Posted Jan 22, 2002
I normally stay pretty non-political on H2G2. But I just have to say, that the measure of democracy and freedom is not the rights we give ourselves in times of safety, but the rights we give to our suspected enemies in times of trouble.
I'm a law student, and it seems to be that for law to be taken seriously, it needs to be just. And the cornerstone of justice rests on two principles, equality before the law, and innocence until proven guilty. The treatment of terrorist suspects under emergency measures here in the UK violates the second principle. The treatment of terrorist suspects and taleban forces by the US violates the first.
Whether or not the prisoners are 'lawful combatants' or not is a mute point. If terrorists, then they are criminals, not soldiers of any kind, and should be treated as such. If they are soldiers, then they are merely defending themselves and their highly questionable regime, but are still combatants and should be treated under the Geneva convention as we would expect others to treat our forces.
And if it comes to it, treatment of terrorists as being something outside the normal criminal law is obviously grossly unjust. Take the IRA for instance. In the 70s and 80s their suspects were treated much worse by the police and justice system, than normal criminal suspects involved in similar crimes (destruction of property, causing death and injury). And yet now those found guilty have been released, ahead of criminals who have committed similar crimes. Is this equality before the law? Why should political considerations determine treatment, rather than the crimes actually committed?
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Posted Jul 30, 2001
Looks like I may be meeting fellow researchers IRL
at the oxford meet-up on 11th August:
Unfortunately it is the month of 6000 words worth of Law essays and questions, and a couple of wedding receptions, so I'll have to see how it goes...
Posted Jul 17, 2001
Despite being on this site for quite some time this is my first entry; why? because it's my birthday, and I thought someone ought to hear about it
Well I'm off to eat some then it's off to the pub for some