Human Rights Farce

#1
Today the European Court of Human Rights gave judgement that the right to silence is not a right when applied to speeding motorists. I'm sure some technocrat can provide a link.

Do these people have any concept whatsoever, of the term 'Right'.
 
#2
http://ius.info/EUII/EUCHR/dokumenti\2000\06\CASE_OF_AVERILL_v._THE_UNITED_KINGDOM_06_06_2000.html

Translating it from legalese is no mean feat though.

While accepting that “the right to silence, like the privilege against self-incrimination, lay at the heart of the notion of a fair procedure under Article 6” (see paragraph 45 of this judgment), the majority, nevertheless, find that the right “should not prevent the accused's silence, in situations which clearly call for an explanation from him, from being taken into account when assessing the persuasiveness of the evidence adduced by the prosecution” (ibid.). However, this approach overlooks the basic philosophy or the raison d'être of the right to silence which is the protection of individuals, especially the weak and vulnerable, from oppressive methods. I have stressed this in the John Murray case where I stated the following in this connection: “... an accused person, when faced with the law-enforcing agencies before trial, alone and without the legal guidance of a counsel, lacks the necessary safeguards for an effective presentation of his version in an inherently coercive setting in which the prosecutorial forces have the upper hand. Although he may not be guilty he may not be in a position to establish effectively his innocence.”
I think the bottom line is that, with many high sounding declarations made by the court - yes, you are correct.
 
#3
mushroom said:
Today the European Court of Human Rights gave judgement that the right to silence is not a right when applied to speeding motorists. I'm sure some technocrat can provide a link.

Do these people have any concept whatsoever, of the term 'Right'.
EUBanana's link took me to a different case for some reason.

I think these are the cases of two British vehicle owners a Mr Francis and a Mr O'Halloran against the UK. Both cases involved speeding cameras. One owner refused to identify who was driving at the time. The other initially admitted to being the driver, but later sought to have that confession excluded on the grounds of self discrimination.
 
#4
This is the relvent part of the judgement...

The court said the right to a Fair trial is unqualified but what is fair will depend on the circumstances of each case. Then...

The Court notes that although both the compulsion and the underlying offences were “criminal” in nature, the compulsion flowed from the fact, as Lord Bingham expressed it in the Privy Council in the case of Brown v. Stott (see paragraph 31 above), that “All who own or drive motor cars know that by doing so they subject themselves to a regulatory regime. This regime is imposed not because owning or driving cars is a privilege or indulgence granted by the State but because the possession and use of cars (like, for example, shotguns ...) are recognised to have the potential to cause grave injury”. Those who choose to keep and drive motor cars can be taken to have accepted certain responsibilities and obligations as part of the regulatory regime relating to motor vehicles, and in the legal framework of the United Kingdom, these responsibilities include the obligation, in the event of suspected commission of road traffic offences, to inform the authorities of the identity of the driver on that occasion
I also note that Liberty is providing assistance to one of the applicants.
 
#5
So they can't refuse to say who was driving a speeding vehicle, but surely they can "forget" who was driving and therefore be unable to tell the police who it was.

There's a precedent - more than one policeman had body swerved a speeding charge on exactly that basis.
 
#9
devexwarrior said:
Alternatively they could obey the law and drive within the posted speed limit.
That would indeed be the preferred option.

I'm not condoning speeding, just pointing out that some of the people whose duty it is to enforce speeding laws have used that excuse to avoid the consequences of breaking those laws.

That being the case, they can hardly complain when a member of the public pulls the same trick.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Stephanie said:
Totally off on a tangent - you know if someone confeese to a priest in a confession booth in church, does the priest have to keep that quiet (by church laws or summit?)
In the RC church, a priest is bound to not repeat anything that he hears during the sacrament of reconciliation (what used to be called confession).

I'm sure that if a priest did hear a confession that included details of some heinous crime that he would seek the guidance of his own confessor and Bishop before deciding what course of action (if any) he should take.
 
#11
Mr_Fingerz said:
Stephanie said:
Totally off on a tangent - you know if someone confeese to a priest in a confession booth in church, does the priest have to keep that quiet (by church laws or summit?)
In the RC church, a priest is bound to not repeat anything that he hears during the sacrament of reconciliation (what used to be called confession).

I'm sure that if a priest did hear a confession that included details of some heinous crime that he would seek the guidance of his own confessor and Bishop before deciding what course of action (if any) he should take.
Thats always one that confused me, the church protecting the 'rights' of crims when if someone confessed to a 'normal' person who didnt report it no doubt will be jailed for witholding information.

There we are then.
 
#12
The point is that we all know we have the right to remain silent. We have had this right for many many years. Now the court set up to protect our rights has ruled that we only have rights when we are not in a car.

A murder suspect has the right to remain silent.

A paedophile suspect has the right to remain silent.

Any one of us in our car has forfeited that right by owning a car.

What hope for proper right and justice when judges can think in Orwellian doublespeak?
 
#13
In response to Stephanie-

A priest can go to the police if he believes that a crime (e.g. murder) will go unpunished or if an innocent person is being punished for something they did not commit. But only with express permission from a Bishop or Cardinal.

Its all a bit strange!
 
#14
romach said:
In response to Stephanie-

A priest can go to the police if he believes that a crime (e.g. murder) will go unpunished or if an innocent person is being punished for something they did not commit. But only with express permission from a Bishop or Cardinal.

Its all a bit strange!
...........but if you suspect that one of your priests is knobbing a choir boy, you move him to another Diocese as quickly and quietly as possible, hoping that he doesn't do it again.
 
#15
romach said:
In response to Stephanie-

A priest can go to the police if he believes that a crime (e.g. murder) will go unpunished or if an innocent person is being punished for something they did not commit. But only with express permission from a Bishop or Cardinal.

Its all a bit strange!
Its all really strange, your above example states if the priest 'believes', so if he doesnt believe and doesnt report it, where does that leave him and his faith - cos surely by not doing anything about it he has more or less let whatever the crime is continue???? Load of nonsense.

Back to the thread, just gets ridiculous everyday doesnt it, pick and choosing where human rights apply - maybe they can put this new law to murderers and rapists, just a thought.

Although you shouldnt speed, everyone does it, should a speeder's face be plastered all over the papers over a murderer?
 
#16
Stephanie said:
Totally off on a tangent - you know if someone confeese to a priest in a confession booth in church, does the priest have to keep that quiet (by church laws or summit?)
English law does not recognise the right of privilege as against priest and penitent. A Priest is a competent and compellable witness. That is to say, he is, as a matter of evidence, a competent witness, and he may be compelled to give evidence on oath. Thus, the murderer, rapist or paedophile confessing to his priest may find his confession being received in evidence before a court of competent jurisdiction.
 
#17
But would you tell your priest that you had been speeding?

"Forgive me Father for I have sinned. I did 35 in a 30 zone".

Got to be worth 5 Hail Marys that.
 
#18
English law of course recognises the right to silence and will jealously guard it. It is simply that it attaches consequences to the individual who is foolish enough to exercise it!

This is what the 'Prince of Darkness', Michael Howard meant when, in the debates which led to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 when he was Home Secretary, he said: "We have not ended the right to silence, we have simply changed it". He denied completely that guilt would be inferred from silence when questioned by the police or in court, he simply said that 'such inferences as appear proper' might be drawn from the defendant's refusal to answer questions!

If you were to suggest that this was mere sophistry or a distinction without a difference, you would be right!

Howard has a lot to answer for since when the 1994 Act bedded down, it gave the impetus for the same approach to be followed elsewhere.
 
#19
You can read the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in O'Halleron & Francis v United Kingdom here
 

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