's smaller than the projections showed - by £11Bn compared to pre-election figures and by £23bn compared to the 2009 Budget's projection by Alistair Darling (Then Chancellor). So the main thrust of our exalted leaders speach is entirely untrue.
3. Whilst, there is a wide range of views amoungst economists about the deficit, the debt and how and when this should be tackled, there is one thing they all agree on. Growth is the key. Economic growth is how you fix the deficit. Far more than tax increases, far more than spending cuts.
Three things to note:
- firstly the comparison with Canada is very false - they were able to grow by exporting to the vibrate USA economy - we don't have such opportunities.
- secondly, Cameron's complaint about the government spending over the past 18months - 2 years is ludicrous. No-one across the G20 did not think that fiscal stimulus was vital then - that's why we've had increasing public expenditure during private shrinkage! It's all about growth.
- Thirdly, Spain, fearing the markets brought in big public sector cuts to try to avoid a down-grading of their credit rating. This resulted in reduction in growth predictions and thus a down-grading of their credit rating.
4. The comment about interest payments. The £70bn is not new at all. What really annoys me though is the complaint that interest payments are higher than the education budget. This is true. It is however not news. It was also true in 1996.

This is all about writing a narrative that will enable Cameron to stand for reelction on the platform We know we've wrecked the country but it wasn't our fault...

And what worries me most is that I think they'll get away with it.

AFZ

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Spawn
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quote:
Originally posted by alienfromzog:
This is all about writing a narrative that will enable Cameron to stand for reelction on the platform We know we've wrecked the country but it wasn't our fault...

And what worries me most is that I think they'll get away with it.

AFZ

Yes, it is all about writing a new narrative. In fact, by preparing the public for the very worst there is a small possibility that the pain won't be quite as bad and the Conservatives can get re-elected. However this is not half as dishonest as the Labour narrative that Gordon Brown heroically saved the world.
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alienfromzog

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quote:
Originally posted by Spawn:
<snip> However this is not half as dishonest as the Labour narrative that Gordon Brown heroically saved the world.

Seriously? you really believe that?

I can understand that people don't like Labour.
I can understand that people don't like Gordon Brown.

But this takes some serious bias...

Were David Cameron's statements demonstrably untrue? Yes. Just ask Andrew Neal.

Was Gordon Brown's leadership significant in the co-ordinated worldwide response to the economic crisis? Well, let's see what America Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman has to say?

quote:
New York Times Article (2008):
Luckily for the world economy, however, Gordon Brown and his officials are making sense. And they may have shown us the way through this crisis.

How much blame Gordon Brown should take for the causing of the Banking crisis is a matter of debate. The credit that he and Alastair Darling should get for the success of managing the crisis (in a fair world) shouldn't be.

AFZ

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