Friday, October 29, 2010

Isn’t it ironic that Scottish people have to turn to Englishman Lib Dem MSP Robert Brown to fight for human rights in Scotland, a People's Champion

Dear All

In Holyrood on Wednesday saw emergency legalisation brought in by the Scottish Government.

The Criminal Procedure (Detention, Legal Assistance and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill 2010, a piece of crap!

It is my opinion that the bill was a knee jerk ill considered, badly thought-out response to the UK Supreme Court decision in the Peter Cadder Case.

The purpose, to give Scottish people detained by the Police the right to consult with a lawyer which was previously illegally denied them.

But the devil is in the detail in any bill.

This is section 1 (8) which is inserted into the bill.

“In exceptional circumstances, a constable may delay the suspect’s exercise of the right under subsection (3) so far as it is necessary in the interest of the investigation or the prevention of crime or the apprehension of offenders that the questioning of the suspect by a constable begins or continues without the suspect having had a private consultation with a solicitor”.

This is the denial of the human rights that the bill was meant to uphold.

Someone was trying to be cute but proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, not intelligence but rank stupidity.

The Criminal Procedure (Detention, Legal Assistance and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill is anti human rights.

No consultation, no checks and balances, no considered opinion, no objective scrutiny.

The Scottish Government to its shame didn’t even consult the Scottish Human Rights Commission when drafting it to see if it complied with human rights law, as admitted by Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

I would now like to turn to another piece of knee jerk, badly thought-out legalisation which after being passed into law was subject to abuse to show how it all went wrong.

The Terrorism Act 2000.

This legalisation has seen over 100,000 stop and searches by police across Britain.

And last year failed to yield a single terror-related arrest, the Home Office has been was forced to admit.

Home Office figures show that out of a total of 101,248 stops and searches were made under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in 2009-10, but only one in every 200 led to an arrest.

None of these were terror-related.

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said:

"These Home Office statistics highlight what a crude and blunt instrument stop and search without suspicion has been. It costs us dearly in race equality and consent-based policing with very little return in terms of enhanced security."

The power OF Section 44 allows officers to stop anyone in a specified area without the need for reasonable suspicion.

It was a return to the old sus law which so damaged relations with the public and Police.

Now that Section 1 (8) of The Criminal Procedure (Detention, Legal Assistance and Appeals) (Scotland) Bill is available to Police, we will see abuse of that section under the guise of “exceptional circumstances”.

And that means more human rights challenges and miscarriages of justice could happen.

Is this part of the brave new Scotland we are heading towards, a country were human rights can be deliberately ignored and abused?

Luckily for the people of Scotland, Englishman Lib Dem MSP Robert Brown is stepping up to the plate to be a People's Champion and defend the rights of Scots.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

Last night on Questiontime Sturgeon got owned by Hugh Henry. 'Ratty Natty' was dismissed by the hedge fund guy. Wheels falling of nats wagon, soon Labour will form the next Holyrood government George.

lost the plot - again said...

It's strange right enough George. You would think that when the SNP got into a hole they would just stop digging. Their 24 hr detention plan because 'Scotland is really big and we might not find a solicitor in 6hrs' is looking very ropey and will be challenged in the ECHR aswell. The Scottish Devolution Bill in 1997 gave the ECHR jurisdiction over Scottish Law. End of.
The 2008 Turkish case should have told the SNP to start new legislation viz the right to a lawyer. This rushing about at the last minute might look really exciting but is totally uneccessary and preventable. They've had years to bend over to the ECHR and take it right up them.
Or years to get out of the ECHR which would have been my preferred option.

SNP Facts said...

'The 2008 Turkish case should have told the SNP to start new legislation viz the right to a lawyer'.

shite government full of under achievers who if not for the list won't be in politics even at councillor level.

Anonymous said...

Fit-up city requires your presence...
oan frivolous trumped up clap-trap... non-conformists are clocked.