Endangered principle of British justice

Breige Gadd is concerned that the move by journalists and other commentator’s toward open season on the IRA, compromises a crucial principle in British justice, the right to remain innocent until proven guilty (subs needed). Hat-tip Oilibhear.

The standards inherent in British justice and its processes have been centuries in the making and have rightly become a standard bearer for the rest of the world.

Of course there have been times when courts and their associated officers including the police, have got it wrong but that is about human failure and not about the tried and tested nature of, and necessity for, due process.

Even through the worst of times, parliament and the judiciary held on to the supremacy of that rule of law and the absolute necessity of due process. Internment has been rightly viewed by all as a costly mistake for the very reason that judging men and women to be guilty without the benefit of a fair trial causes more problems than it solves. It creates and fosters a feeling of injustice amongst many law-abiding citizens.

  • Davros

    I didn’t notice Breige getting upset when incident after incident was blamed on the UDA, UVF or even the securocrats without there having been any convictions ….

    On a seperate point – Innocent until proved guilty should not apply across the board. Otherwise how would crime prevention work ? Think about it. Police get tip off that there’s to be an assassination attempt. They should ( and admittedly didn’t on some occasions) take action to prevent crime – Are they supposed to say we cannot take action against J Adair ( sending him back to clink) until AFTER he has been convicted of a serious crime ? Do people really think Adair shouldn’t have been sent back to Jail ?

    Innocent until proven guilty applies to the accused individual in the dock. Organisations ?
    Totally different.

  • mickhall

    Whenever a society finds itself on a slippery slope, someone with a bag of salt is a handy individual to have around, no matter what motivated their presence.

  • willowfield

    Breige Gadd, apparently like many others, seems to be unable to distinguish between the naming of an individual and the naming of an illegal organisation. The latter is not a legal entity and cannot be tried or convicted, and has no legal rights.

  • IJP

    Breidge is of course entirely right. As indeed, are the first three responses.

    But let us not lose focus that it not the police, but a party abusing its democratic mandate that causes the necessity for ‘open season’ to be declared in this way.

    This is the fault of the terrorist mafia organizations and elected reps linked to them, Hugh Orde or anyone else. We must not lose sight of that.

    Democratic principles are not up for negotiation – it’s SF that needs to grasp that, not anyone else.

  • cg

    Davros
    Innocent until proven guilty or the “Golden thread” does apply across the board.

    In certain circumstances it is up to the defendant to exceed the Burdon of proof but this only relates to several defenses.

    You can’t decide that “innocent until proven guilty” is allowed for some and not others.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    What the hell is Breige on about, there are villagers with torches out there and it’s not the time for niceities.

  • Davros

    You can’t decide that “innocent until proven guilty” is allowed for some and not others.

    Your party – and this is nothing personal, all the parties do this, consistently allocated blame for a range of crimes from vandalism through to murder before guilt was established in a court.

    Did SF oppose J. Adair being returned to clink ? He wasn’t convicted of any additional crime and surely then in your (plural)eyes he was wronged ?

  • cg

    Davros
    There is a difference between political parties and the Chief of, a supposed, new police force. That said it is irresponsible for anyone to accuse Sinn Féin of something until there is evidence produced.

    Davros
    With regards Adair he didn’t need to be charged with additional crimes as he violated the terms of his license.

    P.S Davros

    “your (plural)eyes”

    Eyes is plural, no need to mention plural 😉

  • Davros

    With regards Adair he didn’t need to be charged with additional crimes as he violated the terms of his license.

    How ? No proof was produced and he wasn’t convicted in a court 😉

    There is a difference between political parties and the Chief of, a supposed, new police force.

    But you have been saying that the golden thread has to apply across the board….

    That said it is irresponsible for anyone to accuse Sinn Féin of something until there is evidence produced.

    Is it equally irresponsible of Sinn Féin to accuse others until evidence is produced ? if not, why not ? 😉

  • cg

    “But you have been saying that the golden thread has to apply across the board….”

    It does but there are differences between political parties and a police force (wait a minute…there should be)

    Political parties are not part of the legal system but the police are. If political parties say something and then don’t substantiate it then there are legal avenues individuals and organisations can take (i.e. sue) but the police force has to uphold the principles of the law and Orde is not doing this. If the man had any principles he would resign.
    clearly not doing that and should resign.

  • Davros

    What about this part cg ? LOL

    Is it equally irresponsible of Sinn Féin to accuse others until evidence is produced ? if not, why not ? 😉

  • cg

    If a political party has accused others of something and it hasn’t been substantiated then let the individual or organisations take appropriate steps to thwart the accusations.

  • Davros

    Splendid reply, you are a natural!

  • cg

    Thank you 😉

  • MzL

    You (anyone) can be accused of any crime… it is an allegation… one which the prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt and which they must do so with sufficient evidence. But you will not be ‘guilty’ of the crime unless proven so. Therefore I don’t see how it is breaks from the golden thread theory.