We now have 2 new pieces of legislation that further diminishes our right of free association, free movement, free thought….
Together, just these 2 new laws will mean that Police could tell you to
leave a demonstration (against all the other new laws perhaps, or a pro
referendum rally), fine you £2,500 if you don't, send you to prison if
you fail to pay, and then control your movements when you come out.
Don't think of them as separate non related legislation, see them in conjunction with the other
26,000 new laws and 3000 new criminal offences and see that they are getting us ready for 2010.
The first highlighted from the Adam Smith Institute
Really: if you
“represent a risk of disorder” you can be issued with a notice by any
uniformed constable, the terms of which are that you must leave,
possibly by a prescribed route, and not return to the area for up to 48
hours. The penalty for disobeying this is a fine of up to £ 2,500.
Now we know what is meant by this: those who either fired up on alcohol
(for it refers to alcohol related disorder) or the worse for wear are
to be got out of an area until they calm down or sober up. But it's an
absurdly broad provision (and I can see no reference to any system of
being able to appeal against such a direction) for the test is
“likely…to cause or contribute to” such alcohol related disorder. So
you're banned from an area simply because, in the opinion of one
policeman, you might, ooh, just as an example, be found to be black
near where the BNP is having a drink?
Of course, that's not what was intended, nor what will happen at first:
but who is willing to bet their continued liberty to walk down the
street, innocent of any offence, on that always being true?
It's actually even wider than that:
(8) In this section “public place” means—
(a) a highway; or
(b) any place to which at the material time the public or any section
of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by
virtue of express or implied permission;
and for this purpose “place” includes a place on a means of transport.
when you have the neighbourhood barbie, or the Christmas drinks for the
people in your street, the police now have the power to ban anyone they
like from your garden or house. Even if you have given them express
permission to enter.
The Second new restrictive legislation to emerge is highlighted in this piece from the Guardian regarding even more types of control orders.
risk a re-run of their clash with the courts over control orders by
introducing new proposals that will place “massive restrictions” on
certain convicted violent offenders after they have left prison.
Council of HM Circuit Judges has told ministers that the proposal to
introduce a violent offender order – similar to sex offender orders but
which apply to violent offenders after they have served their sentences
– lacks any intellectual rigour and is based on hardly any reasoned
argument or analysis.
orders, which are expected to apply to 300 to 450 offenders a year
including teenagers as young as 16, are a cornerstone of the latest
criminal justice and immigration bill, which MPs will debate on the day
parliament returns in the autumn.
The orders will allow the
police to apply to a magistrates court to impose a series of bans and
requirements on offenders convicted of serious violent offences and who
are believed to remain a danger to the public after they finish their
prison terms. The orders will remain in force for a minimum of two
years with no statutory maximum and will carry a penalty of up to five
years imprisonment if breached.
The possible conditions include
banning somebody from having contact with members of their own family
if there is a risk of violence, and living in certain areas where
victims or known criminal associates reside.
Ministers have also
considered making it possible for the orders to include compulsory
mental health treatment and attendance of drug or alcohol
rehabilitation courses with the penalty of prison for those who fail to
The proposed violent offender orders consider options to
cover a range of risk factors: offenders could be banned from entering
specific roads or areas such as a town centre where drunken disorder is
a problem; people convicted of violence to be made subject to sex
offender-style restrictions requiring regular reporting to police to
inform of their movements, travel abroad and any development in
personal relationships; and individuals could be banned from membership
of specified groups and possession of material promoting extremist
The judges have privately told ministers that they are
unhappy with the thrust of the proposal. They say the range of
conditions to be imposed highlights all the problems inherent in the
violent offender orders.
“The implications of these orders are
that they will place massive restrictions on the liberty, movement,
freedom of association and lifestyle of individuals who are not being
sentenced for any offence,” said Judge David Swift, chairman of the
council's criminal subcommittee.
“The orders are said to be
purely preventative. The problems of proportionality that have been
thrown up by control orders are once again revealed here and do not
The judges say they do not think the police by
themselves should be allowed to apply for such sweeping orders and that
professional full-time judges rather than magistrates should decide who
they are imposed upon. They are also concerned that no provision
appears to have been made to allow for legal representation.
Ministry of Justice defended the orders saying they are needed to
manage the risk posed by offenders still considered potentially violent
when they leave prison but who were not awarded an “open-ended” public
As PrisonLawInsideOut says:
It is introducing punishment through the back door without a crime
having been committed. It is an attempt to do away with due process. It
is paving the way for thought crime. We think that you might commit a
crime in the future, so we are punishing you first. Kafkaesque.
Again, we ask you to conduct the 'Stalin Test' on these laws. That is to say, would such legislation have been useful to Stalin.
Just because today's politicians are not, or
at least appear not to be, maniacal megalomaniacs, it does not mean
that there won't be one in the future, and frankly it is naive to think
that it can't happen. This means we should be exceptionally careful
when we build the infrastructure of state that could so easily be used
for purposes of political oppression.
NuLab – Destroying Britain from the inside out.