back to article New Labour bring old Nuremberg Laws to Britain

Police officers could find themselves on the wrong end of a citizen’s arrest if they follow advice issued by Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, after the European Court of Human Rights slapped the UK's stop and search laws. According to government lawyers, however, so long as officials are "only obeying orders", there is little the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Flame

    Sir

    Someone, somewhere, knows exactly what they are doing.

    The incompetents supposedly in charge of this country are traitors by enshrining this barbaric principle in law.

    1. Cameron Colley

      The problem is that most of the population like it.

      If you ask most of the population what they think of stop and search under section 44, for instance, they reply with the usual "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" response. While it seems like most on El Reg are becoming increasingly worried by this government and their increasingly fascistic laws most of the population aren't worried at all, it would seem.

      1. Adam Salisbury
        Coat

        Correction

        Most of the population are too busy with football, soaps and reality TV to care about this kind of thing. When they wake up to the police state they'll wonder how on earth this was allowed to happen.

        Mine's the one tickets off this totalitarian, facsist rock in the pocket

        1. Bassey
          Flame

          Really?

          > Mine's the one tickets off this totalitarian, facsist rock in the pocket

          Really? Or, like 99% of the commentators on here, are you just talking big whilst sitting in front of your monitor doing feck all. It's amazing the amount of noise you lot make about fascist states, infringement of civil liberties blah blah talk talk.

          There seems to be a major lacking in the trouser department, though.

          Who's worse? The opressors? The mindless sheep you all complain so bitterly about, who are so obsessed with the X-Factor they have no idea they're being opressed? Or is it the (allegedly) intelligent, aware minority who sit on their lardy arses all day, whining, moaning, bitching, criticising and doing fuck all?

          Ever stood for election? Bothered to create a protest group? Organised a march? Walked further than the fridge and back? Thought not. Useless moaning gits the lot of you.

          1. Cameron Colley

            It's hard to do anything when you're shouted down.

            As I mentioned in my post, people actually don't care -- personally I'm sick of being called a tinfoil hat wearer when trying to raise awareness of this kind of thing. Most of us know what happens to protesters -- and if you were to try and encourage anti-government protests and thinking you'd end up in jail as a terrorist. I think history illustrates the futility of protesting against oppressive regimes without the support of a good many people throughout the system.

            To put it another way -- if "the man in the street" cared about this stuff when told then, yes, I'd probably have formed a protest group -- but seeing as nobody cards that's a hard thing to do.

            Might I, in turn, ask what you have done? If you've done something then let us know so we can help -- if you've not then kindly fuck off and die because, by your own reasoning, you're complicit in this government's plans.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              This kind of thing

              I rather suspect what you have to do, is die.

          2. heyrick Silver badge
            Grenade

            Up off *my* fat lazy ass.

            @Bassey.

            You know what? I can watch this debate unfold and I can make comments (mostly preaching to the converted, mind you) but "at the end of the day" I don't give a crap about it. I left that sorry excuse for a country nearly a decade ago and I thought things were pretty poorly then. My new country isn't perfect, but the nonsense taking place in the UK isn't here... yet?

            Should everybody leave? That's up to each individual. Just make sure you make your mind up while it is still an option.

            Should you stand for election? How _YOU_ tried that? If it was as easy as pie then there would be plenty of people standing for whatever policies they think will change the world.

            How _YOU_ created a protest group? If so, that's good, you might as well hand them a list of dissenters.

            Have _YOU_ organised a march? Have you even taken part in one? Look, all the friendly dissenters gathered together. How convenient.

            The country is going to hell and the mass populace are either too dim to join the dots, or too apathetic to care as long as they get their regular scheduled televisual-drivel.

            I left. You can argue that I'm not helping the situation by bailing. That's probably true, but since nobody seems to give a damn, I'm looking after myself first. My life here is much better than my life in the UK. I'm _GLAD_ I left.

            What have _YOU_ done?

  2. JimC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    > SOmeone, somewhere, knows exactly...

    Never ascribe to malice what can satisfactorily be explained by incompetence...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    Cavity Search for you Guvnr?

    "Continue as instructed" -- pfft

    Look he's got a camera in his bum -- Cavity search is OKguvnr!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      KInd'a right, but not quite

      The underlying problem is that the charter of human rights is a full and finished system. It is not a jumble sale where one can pick-n-mix the rights they like and do not like.

      UK has not accepted some of the most fundamental rights in this charter including the right to remain innocent until proven guilty and this has been clearly done _ON_ _PURPOSE_.

      Which by the way means that UK is not in a "moral right" position to hassle anyone anywhere about human rights. It should shut until it actually gives them to its own cittizens.

    2. Falanx
      Stop

      RE: Malice

      For far too long people have been quoting that expression ass-backwards and infinitely wrong.

    3. TimNevins

      SOmeone, somewhere, knows exactly

      No.No.No.

      That may apply occasionally in a social or individual scenario. When Govts decisions like this are being passed daily and consistently it becomes apparent this is not incompetence but forethought and deliberate.

      Otherwise all dictators (and leaders of the free world)can claim imcompetence.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    One rule for them, another for the rest of us

    "We are considering the judgment and will seek to appeal. Pending the outcome of this appeal, the police will continue to have these powers available to them"

    Dear Mr Johnson,

    Following my conviction for paedophilia and related offences of child molestation I am disappointed that the court has banned me from having any contact with children. I am considering the judgement and will seek to appeal. Pending the outcome of this appeal, I shall continue to interfere with children as I feel fit.

    I trust you will have no objection to this situation and will sanction my action in this respect or it will show you to be a complete and contemptible hypocrite.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    "designated areas"?

    Of course, we are not allowed to know where these designated areas are, in order to discourage us from taking pictures of plod's misdeeds anywhere.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Won't be long...

    ... before jack-boots kicking in your door of a morning is a common occurance because the state doesn't like your way of life.

  7. Ben Rosenthal
    Big Brother

    what are we fighting a war for,

    if terrorism has won anyway?

    Bits of kids are being sent to die for no good reason.

    Next step, Brown/Palpatine will introduce a new clone army and then we're all well and truly donald ducked!

  8. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    I would like to make a serious point but...

    ...instead...

    "According to Robert Brown, a partner with specialist criminal law firm Corker Binning"

    Can we give Corker Binning the 2010 prize for best name of a Law firm ever!

    Paris, cos she knows a Corker when she sees one!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Gotta love Brown's Britain!

    So basically Broon's Blackshirts are welcome to do whatever they like, regardless of the European laws. Nice!

    Welcome to the UK 21st Century, there are only two laws:

    1. You do as you are told or else!

    2. You obey all the laws!

  10. The BigYin

    Can we...

    ...place these cretins under Civilian's Arrest right now? Surely the Home Office guidance is asking people to break the law (as found by the EU), isn't that itself a crime?

    The EU, by and large, if full of corrupt assholes; is a sad day when you have to turn to them for protection.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Bonkers

    I would expect government departments to stop and think (or at least have some expensive advisor who will stop and think) why they are getting such resistance from both UK and EU law.

    Has it even crossed their mind that what they are trying to do is against human rights or is it just a matter of getting what they want regardless of implications to the public they're supposed to protect?!

    Terrorism is just a PR campaign really, there are 1000-fold more people dying from other (much) more mundane things, e.g. fast moving bikes. So why sacrifice so much in terms of human rights, time and money for something quite insignificant really?

    I believe the answer is that there needs to be "a baddie", to keep the war machine well oiled. So we end up paying it every time we go to the airport (at least 1 hr lost each way for "security") , when we get new ID documents (lengthy delays for checks there as well), etc etc.

    And as you can see from the Iraq enquiry, they can well get away with it all.

    1. Rhyd

      It's good...

      ...but not as good as Wright Hassall

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      For your convenience

      Door locks will be outlawed. That is all.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Jobsworthy

        Not quite...

        That's not quite the case. I refer you to section 4.2 of Code of practice B of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984):

        When a person has been arrested for an indictable offence, a police officer has power under PACE, section 32 to search the premises where the person was arrested or where the person was immediately before being arrested.

        An indictable offence is one that is traillable on indictment - i.e. at the crown court. These are major offences like murder, rape, fraud, serious theft, burglary etc.

    4. Colin Miller

      EU!=ECHR

      > "... break the law (as found by the EU) .. "

      Except that the ECHR is not part of the EU (or the EC etc).

      The UK was a founder and major propoent of the ECHR when it was created, but "forgot" to ratify it into the UK domestic legal systems (until a few years ago).

      This meant that UK residents couldn't use the ECHR in courts in the UK, unlike most other ECHR member countries.

      Thus the case would got all the way to the Law Lords, and then get relief in the ECHR. Now the case can be tried under the ECHR laws at any court in the UK, as was always the way in other ECHR member countries.

    5. Nigel Whitfield.

      It's not the EU

      It's the ECHR, which is the highest court for those who are signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights - something that, in more enlightened times, Britain played a major part in drawing up.

      The ECHR is not part of the EU, though having the E word in there often confuses Daily Mail types and makes them froth just that little bit more.

      1. JohnG Silver badge

        ECHR & EU, Repeal of the Human Rights Act

        "The UK was a founder and major propoent of the ECHR when it was created, but "forgot" to ratify it into the UK domestic legal systems (until a few years ago)."

        Maybe but Council of Europe members (the UK was a founding member) are bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights are binding on member states. Whilst the court has no direct means to enforce judgements, they could expel member states who do not comply.

        This may be irrelevant when the EU ratifies the European Convention on Human Rights, as it will then apply to all EU member states and be applicable in the European Court of Justice.

        In the meantime, if you want the Human Rights Act to be repealed, you'll have to vote Conservative.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      mofo.com

      Currently representing Novell against SCO iirc

    7. PsychicMonkey
      Stop

      @"designated areas"?

      we all know where the "designated areas" are. England & Wales.

    8. Paul RND*1000

      Perpetual war

      "I believe the answer is that there needs to be "a baddie", to keep the war machine well oiled."

      while (1984) {

      print ("We are at war with Eastasia!");

      print("We are at war with Eurasia!");

      }

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      New Labour's New Britain

      A Human Rights Act which means you're obliged to comply with the State's violations of your own human rights in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights?

      That's New Labour's New Britain.

  12. Martin Lyne

    Tool?

    "Important tool" is it?

    How many times has it been deployed successfully against a terrorist? How many times has it been used to waste bystanders' time?

    I'd be interested in facts, for a change.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    erck

    I think I feel a bit sick.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Welcome back the Third Reich.....

    ...we missed you!!!!

    Seriously so I am asked to breach some poor bods Human Rights and as long as it is proven I was ordered to do so I am not responsible and nor is my boss. Right.....

    No fear in this country from jackbooted thugs kicking in your doors because you like your freedom of speech then. New Labour? New Riech more like.

    Where's the Gordo/Harman Hitler/Eva Braun icon?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is it i have to obey any laws?

    Given that the people who make the laws for me, themselves pick and choose which laws they agreed to are to be followed.

    Given that we are governed by elected citizens (who are legally the same as me i.e. not a king or anything), then i should have the same right to pick and choose which laws i want to follow surely?

    AC of course

  16. ShaggyDoggy

    Appeal

    "Pending the outcome of this appeal, the police will continue to have these powers available to them"

    Isn't it more usual that, pending appeal, powers are NOT used, in case at the appeal stage the ruling is upheld.

    Oh wait ....

  17. Aldous
    Grenade

    i was stop n searched yesterday...

    at the local rail station the copper even said "you may have seen in the metro that these search's have been declared illegal but they arn't and thats why we are doing them" apparently they were stopping every other person with backpacks. given that it was a stop under "articles relating to terrorisim" and that i had my laptop in my bag that i didn't want seized and sent into the forensics queue for two years i let them do it.

    just a simple back pack search of the main compartment missing the perscription drugs i had in the front compartment (i have a valid perscription so not illegal for me) as well as the multitool i carry (i was wearing my biking jacket the fscker is prone to rattling things loose :) ) which had a blade in it ! complete waste of time and obviously throwing the weight around but i guess i look good on the statistics as a white male (round hear its normally black/asian that get tugged).

    btw british transport police not the local police force either, grenade because i could fit 6 in the pockets and compartments thaat they didn't search lol

  18. Richard 81

    Eep

    This kind of s**t gets you invaded in the name of spreading democracy. If North Sea oil were actually under our soil it would have happened already.

    Ah sod it. Time for a sandwich.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blade

      A blade is legal provided it's less than three inches long and doesn't flick open. Swiss army knives and most multi-tool knives are OK, legally speaking, although whether plod accepts that might be a different matter.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Sick Perversion

      What strikes me as the really sick perversion implicit in the Human Rights Act is that we, the potential victims of such human rights violations, can end up required, by law, to comply with the State's violations of our own human rights!

      This aspect of the Human Rights Act is morally disgusting.

      It is surely proof that this Labour government is not merely bad, but truly evil. Perverting the very substance of the Human Rights Act to allow the State to lawfully violate our human rights, and to allow the State to require us to comply with such violations, really is absolutely despicable.

      It means that if they were to legislate to send some section of society to the gas chambers, even though it would be a clear violation of human rights, the victims themselves could still be legally required to knowingly walk to their own deaths. What kind of Human Rights Act is it that allows the State to compel victims to actively participate in the gross violation of their own rights?

      Perhaps some suitable opposition MP (a Lib Dem?) could turn that into a suitable question of principle to ask the government, perhaps during Prime Minister's Questions, or when the Home Secretary Alan Johnson is answering questions.

      1. Wayne
        Flame

        Most multi-tools are NOT legal

        You're wrong about many multi-tools sadly, because their blades lock open and an action is required to be able to fold them closed.

        It is illegal to carry a Leatherman or Gerber multi-tool in England without a good and valid reason, and people have been successfully convicted for this.

      2. The Original Ash
        Stop

        If you don't know for a fact, don't say anything at all.

        Maybe in 1997 that was true, but the law was changed AGES ago.

        It is illegal to carry an "offensive weapon" in public. What is an offensive weapon? Any item which can be used to cause harm or injury to another person. What is the stipulation to this identification? That you may carry "tools of your trade." A wrench being carried in the street by a person out shopping is an offensive weapon. A wrench being carried by a plumber on his way to a job is a "tool of the trade."

        The multi-tool is shaky ground; There are plenty of bike-related multi-tools available without blades. A blade is not required for any bicycle repair or maintenance.

    3. peter 45
      FAIL

      And other "stop just because we can" includes....

      Being caught up the the biggest snarl up in the Crawley one way system during rush-hour. 45 minutes later got to the police car at the front of the queue and looked in vain for the acident. Nice police woman asked "were you drinking last night Sir". Told her no, and went on my way. The police themselves were the sole reason for bringing the whole town centre to a shuddering halt.

      Thing was, if I had answered yes or she had smelt drink on my breath, there was nowhere to pull over safely to be tested, and no-other Police anywhere near to do the testing.

      Conclusion. They were not stopping anyone to actually catch people over the limit, but just to remind people that they could be caught if they happed to drink too much the night before. Security theatre at its very best. Thank you mister policeman for reminding me of that fact. It only caused me to be 45 minutes late for work.

      I can just hear the justification of " We are only doing this to keep the streets safe. Its for your own good you know." I might accept it if they were actually trying to catch people over the limit, but this was just a big PR exercise. How do we charge the Police with wasting my time?

  19. lukewarmdog
    Badgers

    Peh

    This pathetic soon to be ex-government should be forced to stop talking / doing anything. They know they're at the end of their term and seem to think it's fine just to talk complete bollocks until May.

    It really doesn't matter what they think the law is, what they say the law is or what they hope the law might be. They can win their legal battles in every single UK court they see fit, if Europe overturns it then that's it. Someone get one of those gagging orders and just apply it to the whole government, please.

    Time to go and get arrested for nothing then retire on the court case payout.

  20. Nigel Callaghan Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    How effective is this?

    "Stop and search under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is an important tool in a package of measures in the on-going fight against terrorism."

    Are figures available on how many people have actually been convicted of terrorism offences following an initial arrest after incriminating material was found on them during a stop-and-search in London under section 44?

  21. xeremy

    Nuremberg Laws

    You know the Nuremberg Laws were the anti-Jewish race laws enacted by the Nazis in 1935, and not directly related to the Nuremberg Trials?

  22. Gideon 1
    Go

    ACPO guidance?

    ACPO guidance is that photographers etc should NOT be arrested, so police officers arresting them would not be following orders, and so be liable to prosecution.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OTOH, to run the problem on its head

    If a police officer is clearly taking the pi$$ in stopping someone for taking photographs, one could perform a citizen's arrest on suspicion the officer in question is in fact impersonating a police officer (especially if there are clearly no reasonable grounds for suspicion or if the officer "appears" to be attempting to receive good by deception)....

  24. Neal 5

    Get the ID card then

    2400 people have already, surely they can't be the only non terrorists in the UK?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      Your a citizen

      The hurdle for a citizen to make a lawful arrest is huge. Something like you have to be able to prove that the person did the crime.

      This is entirely different from police making an arrest: they only have to suspect that a crime has been committed. They don't need proof either that the crime was actually committed nor that you had anything to do with it.

      The police have *enormous* powers but rather than holding them to higher standards (e.g. doubling the sentence of any bent cops that get caught) they get to take early retirement.

      Posting using my real name because I ain't a coward.

    3. Jimbo 6

      You are correct

      It's actually the Nuremberg _Principles_ which are being swept aside

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Govt ignoring Nuremberg principles again

        Remember this one, for example:

        "To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

    4. Trevor Watt

      why do I need a title when replying......

      When I pointed out elsewhere that the total SUSPECTED terrorist arrests that came about by items discovered during a S44 search where less than 4 in 100,000 searches (no convictions that I am aware of though), a nice police officer pointed out to me that that was because S44 was to deter terrorists or those with terrorist ambitions from entering sensitive areas, then QED, the low detection rates proved the deterrent was working!

      The vast majority of arrests resulting from an S43/44 search are under PACE for drugs and (offensive) weapons offences.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Elephant repellent

        This 'ere elephant repellent spray works wonders. I've been using it for years and in that whole time never once been trampled by any angry elephants.

        Vote for me, then do what my jackbooted minions tell you to do and I'll give you all the elephant repellent you could ever need, so you will be safe from the elephants. Yes, I know it smells quite bad, but that's the point. Elephants don't like the stink either.

    5. Danny 14 Silver badge

      indeed

      this was initially on record on BB1 breakfast too.

    6. Robert Brockway
      Linux

      Don't even go there

      As a former police officer I have to say: Don't try to make a citizens arrest on a police officer. If you really suspect they may not be a real PO then ask to see their ID. A real PO will provide you with sufficient opportunity to establish their position.

      If you disagree with the actions of a PO fight them in court. On the street they have all the power - court is a much more even playing ground.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Very Uneven Playing Field!

        "If you disagree with the actions of a PO fight them in court. On the street they have all the power - court is a much more even playing ground."

        So, on the street, where we're not paying for lawyers, etc, the police have "all the power". But in court, with costs to deal with, paperwork to complete, all the time and effort required, etc, only then is it a "much more even playing ground".

        Er, by that point, it's already very, very far from being anything like an "even playing ground"!

        This is a huge part of the problem with things as they are these days. The State's burden has been lightened considerably - it's so much easier to act, to arrest, to enter buildings, etc, without specific warrants, and so on. But in order to even reach some kind of "even playing ground", in order to get something like proper judicial oversight, the ordinary member of the public has to go to considerable lengths in comparison.

        Significant amounts of time, effort and money are required, where it has to be more like a committed crusade, since it can take months or years (as in the human rights cases in this article). In comparison, those acting on behalf of the State are getting paid for their time and effort, with the State - or, rather, the public collectively - bearing the costs of the State's actions. And often the lower courts (or whoever the overseeing authorities happen to be) are limited to only making sure that the letter of the relevant procedures were followed by those acting on behalf of the State.

        Yes, in the end, after years of effort and lots of time and money, costs might end up getting awarded to us ordinary members of the public. But even when that happens, it's still the State - or, rather, the public collectively - paying. And this is all in contrast with "on the street", where the police have "all the power".

        And you think that constitutes "a much more even playing ground"!

        Don't you realise that this bigger picture is just the kind of gross disparity between citizen and state that actually makes direct and subversive action (of the kind you're advising against) increasingly attractive in contrast with doing it "properly" in the way you recommend? If direct, subversive action ends up being the cheaper, quicker, easier way of taking action, then more and more people will consider taking that kind of approach.

        When the option of fighting on an even field requires scaling a remote, high mountain to first reach that plateau, it's no surprise when the urban guerrilla chooses to fight subversively on the streets of Tooting instead. (That's a metaphor, by the way, in reference to popular sitcom Citizen Smith. I'm not actually seeking to incite criminal activity with that metaphor.)

        POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

        (Where's the Citizen Smith icon? Or even just Che Guevara.)

      2. Malcolm Boura 2

        Identification of police

        There is only one way to verify the identity of a police officer beyond reasonable doubt. Phone the police station and ask. Since the number is probably not readily available then that means 999. Do you know what police id looks like well enough to detect a forgery? A uniform is a bit better but they have been faked/hired/stolen on occasion. Even a police car if my memory serves correctly.

        Of course the law will take the line that the police are the police because they say that they are the police so you will be guilty of mucking them about. Conversely you are a terrorist because, well actually, they don't have to have a reason.

    7. Ted Bovis
      Badgers

      maybe

      But they must be the only 2400 people in the country who can open a bank account, pick up a parcel or get into clubs. The rest of the 60 million-odd are just hanging around outside these establishments helplessly wringing their hands.

      Oh wait, it's all bollocks, isn't it.

  25. irish donkey
    Megaphone

    Hey dude where's my country

    I thought we were supposed to bring Law and Order and Demoncracy to Iraq.

    Seems to be working the wrong way round. They're are sending all their BAD laws over here.

    Vote for change. If everybody voted they couldn't get away with this

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Joke

      Sir

      If Democracy ever actually works in Iraq, I'll probably emigrate there instead.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Vote for change?

      The expenses scandal showed the conservatives are as corrupt as labour so whom do we vote for?

      I vote Lib-Dem every time: low chance of winning but if you do at least something will happen.

  26. Aldous
    Joke

    forgot to mention

    as they are bringing back nuremburg laws what about the charge of "conspiricy to / waging an aggresive war" that they used on nearly all the nazi's on trial. i think a few MP's might start sweating then :)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    as the nazis said,

    bevel ist bevel.

  28. Marcus Aurelius
    Stop

    Does HRA Get Out Clause breach Convention?

    One obviously questions whether the 1998 Human Rights Act is itself compatible with the convention, as it allows state authorities to breach the Convention provided some primary legislation exists to back them up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ya

      Ya - an order is an order.

      I hope everyone realises the HO's use of this will be trotted out each and every time the Govt get their botty's smacked by Europe...

      DO no be suprised if it is trotted out regarding, DNA retention, Phorm trials etc etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Obliged to Comply with Violation of Our Own Rights?

      THIS IS A FLIPPING OUTRAGE!!!

      This significant, serious flaw in the Human Rights Act seems to mean that we are therefore legally obliged to comply with violations of our own human rights. How can that possibly be just? It's plainly perverse!

      If I remember correctly, the Lib Dems were concerned, at the time it was a Bill going through Parliament, that this was a significant deficiency. I seem to remember it was a particular, and significant, point of contention. (At least, that's what I vaguely remember.)

      So imagine this:-

      PC Plod: I'm stopping and searching you under Section 44.

      Citizen: Since I have the right not to have my human rights violated, and since I cannot be under any obligation to comply with a violation of human rights in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, I have the right not to comply. I will not comply.

      PC Plod: You're nicked! You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?

      Citizen: No, I don't understand. Obviously I do have the right not to comply with violation of my own rights, since that's an essential part of what rights are. I have the right not to comply with human rights violations, and I am exercising that right by refusing to comply with this rights-violating arrest.

      PC Plod: I'm charging you with resisting arrest.

      Citizen: Since I have the right not to have my human rights violated...

      ...

      European Court of Human Rights: ____________

      Anyone care to bet how the European Court of Human Rights would fill in the blank?

    3. william henderson 1
      Thumb Up

      yes!

      quite a few people went to the gallows for that.

      now there is a comforting thought.

  29. Graham Marsden
    FAIL

    Another victory...

    ... for the terrorists as, once again, our leaders dance to their tune and pi$$ all over another fundamental freedom.

    Human rights? We've heard of them, but so what?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    I give up...

    "In plain English: even if a particular law is "unlawful" an official acting in compliance with that law would not themselves be acting unlawfully. Or, to put it another way, some 60 years after the Nuremberg Trials, the UK government appears to have enshrined in UK law – in the Human Rights Act, no less – the principle that no matter how illegal a law, so long as officials are merely obeying orders, they cannot be held responsible for their actions. ®"

    ...and there you have it. this was squeezed through Parliament on purpose when no-one was looking.

    In plain English - we are officially, enshrined in law, under a dictatorship - democracy simply does not exist in this country.

    Stupid, childish students who have failed to grow up - I bet all the front bench on the Labour side still have posters of Che Geuvara on their bedroom walls, wear combat jackets at home and use patchouli as aftershave.

    Please, can we have some adults in charge of this country...purlease!

    Anon - obviously!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    UK Enabling Act 2009

    UK version of the Nazi Enabling Act of 1933 (for those of you across the pond, you already have your own version of in the form of the Patriot Act) - all 3 are meant to 'protect' and 'only used in extreme circumstances', but all know what happened in Germany.

    and here's one of the 1933 decrees....(ring any bells)

    ARTICLE 1. In virtue of paragraph 2, article 48,* of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against communist acts of violence , endangering the state:

    Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty [114], on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press [118], on the right of assembly and the right of association [124], and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications [117], and warrants for house-searches [115], orders for confiscation as well as restrictions on property [153], are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

    *Article 48 of the German Constitution of August 11, 1919:

    If public safety and order in Germany are materially disturbed or endangered, the President may take the necessary measures to restore public safety and order, and, if necessary, to intervene with the help of the armed forces. To this end he may temporarily suspend, in whole or in part, the fundamental rights established in Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ring any bells...

      yes it does...the original Enabling Act (Abolition of Parliament Act) was kicked out after a well fought campaign.

      Then the tricky gits sneaked bits in here and there and we now have Constitutional Renewal Bill - you can read all the awkwardness here all put in place by Jack The Knife as he's known in the corridors of dictatorship, sorry Parliament.

      http://p10.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/blog/2008/03/danger_draft_constitutional_renewal_bill_part_6_tries_to_remove_even_the_limited.html

      It is wise to know also that Obama put through an Enabling Act.

      The Orgiinal Nazi Enabling Act is copied almost verbatim in all cases...

      Think I'll go grow my own and live in a cave where I'm left to defend myself....Oh wait!

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Flame

      Sir

      That looks remarkably like the blueprint for New Britain that I saw the Home Secretary putting away in his drawer when I went round for a moan the other day.

      I mean, it actually *worked* before, why the hell shouldn't it work now?

      Germany's primary downfall in WWII was to let the charismatic insane leader make military decisions. If they learn from their mistakes, we probably are looking at the start of a 1000 year reign of terror.

      Mind you, perhaps they are just putting in the ground-work for the inevitable collapse of the world economy once the natural resources run out - and who said politicians don't plan more than 4 years ahead!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The last hope?

        The only glimmer of hope remaining is that those in power rarely learn from the mistakes of those who have been in power previously. Hell, they seldom ever learn from their *own* mistakes.

        When we have a charismatic, *sane* leader with the smarts to avoid the usual errors made by previous wannabe dictators, we will truly be screwed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          China?

          Were you thinking "China" as you wrote this?

    3. keddaw
      Headmaster

      On the other hand...

      We can now enact all those stupid laws that were never taken off the statute books with no fear of prosecution such as being able to kill a Scot for carrying a bow and arrow within the city walls of York on a Sunday, or arresting a woman for kissing a man with a moustache and a million others.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Statistics please...

        ...of how many Scots are in the walls of York on a Sunday carrying a bow and arrows?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @statistics

          Some tell Gordon there's a fancy dress party in York next sunday - Robin Hood theme...

    4. heyrick Silver badge

      You think?

      Have you seen the front benchers on BBC Parliament? I bet not a one of them knows who Che Guevara is. They'd look him up on Wiki [*], look at "that picture" and think "he looks like a terrorist, quick write more asinine legislation"...

      * - this is taking a leap of faith that they even know what Wikipedia is.

  32. The Indomitable Gall

    Only following orders, but admissibility...?

    OK, so UK law protects "only following orders", but let me ask you this:

    Is it not still the case that evidence illegally procured is inadmissible in court? As such, random stop-and-search is still a very bad idea, because even if by random luck you find a terrorist masterplan, the address book of the entire Al-Qaeda network and a nugget of weapons-grade plutonium, any attempts to prosecute would (or should) get thrown out of court (wrongful arrest, inadmissible evidence etc). Any attempts to get a court-order for surveillance would have to be turned down (again, no admissible evidence).

    I don't suppose the Reg could ask the Home Office about that, could you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Excellent point.

      And HM Government should have thought of that already especially given how many lawyers there are in it. But foresight, wisdom and competence are not attributes you'd assign to any New Labour cabinet.

      Never thought I would say this but I miss Maggie Thatcher. Wicked old battle axe but at least she was honest, unlike all her successors.

    2. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      dunno

      I guess that if it was the only evidence yes, but subsequential evidence would put you in doubt. Just because the initial stop and search was invalid does not exempt you from the fact that you did have a bomb making factory in your house.

  33. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Headline 'Nuremberg Laws'

    The Nuremberg Laws are nothing to do with the defence plea at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. Instead they were a series of edicts first announced at the Nazi Party Conference in 1935 which stripped Jews of German citizenship and their rights.

    I think you're thinking of the 'Nuremberg Defence'.

    So while the new British law is bad, it isn't comparable to the Nuremberg Laws.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Nuremberg Trials

    The Nuremberg trials where unique in that they created new laws that where not in place when the acts/crimes where carried out, so they where retrospective, which is always illegal and just plain wrong. Anyhoo, by the same laws, you'd see Blair, Brown, and the rest of the "NuLabour" Gang as well as Bush on trial for

    1.Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace

    2.Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace

    3.War crimes

    4.Crimes against humanity

    I want to see Blair and his gangsters stand trial, found guilty and hang.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Au Canada

    Every day in Every way I get a little closer to wanting a one way ticket, instead of just visiting for the Grand Prix in June!

  36. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Re : The Indomitable Gall

    "Is it not still the case that evidence illegally procured is inadmissible in court?"

    I don't believe that's ever been the case under English Law, evidence is evidence no matter how it was obtained. Regina v Leatham 1861 et al.

    Obtaining evidence illegally may be a crime and punishable in its own right though.

  37. seanj
    Grenade

    Tool?

    "Stop and search powers are an important tool..." - so says the self-important tool, to harummphed agreements from all the other self-important tools currently masquerading as the "Cabinet", occupying space where a real government would otherwise sit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      Got here last summer

      It might not be perfect over here (the govt. cancelled parliament so that they could get out of a spot of trouble and tasering cops killed a man), but we don't have cctv on every corner, you can take photos without fear of a night in the cells, and civil liberties still mean something.

      Not thinking about buying a ticket back home just yet.

  38. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Only following orders, but admissibility...?

    Inadmissible in court- only counts if it goes to court , if it only goes as far as a hood being put over your head and you being bundled onto a plane to pakistan/syria/etc then it doesn't really matter.

    Of course that would only happen to terrorists, it could never be used against anti-war protesters, striking miners or anyone else.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    The Uniformed Jobsworth

    ... now has gov't stamped carte blanche to ply his trade. You can just imagine PCSOs and the denser end of coppering rubbing their hands at this - no longer do laws actually have to be legal for them to enforce them, it's only a short mental step till they all convince themselves this applies to the ones they made up on the spot too. Walking on the cracks in the pavement? No problem. Possession of an offensive wife? That'll do nicely.

    A charter for the mean spirited, petty minded and unjustifiably egocentric nutter with a warrant card. PC Savage lives and positively thrives in New (Improved!!) Labour's little Stalinist playground. Abandon hope indeed.

  40. Guy Herbert
    Big Brother

    Admissibility... etc

    1. "Is it not still the case that evidence illegally procured is inadmissible in court?" Er, no. You've been watching too many American movies.

    There's no such rule of law in England and Wales. The old "judges rules" used to punish manifest police misbehaviour in that way, but that was a matter of the practice of the courts. Since PACE, statute seems to be clear that illegally obtained evidence is admissible unless the court makes a specific decision to exclude it. Under s78(1) of PACE, "In any proceedings the court may refuse to allow evidence on which the prosecution proposes to rely to be given if it appears to the court that, having regard to all the circumstances, including the circumstances in which the evidence was obtained, the admission of the evidence would have such an adverse effect on the fairness of the proceedings that the court ought not to admit it."

    ****

    2. I think the premise of the original article is wrong. The relevant section doesn't give police exemption when they are following orders. It is broader and narrower than that. It is when they are following their own interpretation of statute. Which might be worse.

    Parliament will have passed that section to try and protect public authorities making honest mistakes about the scope of the law. The Home Office wants it to do something else, which is to permit officials to carry on misinterpreting it when the interpretation has been made clear. That might be OK if you believe in the unequivocal supremacy of the crown in parliament and you only want to ignore Strasbourg. What is more worrying is there's nothing in the HO line that restricts such official impunity to ignoring Strasbourg. They are in effect telling officers they can safely ignore judgements of the domestic courts as well, where they confict with police practice. And that's the rule of a police-state, not of common law.

    ***

    3. My favourite name for a solicitors' firm: Wright Hassall (of Leamington Spa).

  41. John Murgatroyd

    Even ?

    "Obtaining evidence illegally may be a crime and punishable in its own right though."

    Even when following orders ?

  42. Buzzby
    Big Brother

    The Innocent are Guilty

    Google for John Stalker. You couldn't have a more innocent person ( police ACC I beleive ). However certain parts of maggies mob needed him to be found guilty, so he was.

  43. Al fazed
    Grenade

    Business as usual

    is what I think I read.

    This merely gives legal cover for the unlawful acts already being carried out. Nothing new here then, eh.

    It extends the other tweakings this Goovermin have been making, like those to the Housing Act, which now allows Benefit making Authorities to screw the public they are providing benefit for. ALL overpayments are recoverable, even if the Benefit Agency screwed up and have caused you financial ruin. It does state, "unless of Hardship", but who the fuck is assessing your hardship ?

    The LGA or DWP that made the financial errors !

    The f*ckin' slave driver of course !

    They also save a bundle on training.

    This type of mind set allows authorities to fuck up big time without having to pay the price, as joe public will get the bill or the big stick, every time.

    ALF

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is the Labour Party Agenda?

    It sounds like they just want tyrannical control over the UK. Cromwell is probably spinning, doing back flips and assorted somersaults in his grave.

    But let's assume that these laws are really to do with terrorism, then instead of bad laws tackling the symptoms the causes should be addressed:

    There are three main problems in the Arab lands: Israel, oil and the occupation of Muslim Holy Ground.

    The western occupation, outside of Israel, of the Holy Grounds needs to change immediately, that is just churlish and provocative behaviour.

    Oil companies should be taxed to the hilt, until alternatives are found, and that taxation should be ploughed into finding alternatives that oil companies can then claim and move into. Free market principles are just not worth the entire free market and the countless human lives that are being lost to it.

    The Israeli state: Canada, US or Australia would have been more appropriate locations. And, perhaps it would make sense to encourage the Israelites out of Israel to another promised land, that all other Nations help to fund, including the Arabs. The Torah may have something to say on this, and a better interpretation of what constitutes the promised land, could be had.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Human Rights Act, Section 3

    Here's section 3 of the Human Rights Act:-

    "3 Interpretation of legislation

    (1) So far as it is possible to do so, primary legislation and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights.

    (2) This section—

    (a) applies to primary legislation and subordinate legislation whenever enacted;

    (b) does not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of any incompatible primary legislation; and

    (c) does not affect the validity, continuing operation or enforcement of any incompatible subordinate legislation if (disregarding any possibility of revocation) primary legislation prevents removal of the incompatibility."

    And so it is, that in New Labour's New Britain, the State reserved the right to violate our human rights.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Israeli state

      There is a actually a fairly strong 'liberal' secular Israeli movement that fancies just that; they've had enough of the situation as it is and the destabilising effect 'The Orthodox' (as I've often heard it put) have on government in Israel, and are tired of being internationally loathed for things they themselves consider unjust. I've heard Africa, and in particular Zambia, mentioned before, but by buying the land for a small country rather than stealing it from its rightful owners as Israel mk1 did. There is a precedent as the original zionists did just that, by buying Palestine up one piece at a time using funds raised in Europe, and means from fair to utterly foul.

      I don't find myself saying this very often, but the harshest (and often the most eloquent) critics of the excesses and iniquities of zionism and the Israels are very often Israelis themselves. Try reading Amira Haas at haaretz.com.

  46. Paul Stevenson

    @ Al Fazed

    of course, this is government. No incompetence shall go unrewarded

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Edward Kenworthy

    With all due respect* I think you will find the only reason the LibDems had fewer MPs taking the piss is that they have fewer MPs.

    If you check: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8047390.stm

    you will find the LibDems are at least as bad as the rest of the lying, thieving scum but with the added "fun" of PR. So a vote for the LibDems means seats for the BNP.

    *which is about zero if you admit to being a LibDem voter.

  48. Throatwobbler Mangrove

    huh

    "The Nuremberg trials where unique in that they created new laws that where not in place when the acts/crimes where carried out, so they where retrospective, which is always illegal and just plain wrong"

    Nope - Mike Richards above you is correct. The Nuremburg laws (1935) were about racial purity, "miscegenation" etc. The important part of the Nuremburg trials (1945/6) was about individual criminal responsibility in international law and "I was only obeying orders [of a sovereign]" being inadequate as a defence *in international law*.

    Retrospectivity of the was-it-invented-on-the-spot-or-wasn't-it charge of Crimes Against Humanity was not actually a particularly pressing issue for those defendants and neither is it particularly relevant to stop and search. Also, while the US has a constitutional prohibition on retrospective laws, in the UK parliament is sovereign and retrospective laws are legal.

    In any case, the principle of legality (that the government cannot legalise its servants' breaking the law just by ordering them to) has bugger all to do with Nuremburg and goes back much further than WW2. Entick v Carrington is a 1765 English case that deals with similar territory: a government official cannot instruct his servants to search a private house without legal authority. There are probably even older cases that can be found...

    This would have been a good article to have El Reg's partners from Out-Law/Pinsent Mason comment on, instead of their usual inane commentary on cases in the US where they have no experience or expertise...

  49. John B 1
    Black Helicopters

    Gospodin, propusk pazhalsta!

    Don't forget as well that the courts will no longer reimburse successful defence costs: if the Gov't takes a violent dislike to you and fits you up, they win both ways. Either you go away, or you go bankrupt.

  50. Coltek

    Time for a Bill of Rights...

    ....And a proper Constitution.

    Nuff' said.

    1. kevin biswas
      FAIL

      Proper constitutuion ?

      Like the dysfunctional one the US-ians have ?

      1. SirTainleyBarking
        Grenade

        The practice

        may have got distorted over the years, but at least the founding fathers had good intentions, unlike our homegrown bunch of inbreds

  51. Sam Therapy
    Thumb Up

    @ Coltek

    100% agreement here.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019