They're coming to take you away...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Biscuits_AB, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. That's nowt, the Yanks have just passed a law that allows the President to have anyone locked up in a military prison for as long as he feels like, with no access to the courts. Those Yanks who have noticed seem to think it's a great idea.

    Now we know what Mandelson was on about when he started talking about the 'post-democratic age.'

    Never mind, the football's on later and I can't think about boring crap like liberty until I've finished the 22nd volume of Jordan's autobiography.
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  2. The plebs have X factor and all the other programmes that appeal to the mindless. They have no need of justice and what prevails as such in this country is often incomprehensible anyway.
    Martin Niemoller's words spring to mind along with George Orwell's novel.

    Typo edit, glasses on now.
  3. If this was ever allowed to happen it would be the thin end of the wedge.
  4. How much would this differ from judges ordering a case to be held "in camera"?
  5. From what I've read, which is admittedly slight, it's the scope of cases which can be closed to public scrutiny, the review mechanisms to ensure that judges who order it wrongfully can have their decisions reversed and the ability to appeal decisions reached in closed proceedings.

    Whatever happened to, 'if you've nothing to fear, you've nothing to hide'?
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  6. TV the opium of the masses.
  7. Criminal cases have odd snippets heard in camera, where there is serious risk of harm to national security or to the life of a witness. The whole case is not heard in camera: one of the Counsel (usually the prosecution) applies to have some evidence heard in camera; the judge then clears the court and listens to arguments. If the judge is convinced of the need for it, the evidence will be heard in camera.

    Family court proceedings are routinely conducted behind closed doors, but there is no record my source can recall (barrister and law lecturer at Cambridge) of an entire criminal case being heard thus on the mainland (the NI Diplock courts were a different matter).

    To the poster's question, the main difference here is that judges decide what must be privileged rather than politicians, and the judges decide on points of law rather than reasons of politics.
  8. Let us not forget what prompted this ridiculous idea - alleged victims of torture attempted to bring civil proceedings against Her Majesty's Government and, rather than allow the case to proceed (which will probably have proved complicity), the claimants were simply paid off, along with Ken Clarke making an announcement to Parliament that he would pass legislation to prevent open scrutiny of the security services in court.
  9. I never liked Ken Clarke, the smug, whiskey slurping, hush puppy wearing, jazz loving twat, and now he,s given me another reason to reinforce my ardent dislike.......................Oo! is that a knock on my front door?
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  10. It's soon to be joined with "Rules? We don't play by the rules here, Sonny Jim/Abdul."
  11. An excellent point, but as far as politicians are concerned, that's going to change one day. Just look at that nasty little shite May for a good example of a politician who's had enough of the law getting in her way.
  12. Look further. Some Arrsers will be old enough to remember the Matrix Churchill affair and the subsequent Scott enquiry.

    Matrix Churchill was a machine tool company that was caught exporting precision machinery to Iraq in breach of sanctions, partly as a front to gather intelligence about the Iraqi atom bomb project.

    When the directors were arrested, they claimed to be working for MI6. This was laughed out of court. When their lawyers tried to subpoena written evidence, more than one Tory minister overruled the judge on the grounds of "public interest immunity".

    In short, after the Department of Trade and Industry complained long and loud about Iraqi WMDs, the ministers didn't want to look like twats when export licences for bomb grade lathes, bearing the ministers' signatures, were shown in open court.

    If the judge hadn't had the cajones to raise two fingers to the government, innocent men would have gone to prison in order to spare Alan Clarke and other ministers a few days of personal embarrassment in the papers. Clarke eventually admitted trying to deceive the court and the public. He was the pretentious prick who coined the phrase "economical with the actualité". If I chose to be economical with the truth in a court I'd be doing 5 years for perjury.

    Governments of all colours invariably confuse the public interest with their own personal and political interests. From Matrix Churchill to Jacqui Smith sending the Special Branch round to intimidate the shadow immigration minister's office in Parliament, it has been going on for years.

    Politicians must have no say in the conduct of individual trials.
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  13. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    (Minor) difference being that sort of thing takes time to change, often several successive political generation (now set at 5 years) to functionally errode current statutes checks and balances. Except of course where massive new laws such as the HRA 1998 or the new raft of anti-terror laws got passed following St. Skyscrapers' day. Then you can build up enough momentum to override stuff with poorly drafted laws I suppose. Can't see the current coalition being able to force stuff that radical through at present though (thank god) due to lack of mahoosive majority and incredibly tight part discipline maintained by the whips.
  14. Tends to be the most feeble excuse to erode an individuals rights.