New Law. now with added newness

June 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I was just browsing the Express (yeah, yeah, I know, but sometimes I like to smear myself in shit) and read this story about new law and order stuff from the Conservatives ( link)…


DAVID Cameron last night hit back at allegations that his Government is soft on crime by vowing to back home owners who fight off burglars.

Announcing a major legal shake-up, the Prime Minister pledged that property holders who use “reasonable force” against intruders would not be prosecuted.

How is that new?

David Cameron said: “My mission is to make sure that families can feel safe in their homes, and they can walk the streets freely, without fear. The system today is failing and badly needs reform.”

It needs reform so badly, it’s going to stay the same.

…the most eye-catching announcement was legal protection for people who defend their families and properties during break-ins. It would allow home owners to hit burglars or even shoot them as long as the force used can be shown in court to have been reasonable.

At risk of repeating myself, how is that new?

“So we will put beyond doubt that home owners and small shopkeepers who use reasonable force to defend themselves or their properties will not be prosecuted.”

How is, oh you get the idea.

The PM’s measures include increasing the number of life sentences handed out by the courts and ensuring that serious sexual and violent offenders spend at least half of their jail terms in custody.

Under current rules, many can walk free halfway through their sentences.

All together now… How is that new?

A new criminal offence of squatting will also be introduced to protect home owners, and squatters will be stripped of the right to claim legal aid to fight their cases.

This it is a little worrying. I don’t know any figures about squatting or what squatters give for being squatters, whether it’s to use unused property or poverty or being outside the benefits system, but I doubt the majority actually want to be squatters any more than a property owner wants to host them. So it would be nice if alongside this proposal to rid the land of squatters and prevent them from claiming someone elses property, the government put in place some other way of getting these people back into accommodation.

I love this little quote from Ken Clarke…

I’ve made a number of U-turns in my time. They should be done with purpose and panache when you do them.

If you’re gonna do a u-turn, make it a stylish one. Preferably wearing a hat at a jaunty angle.

Execution export stopped

December 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

I missed this the other day, Vince Cable changing his mind about granting an export licence for a drug used in some American states for executing Death row prisoners…

Mr Cable initially said he could not restrict exports – but lawyers from Leigh and Day, working with Reprieve, subsequently established that no European supplies to the US were being used in medicine – meaning that they were only going to death row.

Furthermore, one of the manufacturers identified in the legal action said it did not oppose the government imposing export restrictions.

Excellent news.

On stopping the export of executions and how it’s paid for

November 18th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

So, Legal Aid is being used pay for a Judicial Review on the decision by Vince Cable not to block an export licence for the UK company to export to the USA a drug used in executions.

The review is being brought o behalf of two death row prisoners by Reprieve who…

Reprieve uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.

We investigate, we litigate and we educate, working on the frontline, providing legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. We promote the rule of law around the world, and secure each person’s right to a fair trial. And in doing so, we save lives.

Without looking into them further, they sound quite an admirable organisation.

But, on the the point of using Legal Aid for this review, fair enough. The UK government, in allowing this export, is complicit in the execution of prisoners. These two guys on death row do not have the means to challenge Vinces’ decision. It is a UK company, enabled by the UK government that is knowingly providing the means for these executions to go ahead. It is only right that this should be challenged.

The UK doesn’t extradite to suspects to countries when, if found guilty, the result is execution. So what is the difference between exporting people to their deaths and exporting the means when it is known it will be used for executions? None.

The reason for allowing the export of this drug?

“Sodium thiopental is a medicine. Its primary use is as an anaesthetic … Legitimate trade of medical value would be affected by any restriction on the export of this product from the UK.” Any ban would be ineffective, he added, because supplies could be obtained from elsewhere.

Try changing what’s being exported from a drug to weapons. Would the government allow the export of weapons, whose primary and legitimate use is for defence against invaders, to a country that was shooting up it’s own people? (Ok, the government probably does, but you get the idea.)

And the reason that supplies could be obtained from eslewhere anyway is just risable that it hardly needs rebutting. The point would be that we, as a country would not be part of something that we are supposedly against.

This then, the actions that Reprieve are taking and how it is funded, I think is A Good Thing.

Votes for Prisoners

November 3rd, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

I was thinking about this earlier. Prisoners getting the vote.

Prisoners are to get the right to vote as the government is poised to throw in the towel in a long-running legal tussle with the European court of human rights, it emerged today.

It is understood that the coalition is to confirm that it is ready to change the law to remove the voting ban on more than 70,000 inmates of British jails.

You know what I say?

Fuck ’em.

If someone doesn’t play by the rules why should they get to say what the rules are?

If it’s all about human rights, how about bringing to an end overcrowding? That’ll do more for the prisoners than the chuffing vote.

The right to know

March 4th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Daily Mail

The father of James, Ralph Bulger, 43, said it was a ‘disgrace’ that his family was still in the dark about why Venables had been sent back to jail. ‘It is one more kick in the teeth for James and his family,’ he said.

Mr Straw said it was ‘not in the public interest’ to reveal how Venables, now 27, breached his parole nine years after he was controversially released from custody.

Yet hours earlier, Home Secretary Alan Johnson had declared on TV that he believed ‘the public do have a right to know’.

Do we? Really? Why do we have the right know why John Venables has been locked up again. In fact it could be said that we already know. The reason being that he violated the terms of his license.

He was given a second chance, unlike my son, but he has blown it and now he deserves for those same human rights to be revoked and for the Government to reveal all.

We, as a society, do not revoke human rights just like that, like criminals do*. As a society, i would hope, we are better than that. If Venables has blown his second chance then he will be prosecuted for any new crimes that he may have comitted and be suitably punished for them.

I’m not saying thatBut why do we have a right to know, apart from the shrill, emotional ‘because he’s a killer!’?

*Although some MPs think we should

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