We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Amongst the announcement of the new Serious Organised Crime Agency one comment seems to have been largely overlooked. Tony Blair said, concerning serious crime:

My impression sometimes is that the system is struggling against a presumption that you treat these crimes like every other type of crime, and that you build up cases beyond reasonable doubt. I think we have got to look at this.

On the balance of probabilities, Blair supports Big Blunkett’s latest attacks on our basic liberties.

2 comments to Beyond Reasonable Doubt

  • Guy Herbert

    Yes; I spotted that too. From the BBC report of Blair’s remarks, it appears he’s unaware of some of the legislation his own government has already passed in this area, viz, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

    There is a curious sort of squeeze going on. The more serious the accusation, the keener the government is to lower the burden of proof.

    In a rational system of justice conviction would require more evidence to convict someone of a more serious crime. The purpose of the courts is moving away (or perhaps back) from doing justice in the particular case, to the exhibition of state virtue and the vaunting of state power.

    Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, punishment is increasingly by administrative penalty, where guilt is not an issue, and there is a presumption in favour of liability.

    I fear that soon you will either be fined and/or registered by the relevant official or publically exposed to be condemned and expropriated before a court, with no middle-way of trial with the possiblity of exculpation.

  • Cydonia

    It is noteworthy that the whole project is largely directed at “crimes” which the State has created in the first place, viz drug trafficking , people smuggling and money laundering. So the State restricts our liberties by criminalising activities which ought not to be criminal in the first place and then and then taxes us and restricts our liberties still further in order to fight those self-same crimes.