11 September, 2008

Terrorism and the Rule of Law

This article mirrors my views on 'those who exchange a little liberty for a measure of security', especially in the context of asking stupid questions like 'is the standard of proof too high in terrorism trials'

To quote part of the article:
"Well, I “just don't get it”. I just don't get it that it was OK then for ministers, police officers and the media publicly to label as guilty men who had not been formally charged with anything (there were 24 people arrested at the time, by the way.) And I don't “get it” that it was OK this week for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to indicate immediately after the verdicts - and in terms that might prejudice the retrial they are now seeking - that they considered the defendants guilty of plotting to blow up aircraft, regardless of the verdicts of the jury.

I don't get it that it was OK for Panorama on Tuesday night to continue to refer to “the airlines plot”, despite the jury's failure to reach a verdict on whether aircraft were, in fact, involved.

The jury rightly found three men guilty of conspiracy to murder, which carries a life sentence, but that isn't enough for the authorities - the men must be convicted of a plot actually to blow aircraft out of the sky, because that is what police and politicians told everyone was being planned, and every air passenger's life was greatly disrupted as a result. This is about pride and pique, not justice. Mr Reid told Panorama: “We would have sustained the worst terrorist attack in the UK's history.” He still doesn't know that. "

"Those who would give up a little liberty to gain a little security, deserve neither and will lose both" if my memory of the full quote stands correctly.

1 comment:

Law Minx said...

Terror Laws in the UK are a big pile of very confused and smelly pooh; the Governement has never been able to get it right, and I doubt that it ever will do because it simply cannot get the balancing act between the individual and society to a point where it is even the slightest bit satisfactory.
I Dispair......