"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Stop & Search Ruled Illegal

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that police powers of stop & search under terrorism laws, without grounds for suspicion, are illegal.
The court said the stop and search powers were "not sufficiently circumscribed" and there were not "adequate legal safeguards against abuse".
It also concluded that "the risks of the discriminatory use of the powers" were "a very real consideration".
The case was pursued by two people detained at the London Arms Fair in 2003; they were awarded costs.

The government is "disappointed" and considering an Appeal but these badly-drafted and rushed laws should go back to Parliament for proper scrutiny and amendment.  In fact, let's have a thorough scrutiny of all the c.4,000 new laws introduced by Labour since 1997 and then introduce Douglas Carswell's Grand Repeal Bill  so the country can put this period of surveillance and oppression behind us.  We have to stop the criminalisation of the innocent and make 'innocent until proven guilty' a meaningful phrase again.

Meanwhile, as one chain snaps another is forged as the first criminal trial without jury for over 350years  goes ahead amid fears of 'jury tampering'.
The trial will be the first crown court case in England and Wales to be heard by a judge alone using powers under Sections 44 and 46 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which came into force in July 2007.

In June, Lord Judge said the cost of measures such as police protection for jurors was too high and, in any event, might not be effective.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge aka W*nker in a Wig.

UPDATE: Spy Blog asks:  "Will this obstinate, increasingly authoritarian Government and bureaucracy, simply ignore this ECHR Judgment, like they have done with the retention of innocent people's DNA Marper case, which they lost over a year ago?

Will some (but not all), Police Constables in Uniform, Police Community Support Officers and jobswoth private security guards, continue to ignore the memos from their superiors, and continue to abuse this counterproductive legal power, to harass Photographers, Tourists, Trainspotters and even Members of Parliament ?"

Good questions; who's holding their breath?


  1. Though I sincerely disagree with the Stop and Search laws, it just leaves a very bad taste in the mouth that we have to be told by a foreign court that our domestic proceedings, and by extension our parliament, is illegal.

    This is a clear case where the ECHR is overstepping its mark and I sincerely hope the Tories pull us out of it before they start meddling anymore with our domestic treatment of Justice.

  2. Hi 13th, the court was established by the ECHR which is an international treaty - nothing to do with the EU's judiciary (that's the European Court of Justice). The ECJ sets most of our laws already and Cameron will be able to do very little about it because he doesn't have the stomach for a fight. I agree, it's a sorry state of affairs.

  3. Hi Vienna! I never said anything about the EU or the ECJ for that matter? Too much schnaps again have we?

    The ECHR was signed in 1950, Britons could use it for the first time in 1969. It came into full force in 2000 when the HRA 1997 was fully passed into law.

    Again, where did the EU come from?

  4. My mistake 13th, I thought that's what you were referring to when you said Cameron should pull us out of it. Schnapps? If only, I could do with something to warm me up.

  5. Aahh no, well not really, I was referring to the repeal of the HRA of which suggestions are on the table for withdrawing fully from the ECHR. But apparently if that happened then Grayling would resign which I would welcome.

  6. I'll believe it when it's received Royal Assent 13th! Grayling does come across as a wet blanket though doesn't he?

  7. He certainly does Vienna. The only reason why he can argue his case is that no one else know about law! When he spouts out this or that act everyone else is toothless because they dont know anything about law, why he gets to stay. Which is really pissing me off.

  8. I like Dominic Grieve for intellect, erudition and law. In this day of spin and image he might not be everyone's cup of tea but he'd be so much better than Grayling. Plus he's as straight as a die and can spell 'integrity' :-).

  9. It is a bit much when we have to rely on the ECHR to protect us from our own Police.
    Can we yet tell plod to get lost if he attemps 'stop and search S44' before the appeal ?

  10. I would! And they can whistle for DNA as well.


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