“The Trial (German: Der Process) is a novel by Franz Kafka, first published in 1925. One of Kafka’s best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime never revealed either to him or the reader.”
Demand open justice for Julian Assange
Mark Stephens, in The Guardian: Our high court should refuse extradition when the trial in prospect is likely to be unfair – as it is in this case
Mark Stephen, Assange’s lawyer in the UK, writes…”Julian Assange will, according to the judge’s finding of fact, be held in prison in solitary confinement when he is returned to Sweden and will then be interrogated, held without bail and later subjected to a secret trial on accusations that have been bruited around the world, not least by this newspaper. He has a complete answer to these charges, which he considers false and baseless. Even if acquitted, however, the mud will stick and, if convicted, the public will never be able to able to assess whether justice has miscarried. This country, which has given to the world the most basic principles of a fair trial – that justice must be seen to be done – denies that basic liberty for those that are extradited to Sweden. How come our courts abandon our cherished principles in deference to European systems and prosecutors?……..
I interviewed Mark Stephens in a podcast before Christmas. In our first “Without Prejudice” podcast David Allen Green, Carl Gardner and Joanne Cash reviewed the decision of District Judge Riddle handed down on Thursday.
There is, of course, another side to Mark Stephens which I enjoyed reading about in the Financial Times. He is allergic to bees – but he has lots of them in his garden.
Meanwhile in modern Britain…..
Phone-hacking libel claim contested by Metropolitan police
The Guardian: Scotland Yard applies to strike out lawsuit by solicitor representing victims of phone hacking
Scotland Yard is to contest a lawsuit that could establish the true number of victims in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
Mark Lewis, a solicitor who has acted for people suing the newspaper, contends that a senior figure in the Metropolitan police, Detective Sergeant Mark Maberly, told him in 2008 that as many as 6,000 phones may have been hacked.
We are certainly living in strange times….. and I cannot help but wonder, given that there appears to be an even greater need now for lawyers and judges to keep a close eye on what government does in our name, whether those who complain about The Human Rights Act, complain about the ECHR, the interventions of third parties in Europe, may have a preference for allowing their view of the rule of law to prevail without the inconvenience of independent and objective analysis and critique. I cannot resist the line from The House of Cards by Michael Dobbs….“You may think that….I could not possibly comment’.
I shall leave it there for today…and return to happier things later in the day
Best, as always
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