The Judgement of Jeremy

2 09 2015
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

“Jawad’s case is, I believe, a miscarriage of justice”

A miscarriage of justice; that’s how Jeremy Corbyn described the conviction of Jawad Botmeh, sentenced to 20 years in prison for terrorist offences, in a letter to Botmeh’s employer.

There is a chasm of difference between ‘miscarriage of justice’ and failing to get off on a technicality. That difference seems lost on Corbyn.

Botmeh’s conviction is discussed in a lot more detail in an earlier post – click here – but here are a few salient details: Read the rest of this entry »





Jeremy Corbyn – The Bombers’ friend

31 08 2015
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

Samar Alami

Samar Alami

Jawad Botmeh

Jawad Botmeh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much has been made of Jeremy Corbyn’s associates in recent weeks but no attention has been given so far to his  dedicated support and campaigning inside and outside parliament for, two terrorists convicted in relation to bombings which maimed 20 people in the UK. Read the rest of this entry »





International Nuisance

6 09 2013

Category; Law, Middle East, Politics

Chaos in Syria drags on, the international community struggles to work out what they should do and on what basis. There is an answer; from the English Common Law concept of Nuisance.

One of the main arguments against intervention is that there is no basis in international law to act in the internal affairs of another country without UN approval.

A doctrine of International Nuisance would create a just and legal framework for dealing with situations just like Syria. Read the rest of this entry »





The Beauty of Grey

12 06 2013

Category; Law, Politics

256px-USSupremeCourtWestFacade

©UpstateNYer

It must be tough being a US Supreme Court Justice, knowing that your application of overriding principle leads to flagrant, obvious and pitiless injustice, but that is the decision they faced recently in the case of Maryland v Kingclick here.

A rapist, caught and charged years after the offence, given away by a DNA sample collected in an entirely unrelated matter.

Was that an unreasonable search (click here), did the constitution allow such a thing or ought the conviction to be struck down, and a man who everyone knows is a rapist be set free on a point of principle? Read the rest of this entry »





Disaster and the State

13 05 2013

Category; LawMediaPolitics

© Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty

A terrible industrial disaster in Bangladesh, a building full of workshops collapses leaving more than a thousand dead (click here), and our first reaction in developed economies is to question our responsibilities as consumers and whether we should boycott the western companies who have clothing made there (click here).

It’s an example of the fact we seem to have forgotten what the state is for.

Read the rest of this entry »





Don’t Blame Starbucks

20 10 2012

Category; Finance, Law, Media, Politics

Schiuma

It’s easy to get worked into a schiuma by the revelation that Starbucks hasn’t managed to pay any corporation tax in the UK since 2009 – click here for report. Big turnover is, apparently, eaten away by expensive licensing royalties to an overseas subsidiary (Holland) of the Starbucks parent company, expensive beans bought from another overseas subsidiary (Switzerland) and then roasted by yet another overseas subsidiary (Holland).

Politicians and journalists are gleefully calling for a boycott of the company that doesn’t ‘pay it’s share’see here and here. But it’s very simple. Read the rest of this entry »





Splashing a topless Duchess

15 09 2012

Category; Law, Privacy

British newspapers are crowing that they refrained from publishing photographs of a topless Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, while a French magazine, (to use tabloid terminology) splashed them. And that despite France having criminal laws protecting privacy! (click here for article)

The British papers are doing all that refraining, and all that pointing out of the pointlessness of a privacy law, because we are in the eye of the tornado that is the Leveson enquiry. Read the rest of this entry »





Deconstructing Harry

25 08 2012

Category: Law, Media, Privacy

Same guy, different set of photos

In allowing himself to be photographed, naked, or as they’d say in Nevada, butt naked, in the high-roller suite of a Las Vegas casino, with an equally naked young woman, or as they’d say in Nevada, a hottie, whose acquaintance could be measured more in minutes than hours, Prince Harry, or as they’d say in Windsor, His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, has proven himself the heir to his great great great grandfather Edward VII (click here), and a bit of an idiot.

But should the newspapers be publishing those photos? The short answer is;  yeah, why not?

Of course, that’s not to say they needed to be published, it’s just seriously; why not? Read the rest of this entry »





Suzanne and Society

14 08 2011

Category; Criminal Law, Politics

© Getty

Someone I’ll call Suzanne was on my mind recently, while society watched, horrified, as the certainty of order disappeared.

Throughout Britain, smiling as they smashed in shops to take what they felt like or simply burn the place down, I saw lots of Suzannes.

I first met Suzanne because she’d been charged with theft. The childrens’ home she lived in, or rather was based in, had called the police after she had demanded a pound for an ice-cream and, when they had refused because of some rule infraction, she had gone and taken the pound anyway. They called the police because she took a pound. And the police came. And they arrested her. And the CPS charged her. And she was sent to court. Because she stole a pound for an ice-cream. Read the rest of this entry »





Flash Yob

13 08 2011

Category; Politics, Criminal Law

There’s an anguished debate in the UK, and much puzzled scrutiny from abroad, about the nature of the recent civil disturbances in the UK; it’s usually referred to as ‘rioting‘, but they weren’t really riots.

People can’t see past political motivation for such disorder; the Syrian Ambassador to the UN was even crowing that they mirrored what was happening in Syria – see here. Well, he would, woudn’t he…

It’s very simple. They were Flash Mobs with looting and/or destruction;  a Flash Yob.





Nice try Mr Twitter

27 05 2011

Category; Media, Law, Privacy

If the courts took the approach I recently talked about and simply used the common law to deal with the issues raised by superinjunctions it’s been suggested to me this wouldn’t cover the twitter problem…it might stop the newspapers, but it can’t stop individuals tweeting away.

Yes it can. And the head of Twitter in Europe seems to have realised that too. Tony Wang recently warned that individual users who post secrets need to watch out because the law might come after them. Read the rest of this entry »





Super Solution to Super Injunctions

24 05 2011

Category: Law, Media, Privacy

The legal earthquake over superinjunctions is the result of a number of tectonic plates crashing up against each other; European legal codes v English common law, and European privacy v Anglo-Saxon free speech.

There’s no good reason this has become such a public mess. Except that the law is not used to being hurried and lobbied and that is what has happened. A whole new, untested, area of law emerged after Max Mosley won his privacy case. The judges were thrown by this and have been struggling ever since to come up with a credible and coherent response. There is one – and it lies within longstanding English law. Read the rest of this entry »





Stay Home Sami

28 04 2011

Category: Middle East, Law, Politics

Syria finally understands the power of the international community. It has seen what happens to a state that unleashes tanks against its own people: Sami Khiyami, Syrian Ambassador to London, has had his invitation to the Royal wedding withdrawn.

KAPOW – that’s shown them not to trample on human rights. KABOOM – they’ll think twice before killing another 450 citizens.

While the West intervenes in Libya – and it is the West doing the intervening – with Syria there is a struggle to secure even measured and mumbled condemnation. Read the rest of this entry »





Rowan Laxton Speaks…

12 12 2010

Category; Rowan Laxton, Criminal Law, Anti-Semitism, Middle East

© Daily Telegraph

Professor Geoffrey Pullum has been speaking up for Rowan Laxton on his blog. It’s interesting to read the views on the subject of a distinguished American academic living in the UK especially as he’s had the benefit of a phone conversation with Laxton himself… Read the rest of this entry »





This is what a political minefield looks like

1 09 2010

Category: Law, Politics

The Equality Act is booby-trap legislation; strapped under the bridges in the closing days of Parliament as Labour retreated from power. I wrote of its awfulness soon after it had passed: bureacratic, high-minded, divisive, wasteful and corrupting

One facet of its awfulness has already been slapped in the face of the coalition government: The recent budget faces judicial review because it may not have adequately considered “what action they can take to reduce socio-economic inequalities“.

It’s surely bad form to quote myself, but here’s what I said about that duty:

How much time will that take? How much diversion from real work will be taking place while everyone at every level in public services performs back-covering exercises over everything.

How long do they have to consider it? How do they ‘consider’ it? Whose socio-economic inequalities? What priority should they have? When should that goal be compromised?

As Fraser Nelson points out in the Spectator there is a right stipulated in the Act  for absolutely anyone to seek judicial review of any of the Government Ministers, departments and key public bodies such as local authorities and NHS bodies listed in the Act.

It is a licence for legal mayhem and a seized-up executive. The scope for opponents of the government, and anyone with an axe to grind, to create governmental chaos, is absolutely, explicitly and legislatively unlimited. Read the rest of this entry »