The first case to be decided by a single judge (rather than being deliberated upon by a jury of your peers) gets under way this week, the first time in 350 years that a criminal case will be tried in this manner.
Seems to be further proof that the liberties we have enjoyed since the Magna Carta in 1215 are being slowly strangled to within an inch of their death.
Habeus Corpus simply allows a process through which a person can seek relief from their unlawful detention or that of another person. It protects individuals from harming themselves or from being harmed by the judicial system.
Paraphrasing what the presiding Lord Judge commented:
non-jury trial’s are allowed if, there was a real and present danger of jury tampering which could not reasonably be protected against….(these are) the cost of the measures needed to protect jurors from potential influence
Without it, internment without trial is the future we face, though I would argue the anti-terror legislations have already achieved that, on the point of influence, can any so called terror suspect have a fair and honest trial, when he has already been tried and found guilty by the media?
At the very same time, the use of stop-and-search powers have been ruled illegal by the European Courts of Human Rights.
The Strasbourg court has been hearing a case involving two protesters stopped near an arms fair in London in 2003. The verdict stated that the individual’s right to respect for a private and family life had been violated and awarded them 33,850 euros (£30,400) in compensation.
Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows the home secretary to authorise police to make random searches in certain circumstances.
But the European Court of Human Rights said the protesters’ rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated.
The court said the stop and search powers were “not sufficiently circumscribed” and there were not “adequate legal safeguards against abuse”.
And herein lies the crux of the matter, who actually governs the laws of this land, the UK says one thing, Europe says another, but which is better?
Like Harry Hill would say, there’s only one way to find out…..