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Archive for November 11th, 2010

David Allen Green (Jack of Kent) will, I am sure, cover this.  He has been involved right from the beginning.  So all I will say is that I am very sorry that our legal system does not seem to be able to accommodate a joke (albeit, not a great joke) and that our laws, designed to combat terror et al, seem to have handed a victory to terrorists in the sense that *British fair play* appears to have gone out of the window with this verdict.  I am also sorry for Paul Chambers who now has a criminal record confirmed.

The judgment should be interesting….. It appears that the Court thought @paulchambers tweet was ‘obviously menacing”… I must not, of course, (Being interested in the *Rule of Law*) prejudge the publication of the judgment (*Assuming one will – unlikely) … but… I will in the sense of commenting on the *situation*…. and  if our courts really think the tweet Paul Chambers posted on Twitter was a real threat and ‘menacing’  (Police/Airport staff did not appear to do so) then we really need to do some serious thinking about our civil liberties, our freedoms, and our stance on terror…

This is a disgrace and undermines my faith in our legal system…and, I suspect, many others will be of this view as well.

A lot of people do a great deal to support our legal system; the lawyers who work for not a lot of money at the coal face of daily law, government, those who support the  the ideals of democracy – this case – judging by very obvious anger on twitter – has done a great deal to undermine  public faith and belief in  not British justice… but justice in England & Wales… (Scotland has a different legal system – Also Northern Ireland)

WE MUST DO – AND DESERVE – BETTER THAN THIS….

I won’t be arrested for saying this (I  assume.. although nothing is certain, it would seem) …. I won’t be prosecuted for saying this (ditto) …. I do not practice… so I can’t even be censured… (pretty sure on that one).   We really do need to sort our legal system out if it can bring about such an absurd and unjust result….. even if *The Law* justifies the decision of the judge as framed… if that is the case.. we need better laws..and we do deserve them.

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Remembrance Day – a guest post from OedipusLex

Agro belgico…
Oedipus Lex

It is with honour and a great sense of trepidation that I have been asked to write this short piece on Remembrance Day. As I sat at my computer I wondered how I could possibly do justice to such a theme, I can’t but I can at least try and explain what it means to me…

Let us put the charity aside for a minute and concentrate on the topic. We can ignore the tub thumping jingoism, grim faced politicians and the donations of profits from memoirs; what does that red flower mean? To me it is apolitical and I think this is the most important point to remember. I admire and support anyone wearing the white poppy, really I do, but I think it misses the point slightly. Remembrance Day and the symbolism that goes with it is not about the rights or wrongs of wars it is about the wrongs, it is about the people who died in them not the causes they were killed for. I will always avoid using phrases such as ‘Died for his country’ or ‘made the ultimate sacrifice’ because, for me, this implies that all the wars in which our young have died have been worthy of sacrifice; some have but we need to be very honest and admit that the overwhelming majority have not been.

War is hell. It is horrific and is the ultimate example of our failings as a society. Those that died were victims; they may not have been innocent, they may have been brave, they may have been guilty, they were often stupid and quite possibly they were the vilest individuals to walk the earth. However, that does not make them any less a victim of something that was not of their own doing, they were sent to face the forefront of scientific, processed, mechanical destruction and they did not return.

Every red poppy I see on a lapel encourages me. It means you remember people like my great-great uncle Walter who died in the trenches; you remember Mac, Stew and Cocky who were killed in Afghanistan last year and Steve who killed himself after numerous tours. For me Remembrance Day is just that, it is to remember. It is to think of those that are not here today to be with their families or who never had the chance to have a family. It is not just to think of those that died from our own countries, think of the lost of in Baghdad, Basra, Helmand, Belfast, Freetown, Berlin, Oman…

What Remembrance Day is not is a time to celebrate our martial prowess and we should be very careful of that. They are not ‘our brave boys’ they were boys, just boys. Do not turn this into a circus or pantomime but use it as a time to be thankful that you are well and your family are with you. Be grateful it is not your son or daughter that has been killed to sate another man’s ego but think of those who have and never, ever believe the old lie: Dolce et decorum est pro patria mori…

***

Please do take time to read *Fragments* by Oedipus Lex – beautifully written. (and also extremely funny……well some of them..others are serious)
Thanks OL – Charon

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The UK Human Rights blog from 1 Crown Office Row is an excellent resource for lawyers and non-lawyers…Rosalind English  has shed a bit more light on the Woolas case and has come up with some serious ‘food for thought’.

I wrote about this last week…. and I am more than happy to do some more thinking after reading…..

Analysis: Phil Woolas loses his seat and has judicial review refused

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