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July 30, 2005

A Thought on the Brian Haw Case.

So now we know, Parliament is filled with complete boobies. They pass an act to catch one particular guy and draft it so incompetently that they can’t actually catch that guy. But they have removed yet another of our liberties in the process. Well done guys, well done. But here’s a further question:

An attempt was made to rectify the mistake in June through a commencement order which stated that the law applied to all demonstrators whether "starting" or "continuing" their protests.

But the judges ruled that this type of secondary legislation could not be used to criminalise Mr Haw, who has been protesting in Parliament Square since June 2001.

Lady Justice Smith said she was "surprised" that it had been suggested that such an order could be used "to criminalise conduct which would not otherwise be criminal".

Now it depends on who you talk to but some say that Nu Labour has introduced some thousand new criminal offenses since Year Zero in 1997. How many of these were brought in under such secondary legislation and how many are therefore invalid?

Any legal types out there want to let us know?

In further news, Tim Ireland has a protest starting on Monday, the day the new rules come into effect. If you’re in or around London and fancy getting arrested in defense of the liberties of us all you might want to be there. No, that getting arrested isn’t jocular or dismissive. Either the rozzers enforce the law and arrest people or they don’t and it’s a dead letter. If people are arrested then hope for a proper trial and go for jury nullification, in which case the law is a dead letter.

Or we have taken another step on our way to a police state, in which questioning or even annoying our Lords and Masters is verboten.

July 30, 2005 in Your Tax Money at Work | Permalink

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Comments

It is actually quite tricky to introduce criminal offences via secondary legislation. The 2000 Regulatory Reform Act does allow for this - but in fairly restrictive circumstances. Some other Acts also have what is known as a Henry VIII clause - but they are few and far between, and their use is always limited, or subject to special parliamentary procedures.

So Lady Justice Smith is quite right to raise an eyebrow. Introducing a criminal offence in this way is definitely dodgy. I can't think of another, *new* offence that has been introduced by Labour without primary legislation (not to say they don't exist).

Posted by: Third Avenue | Jul 30, 2005 3:48:30 PM

So it is now Illegal to counter protest Brian Haw?

Posted by: Rob Read | Aug 1, 2005 12:07:36 PM