Category Archives: Law

#JulianAssange has lost #extradition fight in the High Court – but there will be an appeal

Protest: you can tell the strength of public feeling in support of Julian Assange from this image – but the law is the law, even if it is a bad one.

How ironic that a plan to extradite a public interest reporter to the United States, to face trial under extremely restrictive conditions for reporting alleged war crimes against foreign people and corruption, should have happened on Human Rights Day.

The good news is that an appeal is under way.

The US government wants to prosecute Julian Assange for 18 alleged crimes – 17 of them under a 1917 terrorism act – because his reports of these alleged US war crimes on the website Wikileaks allegedly caused risk to the lives of American military personnel.

No evidence has been brought forward to substantiate the claim. US prosecutors have admitted that they do not have any.

Bear in mind that those responsible for the alleged war crimes and corruptions have not faced any form of justice and were allowed to walk free, despite the allegations and evidence supporting them.

The US has been foiled in its attempts to bring Assange to trial for 11 years – firstly because the journalist, fearing his own life would be under threat if he was brought into US custody, fled to the UK’s Ecuadorian Embassy seeking asylum, which he received until 2019, when he was arrested for breaking UK bail by British police.

He has stayed in Belmarsh Prison for two years since then – long after his jail term for the bail offence was over – because the US had applied to extradite him and he has a history of absconding.

This has led him to suffer mental ill-health, according to his supporters.

It led a court to deny the US extradition request in January, on the grounds that his mental health would suffer much more if he were subjected to the US penal system, which is far more hostile that that in the UK. The judgement last week was on an appeal by the US government.

Meanwhile, it is understood that US secret service operatives planned to either kidnap or assassinate Assange, while he was in UK custody.

Former CIA director and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, confronted with the allegation, said the 30 sources who spoke to Yahoo News reporters “should all be prosecuted for speaking about classified activity inside the Central Intelligence Agency” – which seems to be an admission that the claims were accurate.

It seems that in 2017, US intelligence agents plotted to poison Assange. They bugged the Ecuadorian embassy in London so they could listen to meetings with his solicitors, followed Assange’s family and associates, targeted his then six-months-old baby to steal his DNA, and burgled the office of his lawyer.

Given this information, one would expect a UK court to dismiss any extradition request at once, on the basis that Assange’s life is in clear danger.

Unfortunately, the UK has a one-sided extradition treaty with the US – signed during Tony Blair’s period in office – that makes no provisions for such circumstances. Indeed, the UK must take US assurances that a suspect will not be ill-treated at face value, with no evidence requirement, and US claims cannot even be cross-examined in court.

This has been highlighted by former UK diplomat Craig Murray, who was only recently released from prison himself after being convicted on what many believe to be a trumped-up charge relating to his own journalism:

Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, also spoke powerfully about the implications:

Here’s some more information on the deal, and the Acts of Parliament that enforce it:

Once extradited to the States, it seems Assange will face a kangaroo court, rather than receiving any actual justice.

The law under which he is charged does not allow a public interest defence, meaning he cannot argue that he was holding the US government to account by publishing details of its alleged war crimes.

And as Assange is not a US citizen, it seems he would not enjoy constitutional free-speech rights.

Furthermore, the US authorities have arranged for his case to be heard in Alexandria, Virginia – home of the US intelligence services, where people cannot be excluded from a jury because they work for the US government – prompting fears that Assange will be judged by people with a vested interest in supporting their employer.

He could go to prison for 175 years, according to colleagues at Wikileaks – although the US government says the term is more likely to be between four and six years. Who do you believe?

Oh, and he could be sent to Australia to serve the term, so it’s closer to home. This would address concerns about the state of the US prison system – but has the state of Australian penal servitude been checked?

Wikileaks has also raised the wider issue of precedent – that extraditing Assange could make it possible for UK journalists to be sent all over the world to face trial for crimes in foreign countries that simply aren’t offences here.

This Writer is not convinced by the argument. The US-UK extradition deal is unique; it isn’t one that we’re offering to any despotic regime that accuses you of terrorism for looking at a photo of their dictator the wrong way.

That being said, we live in a country where Boris Johnson is the prime minister (for now) and Priti Patel is Home Secretary. The Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case shows that he will happily allow a UK citizen to rot in a foreign jail if it means he can keep some money; logically he’ll send UK citizens to foreign jails for the sake of some filthy lucre too. And she is just desperate to deport as many people as she can.

If they see this as an opportunity to clear the UK of interfering right-on lefties, then who knows what kind of carnage this will cause?

Still, there’s the appeal, which could take place on two grounds: firstly, that the leaks do not amount to an alleged crime; secondly, that the US’s diplomatic assurances aren’t worth the time it takes to speak them.

I don’t have much hope for either. The US-UK treaty means the High Court must accept the assurances at face value, and this also means that they have to honour the claim that a trial under US criminal law is justified.

It means that, as Kit Klarendon stated in his Twitter thread, Assange will be kept “in Belmarsh, his mental and physical health evaporating each day, pinballing from cell to court and back”. So perhaps the US government is having its revenge on him by alternative means.

These are dangerous times – not just for Julian Assange, but for freedom of speech and freedom from tyranny.

Without journalists holding governments to account in the public interest, dictatorial regimes – and I include the United States in that group, along with the UK, at least as far as their behaviour toward foreign nations evidences – can get away with mass murder.

And it seems we have Tony Blair to blame.

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#Tory #Covid deniers threatening civil disobedience against another #lockdown have a nasty surprise coming

Perhaps Tim missed this.

Tim Montgomerie used to be the editor of ConservativeHome, the Tory blog.

So you’d think he would have kept his finger on the pulse of current affairs a bit better, wouldn’t you?

Here he is being put straight by the ever-sharp Paul Bernal:

That’s right – and for once it was a promise that was in the Tory manifesto in 2019.

The trouble with people like Tim is they’re so entitled they don’t ever think these laws will be applied to them.

If a new lockdown happens, of course, it won’t arise from a manifesto promise; it will be a feeble attempt by Johnson to save his political bacon.

So Mr Montgomerie may be entirely justified in protesting.

He just won’t be allowed to – by a change in the law that he merrily cheerled.

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The attack on #courts and #democracy was a #Tory #manifesto promise. Didn’t you know?

RIP democracy: this image of Boris Johnson in a Hitler moustache was stuck to the door of the Conservative office in Beverley, near Hull, earlier this year.

This is nothing new:

Funny how The Times has only just learned of the Johnson government’s plan to overrule court rulings, in December 2021, when it was in the Conservative manifesto for the December 2019 general election almost two years ago!

Yes, Boris Johnson backpedalled for a little while, but that’s a classic Tory tactic; they lure you into a false feeling that everything’s going to be all right and then they stab you in the back.

If it’s good enough for them when they’re electing leaders, then they’re not going to see any reason not to do it to you. Right?

It is an offence against democracy and a step into elected dictatorship – but you knew that already because This Site told you.

So did the nearly 14 million people who voted for it. Right?

Wrong?

They didn’t know?

They just voted Tory because they wanted to get out of the European Union so badly they didn’t care what else happened over the next five years?

Oh, wow. And – hey! – The Times could have told them all about it back in 2019 but didn’t?

That’s a real shame.

It’s also the reason people are told, time and time again in their lives, to RTFM.

In this case, it means Read The F-ing Manifesto!

Too late now.

Because this is one manifesto promise that Boris Johnson is hell-bent on keeping.

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Priti Patel has stuffed her anti-protest Bill with even MORE dictatorial attacks on liberty

Priti Patel: beneath that smug smile lurks nothing but pure evil. And nearly 14 million people wholeheartedly voted for her to strip them of their human rights and liberties.

Who knew that Boris Johnson’s Tory government, elected on a landslide because it promised us “sunlit uplands” of freedom, would prove to be the greatest threat to liberty in the history of the United Kingdom?

Well… Vox Political did, obviously, because I wrote about it before the 2019 general election. Perhaps people were deterred from reading it by the constant lies about This Writer being an anti-Semite, or the lies that only the Tory-biased mass media could possibly be able to give you the facts.

At the time, I wrote: “Page 48 of the Conservative Party manifesto… states: “We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government.” It means: We will remove your right to protest against our dictatorship and if you try to stop us, we will use the police and the armed forces to PUT YOU DOWN.

“If you vote Conservative on December 12, that is what you are demanding.”

And nearly 14 million people, led by the nose by people like Laura Kuenssberg, Andrew Marr and Robert Peston, merrily voted away the hard-won liberties enjoyed by the other 54 million of us as well.

Now we find that, having already introduced dictatorial anti-protest measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last March, Home Secretary Priti Patel has apparently decided, halfway through its progress through Parliament, that it is not harsh enough and has amended it to make it even worse.

And this is a Bill that proposes outlawing protest that makes any noise or disturbs, in any way, a single person (thereby obviating the point of any protest, which is to draw attention to the issue under protest)!

Here’s Nadia Whittome with the headlines:

So “stop and search” powers, currently used by police if they have “reasonable grounds for suspecting” someone is carrying certain items or something which could be used to violate certain laws, like burglary or theft – and habitually abused by them to victimise people of colour – are being expanded, rather than restricted.

The Bill proposes that they now be used “whether or not the constable has any grounds for suspecting that the person… is carrying a prohibited object” in order to avoid “serious disruption” or a “public nuisance”. So police will be able to stop and search anybody, for any reason that comes into their heads.

Anyone obstructing a stop and search during a protest risks imprisonment for nearly a year. This is how dictatorships behave.

Two new amendments appear to be intended to stop the Insulate Britain protesters who have been supergluing themselves to roads – but the wording is so loose that it may be used indiscriminately against the general public.

So Amendment 319A creates an offence of “locking on”, or carrying equipment which might facilitate it, targeting anyone who attaches themselves to “a person, to an object or to land”. It could equally be applied to protestors who link arms during a sit-down protest, or even hold hands – or to people walking past a protest, having nothing to do with it, who just happen to be carrying a fixative of any kind. Such a person could also find him- or herself in prison for 51 weeks.

Isn’t it handy for Patel that outlawing the kind of protest carried out by Suffragettes a century ago means she’ll be able to get on and deport all those black people she hates so much, without being stopped by people blocking the road outside detention centres. She knew what she was doing.

And then there’s the new ASBO for people who want to protest against Tory dictatorship:

The most far-reaching and alarming part of the legislation is called an SDPO, or Serious Disruption Prevention Order. It is one of the most egregious assaults on individual freedom we’ve seen in modern legislation.

An SDPO is basically a protest Asbo. It can be imposed on anyone convicted of a “protest-related offence”. This category alone is extremely broad. It potentially applies, under the provisions of the bill itself, to the examples above – possessing superglue near a demonstration, or holding hands during a protest.

even that is not enough. Amendment 342M.2.iii allows it to be imposed on people whose activities “were likely to result in serious disruption”. In other words, you do not even have to have been convicted of a crime. You do not even need to have caused disruption. It’s enough that you might have.

Once the order is imposed, it eradicates your rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Those under an order can be forced to report to the authorities whenever the courts demand it, as often as they demand it. They must “present themselves to a particular person at a particular place at… particular times on particular days”.

They can also be prohibited from being at a certain place, or possessing certain items, or participating in certain activities, or socialising with certain people, for up to two years. They can be blocked from using the internet to “encourage” people to “carry out activities related to a protest”. Someone who used their social media account to promote a demonstration could be found in breach of the order. The SDPOs are a full-scale assault on the individual’s human rights. And they can apply even if they’ve never been convicted of a crime.

So that’s be it for This Writer; I have written in support of many protests in the past, including those attacking Tory government crimes against liberty.

And if the people who voted this dictatorship saw reports of protesters being jailed under these proposed new powers, what do you think they’d say?

They would say the protesters – or innocent bystanders – deserved it because their protest was against the law – as though it always had been.

These people never seem to learn from their mistakes.

Imagine their surprise and shock when the Tories take their houses away from them to pay for social care (or name any other recent Tory attack on poor/working class people) and they feel the same law applied to them when they try to oppose it.

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Jodey Whiting had an incurable condition. Why did the DWP try to force her into a benefit reassessment?

Death by DWP: Jodey Whiting.

This is a good question – triggered in This Writer’s mind by a reference to a different case.

Please read the following Twitter thread, which was prompted by a tweet referring to the death of DWP benefit claimant Philippa Day:

Yes, why does the DWP force people with incurable or terminal conditions to prove that they still have a lifelong disability or are still dying?

Reading those words, I thought about Jodey Whiting. She had a number of disabilities, including scoliosis which – as far as I can tell – is an incurable condition that requires constant treatment for the length of the sufferer’s life. If untreated, it could be life-threatening.

So it was pointless to demand that she attend a work capability assessment, because it was impossible for her condition to have improved. It could only worsen.

There is an argument that a WCA could take place to ascertain whether a claimant’s payments should increase – but that cannot be used as justification in Ms Whiting’s case because her benefits were stopped.

The DWP’s Green Paper on Disability, released in July this year (2021), acknowledges that it is pointless to keep reassessing people with lifelong and/or terminal conditions and proposes the creation of a Severe Disability Group (SDG). People put in this group would not have to face reassessment.

If the DWP is admitting that it is unreasonable for people with lifelong conditions to face constant reassessment now, then it would also be unreasonable to suggest that they should have faced constant reassessment in February 2017, when Ms Whiting took her own life.

Strangely, this does not seem to have been considered by the High Court when it rejected an appeal for a second inquest into Ms Whiting’s death, last month (October).

I wonder why the court did not consider that the absence of necessity for the assessment that led to Ms Whiting’s benefits being cut was a material consideration in her case.

There’s now a second appeal for another inquest. Perhaps the point could be made this time around?

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Fresh application lodged for second Jodey Whiting inquest. What does the DWP have to hide?

Death by DWP: Jodey Whiting.

A second application has been lodged for permission to appeal against a decision not to allow a second inquest into the death of Jodey Whiting.

Mother Joy Dove has made the application after an earlier attempt was refused by the High Court on October 11.

The High Court had previously found that new evidence that had been discovered since the first inquest did not require a fresh inquest to be held in the interests of justice.

Ms Whiting died in February 2017 after the DWP withdrew her benefits for not attending a Work Capability Assessment.

At the time of the assessment, she was housebound with pneumonia after having been in hospital, and had found out that she had a cyst on the brain.

The permission to appeal application is brought on the grounds the High Court was wrong in that finding, and that it was also wrong to find that Article 2 of the Human Rights Act, the right to life, was not engaged by the circumstances of Ms Whiting’s death.

Ms Dove said:

“It seems to me that there were obvious failings in the way the DWP treated Jodey, which were proved and documented by the Independent Case Examiner, and it is ridiculous that this has not been fully and publicly investigated.

“How can lessons be learned, and future tragedies prevented, if no one examines this properly?”

Merry Varney, of law firm Leigh Day added:

“The possible link between the DWP making repeated errors in the handling of Jodey’s welfare benefits claim shortly before her death, which left her without income, housing benefit and council tax benefit, and her death has never been publicly investigated.

“Having obtained the Attorney-General’s permission to apply to the High Court for a second inquest, it is disappointing the High Court rejected our client’s application on all grounds and we hope the Court of Appeal will allow her the opportunity to overturn this decision.”

Ms Whiting took her own life on February 21, 2017, after being told that her Employment and Support Allowance payments would stop, along with associated Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit payments, because she had not attended a work capability assessment.

Ms Varney, commenting on the case earlier, had said: “Jodey had requested a home visit for the WCA as she rarely left the house because of her severely poor health. She suffered multiple physical and mental health difficulties, took 23 tablets a day and was entirely dependent on welfare benefits.

“She had made in clear in her request for a home WCA that she had “suicidal thoughts a lot of the time and could not cope with work or looking for work”.

“After Jodey’s death, an inquest was held three months later, 24 May, 2017, which lasted less than an hour. The coroner declined to consider the potential role of the DWP and their acts or omissions in Jodey’s death. Jodey’s family were unrepresented and were unaware that they may have been entitled to publicly funded legal representation.

“After the inquest a report by an Independent Case Examiner concluded that the DWP had made multiple significant errors in how it treated Jodey. Some of the failings had not been known to Jodey’s family, who were horrified to learn how many failings had occurred in the handling of Jodey’s benefits.

“The opinion of an independent Consultant psychiatrist, sought by Jodey’s family, confirmed that the DWP’s failings would probably have had a substantial effect on Jodey’s mental state at the time she took her own life.

“Joy argues that the manner in which Jodey was treated by the DWP, and in particular the withdrawal of her ESA, caused or materially contributed to her death and that, had this not occurred, Jodey’s death would not have occurred when it did.”

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Backlash against ‘subjective’ Online Harms Bill may harm policing of social media trolls

Who would have thought the Online Harms Bill could reverse the roles of the aggressor and the victim in social media abuse?

A plan to base prosecution of online trolls on subjective judgements by lawyers could derail a perfectly good law.

The Times has reported on changes to the planned Online Harms Act:

Trolls could face two years in prison for sending messages or posting content that causes psychological harm under legislation targeting online hate.

Ministers will overhaul communication laws by creating new offences in the forthcoming Online Safety Bill, the flagship legislation to combat abuse and hatred on the internet.

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has accepted recommendations from the Law Commission for crimes to be based on “likely psychological harm”.

The proposed law change will shift the focus on to the “harmful effect” of a message rather than if it contains “indecent” or “grossly offensive” content, which is the present basis for assessing its criminality.

A new offence of “threatening communications” will target messages and social media posts that contain threats of serious harm.

The sticking-point is the issue of “likely psychological harm”. Nothing else in the article is new – and This Writer has already supported much of what is planned.

I can’t support a clause that allows conviction based on nothing but wishful thinking.

How would a lawyer gauge “likely psychological harm”? Would they seek reports from medical experts? Would they examine the effect of the messages on their victim? Or would they just take the word of a social media user who may be a good actor with their own axe to grind?

It’s too subjective; it’s wide open to abuse.

The benchmark for criminal prosecution must always be harm that a person has definitely suffered – that can be proved by showing evidence. It can’t be based on hearsay or the wild claims of someone who makes a profession out of being offended.

So, for instance, the teenage girl in Rachel Riley’s libel case against me had genuine anxiety issues that, it could be argued, had been worsened by the dogpiling she suffered as a result of her Twitter encounters with Riley; she was terrified of leaving her home alone for a period of months afterwards.

If this law had been in force at the time – without the subjective element – I am satisfied that it would have been possible to show the harm that had been done.

The fear with the new measure is that it will allow people with a political axe to grind – most probably right-wingers, as usual – to victimise others by claiming psychological injury from social media posts that simply engage in robust debate.

See what I mean?

And note how The Times misrepresented the story; Twitter ‘pile-ons’ (more properly known as dogpiles) were already going to be criminalised before the subjective element was added in.

We all got the point:

Even a former Conservative chairman and Brexit minister has come out against this offence to justice: David Davis.

According to Sky News:

Mr Davis criticised the bill as “a good example of the best of intentions leading to the worst of outcomes” and warned that it was “a censor’s charter” as a result.

He warned that as the law is backed up by fines potentially stretching into billions of pounds for companies that fail to tackle this content, they will err on the side of caution.

“You can be sure that in any area of controversy – political issues, culture wars, or even COVID science – there will be plenty of people complaining and demanding a post be taken down.

“And with Silicon Valley mega corporations as arbiters of the truth, anything that appears online and can be characterised by someone as misinformation could be censored.

“The chilling effect on free speech will be terrible,” he added.

Still, being British, we can laugh at it:

We laugh because it’s funny, and we laugh because it’s probably true. It shows how low the UK government has fallen.

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Fascism looms as Raab threatens to ‘correct’ court judgments

One rule for him: remember, Dominic Raab is the Tory minister who couldn’t be bothered to return to work from holiday when Kabul fell. He breaks government rules habitually yet presumes to lecture us on the law.

Remember: this is what the UK voted for:

It is fascism: “Disdain for human rights.”

Dominic Raab has decided that if human rights judges in the UK make decisions that he doesn’t like, he will override them in blatant disregard of the rule of law.

This is what the UK voted for.

In a blatant rhetorical reversal of what actually happens, he has said that he would stop “judicial legislation” – that is, judges making UK law. But they don’t; they never have. They simply apply the law of the land to individual cases. Stopping this would be breaking the law.

You see, so-called “case law” – legal precedents set by judges – are only examples of the way the law should be interpreted when applied to particular situations, to be followed if such situations arise again in order to avoid contradiction and confusion. They are not situations in which judges take legislative power for themselves and Raab is lying by suggesting that.

But this is what the UK voted for.

He said he wanted to stop the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg from dictating law to the UK, but…

But his plan is what the UK voted for.

Human rights lawyer Jessica Simor QC said that Raab’s plan would have an effect opposite to what he was suggesting, because it would mean

more complaints going to Strasbourg and more rulings against the UK, unless the government intended to pull Britain out of the European Convention on Human Rights altogether, which would be “a step into a dark place for this country and the world”

But if that happened, it’s what the UK voted for.

The former head of the government’s legal service, Jonathan Jones, said:

As parliament is already able to legislate to correct flaws in the law, it appeared Mr Raab was trying to use a new mechanism to allow ministers to take this step without obtaining MPs’ approval.

In other words: dictatorship.

It’s what the UK voted for.

Cambridge professor of public law Mark Elliott pointed to a recent Supreme Court ruling, saying that allowing a minister to overrule a decision of the judiciary simply because he did not agree with it would cut across “principles that are fundamental components of the rule of law”.

It’s what the UK voted for.

“If that is what is in contemplation, then that is profoundly problematic,” said Prof Elliott. “Indeed it turns constitutional principle on its head.

“Ministerial power to do this would itself be deeply troubling. It would reassign a basic judicial role – interpreting the law – to ministers.

“Ultimately, this all strikes me as part of a project to enhance executive supremacy by treating courts, whether foreign or domestic, as unwelcome interlopers.

“And yet all of this masquerades as an attempt to protect parliament. The reality of this executive power project, as we might call it, is that it will be the executive that is the principal beneficiary of such changes, and the loser will be basic standards of good governance.”

It’s what the UK voted for.

But he is what the UK voted for.

Did anybody know? This Writer made clear what was going to happen in articles published before the 2019 election but I don’t have the reach of the mass media organisations who were screaming at everyone to vote Tory or else face a future of horrific Communism under Jeremy Corbyn.

It seems that, faced with such an onslaught, many people voted without thinking.

And isn’t that exactly how the Hitlers and Mussolinis of the 20th century took power?

Source: Raab threat to ‘correct’ court judgments is ‘deeply troubling’, warn legal experts | The Independent

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Priti Patel’s planned immunity for officials who cause deaths of refugees is NAZISM

Nazi: Patel wants Border Force staff who cause the deaths of refugees to be immune from prosecution. What’s the defence – that they’re “just following orders”? That was what the Nazis said too.

Somebody has already called it fascism, but in fact this is Nazism:

According to The Guardian,

Border Force staff who enact Priti Patel’s plans to “push back” migrant boats in the Channel could be given immunity from conviction if a refugee dies, officials have confirmed.

The home secretary is seeking to introduce a provision in the nationality and borders bill that could give officials legal protections in the event that someone drowns.

Whether the provision, tucked away in an obscure corner of the bill, would actually protect officers from conviction under international maritime laws could be tested in the courts.

Presumably their defence will be “I was just following orders”.

Wait – where have we heard that before?

Ah yes: Nuremberg. It was the defence put forward by German soldiers responsible for Nazi atrocities like the Holocaust.

And we know it:

Still, there is a precedent. After all, government employees have been immune from prosecution over the deaths of sick and disabled people for years.

Apparently people are being discouraged from pointing out the obvious far-right, Nazi parallels – so kudos to this Twitter user who accurately labels Home Secretary Priti Patel, the fiend responsible for this move:

If this legislation is enacted and people die, she should be dragged out for trial in The Hague – and I, for one, would be quite happy to see her sentenced to execution.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Priti Patel’s borders bill is an attack on national and international law

“Turn back the boats,” said Patel. She didn’t tell the Tory faithful that she was lying to them about how it would be done.

She doesn’t stop, does she?

And it should be no surprise that Priti Patel is misleading Parliament over her new Borders Bill.

Its stated intention, according to her, is to make the asylum system fairer, deter illegal entry to the UK, and remove people with no right to be in the country.

However, legal advice commissioned by the human rights group Freedom from Torture takes a different view:

The report states:

“This bill represents the biggest legal assault on international refugee law ever seen in the UK.

“The principle at the heart of the bill is the penalisation, both criminally and administratively, of those who arrive by irregular means in the UK to claim asylum and the bill seeks to reverse a number of important decisions of the UK courts, including at the House of Lords and court of appeal level, given over the last 20 years.”

Anyone arriving in the UK by an illegal route, such as by a small boat across the Channel, could have their claim ruled as inadmissible, receive a jail sentence of up to four years, have no recourse to public funds, and could have their family members barred from joining them.

The inadmissibility regime outlined in the bill is potentially in breach of articles 31 and 33 of the UN refugee convention as well as articles 2, 3 and 4 of the European convention on human rights (ECHR).

The two-tier asylum system that the government plans to introduce means that those arriving by “irregular means” such as boats will be granted fewer rights, the barristers said, which would be inconsistent with the refugee convention and the ECHR.

“The basis for the attack on irregular arrival is that refugees should use safe legal routes. But there are no such safe legal routes. There is no such thing as a refugee visa,” they said.

Plans to send those claiming asylum to offshore centre would breach three articles of the ECHR, three of the articles of the refugee convention, the report said, while plans to “fast-track” cases with an expedited, accelerated appeals process would risk unfairness under common law as well as articles 2, 3, 4, 8 and 13 of the EHCR.

The Home Office has rejected the criticism. It would.

So the Bill seeks to overturn UK case law, the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Refugee Convention – and states that people should use safe legal routes that Patel knows perfectly well do not exist, so she’s a double liar to Parliament.

And for once, somebody else has said it. How refreshing to be merely reporting someone else picking holes in Tory lies for a change!

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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