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A new ‘recruit’ to the Anti-Sex League

A man who has been acquitted of rape, after a retrial, (spot the insinuation) has made subject to an ‘interim sexual risk order’ by Magistrates in York.

It requires the man disclose any planned sexual activity to the police or face up to five years in prison.

The order – which was drawn up by magistrates in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, and extended in York – reads: “You must disclose the details of any female including her name, address and date of birth.
“You must do this at least 24 hours prior to any sexual activity taking place.”

A further court hearing in May will decide whether the interim order should be made into a full order, which has a minimum duration of two years and can last indefinitely. Sexual risk orders were introduced in England and Wales in March last year and can be applied to any individual who the police believe poses a risk of sexual harm, even if they have never been convicted of a crime. They are civil orders imposed by magistrates at the request of police.

This is an interim order, pending a full hearing, and the court’s power is wide:

(3)The court may, if it considers it just to do so, make an interim sexual risk order, prohibiting the defendant from doing anything described in the order.

The Full Monty, as it were, is below in section 122A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, with a broad discretion for the order to be made. So now this chap must manage his affairs so that he pops down the police station, queues at the desk with the people reporting lost wallets etc. and then reports the details of his intended ‘conquest’ at least 24 hours before he gets frisky, sexual ‘activity’ not just intercourse, is covered. It is not clear what Plod will do in the meantime, but I expect that the lady concerned may face some questioning.

Well George Orwell’s Anti-Sex League appears to be taking shape here. Can anyone remember this being discussed by candidates at any General Election? Did the Stasi even dream of doing this sort of thing?

Sexual risk orders (England and Wales)

122A Sexual risk orders: applications, grounds and effect

(1) A chief officer of police or the Director General of the National Crime Agency (“the Director General”) may by complaint to a magistrates’ court apply for an order under this section (a “sexual risk order”) in respect of a person (“the defendant”) if it appears to the chief officer or the Director General that the following condition is met.
(2) The condition is that the defendant has, whether before or after the commencement of this Part, done an act of a sexual nature as a result of which there is reasonable cause to believe that it is necessary for a sexual risk order to be made.
(3)A chief officer of police may make an application under subsection (1) only in respect of a person—
(a)who resides in the chief officer’s police area, or
(b)who the chief officer believes is in that area or is intending to come to it.
(4)An application under subsection (1) may be made to any magistrates’ court acting for a local justice area that includes—
(a)any part of a relevant police area, or
(b)any place where it is alleged that the person acted in a way mentioned in subsection (2).

Update: The man in question is now facing a charge.

‘No prospect of relationship’
“I had more freedom in prison,” he said.
“I’m in a state of shock, I cannot believe this is how the justice system works.”
He said there was “no prospect” of a relationship at the moment.
He said: “Can you imagine, 24 hours before sex? Come on.
He gave the example of chatting to a woman and saying: “There’s a nice French restaurant I’d like to take you to, but first the police are just going to come around for a little chat.”
“Knock, knock, knock, this is the police, (Mr X) is subject to a sexual risk order and is considered to be potentially dangerous… then they leave.”

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54 comments to A new ‘recruit’ to the Anti-Sex League

  • So we are going down the same dismal route as the USA: the state can impose penalties on you without actually convicting you of anything.

  • bobby b

    It’s time for freedom-loving women to step up and help to shut this down.

    If fifty or a hundred women could get in touch with this poor guy and set up a schedule – not a sex schedule, but a reporting schedule – they could take turns, maybe four or five per day, submitting with him their written plans for having sex with him. Again, not sex – just their written plans for sex.

    And then scream holy hell when someone from the Sex Patrol checks up on it all, and sue them personally if your name gets released, or if you feel offended by any part of this reporting.

    This crap won’t stop merely because most people want it to stop. The only way to stop it is to wreak havoc on the lives – personal and professional – of its advocates.

  • AngryTory

    2003. Thank you Tony Blair, Communist Party of Scotland, Wales, and the North.

  • Mr Ed

    Angry Tory,

    Not in 2003, but 2014, under the Coalition. The section 122A indicates a later insertion into the 2003 Act, and it just happens to have been an Act passed by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition with a Conservative Minister pushing it through.

  • patriarchal landmine

    well clearly, the crime of offending a woman can only be punished by life imprisonment.

    and yet, they want us to believe we live in a “patriarchy.” this can only mean they think this guy is getting off with a LIGHT punishment. if this is a slap on the wrist, you can only imagine what throwing the book at them would be like (because indeed your imagination would never be vile or draconian enough).

  • lucklucky

    One more evidence that UK has much less freedom than several countries in continental Europe and that the often claimed that Anglo-Saxon culture defends against tyranny is just BS.

  • Laird

    I’m long past being surprised that such an order could be issued absent conviction of any crime (indeed, in this case after acquittal!); after all, here in the US we have outrageous civil asset forfeiture laws which also require no conviction, or even any charge, of criminal activity. At least you have some due process rights under this statute: it has to be issued by a magistrate (not merely at the whim of the police), and it provides a procedure for appeals. But I am astounded that there are absolutely no standards, limitations or guidelines concerning what provisions such an order can contain. The only rule I could find is this:

    (7)Such an order—
    (a)prohibits the defendant from doing anything described in the order.

    which, if not completely tautological, is at best meaningless. As far as I can tell such an order could require the recipient to eat olives for breakfast every day, and no one could complain about it. How is this permissible?

  • Lee Moore

    Er, I’m afraid I don’t find the “after acquittal” bit particularly shocking in itself. Acquittal is supposed to mean “not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” hence there is plenty of room for a Chief Constable to believe it is very likely that you dunnit, even if he himself sat on a jury that acquitted you unanimously. To equate “acquitted” with “almost certainly didn’t do it” is a basic error.

    The shocking thing is all the other stuff – ie punishment in the absence of a conviction on the say so of a state official. Whether you’ve stood trial for something in the past and been acquitted or not.

  • Mr Ed

    Acquittal is supposed to mean “not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” hence there is plenty of room for a Chief Constable to believe it is very likely that you dunnit, even if he himself sat on a jury that acquitted you unanimously. To equate “acquitted” with “almost certainly didn’t do it” is a basic error.

    There is a fundamental error in that passage, as in the criminal law, acquital is the end of the matter.

    There is no corresponding civil matter to try or consider arsing from the criminal case. If the ‘victim’ had a civil claim, acquital simply means the burden of proof as to the facts remains on the ‘victim’ for a personal civil claim, rather than the estoppel of a criminal conviction being a bar to re-arguing the facts.

    Here, the civil case is not about what the acquited one did, but what he might do to any female. And he is free to bugger any male partners to their hearts’ content, with consent given, as the order only applies to his interactions with females, however chauvinist that might be.

  • Sceptical Antagonist

    They are civil orders imposed by magistrates at the request of police.

    Following on from Mr. Ed’s quote above, I thought that Civil cases had fuck all to do with the police…?

  • mojo

    Slaves. Nothing but.

  • Lee Moore

    Mr Ed : “There is a fundamental error in that passage, as in the criminal law, acquital is the end of the matter.”

    I don’t follow you – to what error do you refer ? In the criminal law, acquittal is the end of the criminal law matter – the matter being whether the state can punish you. But neither acquittal nor conviction affects the facts – whether you did or didn’t in fact do the deed. I’m simply saying that acquittal is entirely consistent with a high probability of having, in fact, done the deed. Do you disagree ?

  • Mr Ed

    SA,

    You are right, or perhaps, in a free society, you would be right. This is the windy path to tyranny that started with ASBOs, the ham-fisted State ‘injunction’ that Blair started in the late 1990s.

    The Attorney-General of England and Wales does have the right to seek a civil injunction against the commission of a criminal offence, but this power was so rarely used, and so tiresome to effect, that something ‘better’ was thought up, and now there are a whole range if things like Football Banning Orders, used against Chelsea fans in England for alleged conduct in France, which came in in 2000.

  • Mr Ed

    Lee,

    You fail to distinguish the deed from the offence.

    Acquital is the end of it, a man acquited may walk free. But here, having failed to convict a man of a specific offence, he is hauled back to court by the police, not for a crime, but to be restricted in the most North Korean way possible, on the basis of no evidence at all as to what he will do, but on the basis that:

    done an act of a sexual nature as a result of which there is reasonable cause to believe that it is necessary for a sexual risk order to be made.

  • Cristina

    I don’t see any insurmountable obstacle here.
    1- During the five years in prison he’d be exempted from the requirement to disclose any planned, or not, sexual activity to the police, I assume.
    2- He could keep celibacy for the time required by the law, 2 years minimum.
    3- Also he could change his focus of interest to other men, in which case he’d not be under any obligation to disclosure his sexual encounters.
    There he has several options to his disposal. He has no reason to complain whatsoever.
    See, Paul Mark, that’s is cruelty 🙂

  • Lee Moore

    Mr Ed. You fail to distinguish the deed from the offence

    I really don’t think so – I’m the one who is feverishly distinguishing the deed from the offence, and cautioning people not to imagine that an acquittal implies the negation of the deed, rather than the negation of the offence.

    I quite agree that this law is deplorable, in that it involves punishing people who haven’t been convicted. My only point is that there is no distinction in the deplorability between the new law punishing a man who has been tried and acquitted of the offence, and a man who hasn’t been tried for the offence at all, and so hasn’t had the opportunity to be acquitted. Laird seemed to think that the former was extra-specially deplorable. I disagree. They’re equally deplorable.

  • Mr Ed

    Well Lee tomorrow the local fuzz might come along and try to ban you, or your neighbour, from going to any football stadium and using the internet in case you engage in ‘sexual activity’, or even, if you are married, touching your spouse without giving them 24 hours notice, and although they have to get Magistrates to agree to these terms, what really remains of liberty in this England if they can even try?

    And why can’t there be a Harmful Political Activity Banning Order?

  • Lee Moore

    I understand you disapprove of this law, as do I. Beyond that I am unable to discern any logical connection between your comments and my own, so I shall have to retire, puzzled.

  • JohnK

    Hands up anyone who even knew this piece of shit law existed? I rather suspect very few MPs knew much about it. Did any ministers even know, or did they just intial one of the hundreds of pieces of paper which pass across their desks each day? What a way to run a country.

    If I can judge the purpose of this law, it is to say: “we know you did it, and although a bunch of dumb fuck jurors let you off, we will proceed to fuck your life up until we can put you inside for five years for breaking the terms of our bullshit order. Have a nice day”.

  • Laird

    Lee Moore, the central problem I have with this law is that it imposes what clearly amounts to a criminal penalty (subject to significant incarceration for violation of a facially outrageous order) without conviction of any crime and with nothing approaching a legitimate criminal process. No charge; no opportunity to confront your accuser (in fact, no true “accuser” at all); no meaningful description of the elements of any crime; no standard of proof; no evidentiary rules. In fact, as I read it there is not only no opportunity to present a defense, but not even any requirement that you appear in court; it is an ex parte proceeding. The entire process is standardless and devoid of rules. It is the essence of tyranny. (And in the instant case, where the man had actually been acquitted of any crime, there is also the issue of double jeopardy, and so yes I do consider that to be “extra-specially deplorable”.) I don’t pretend to understand the English constitution (unwritten as it is), but surely this must violate it.

  • Eric

    I’m simply saying that acquittal is entirely consistent with a high probability of having, in fact, done the deed.

    That’s certainly true and also irrelevant. There’s no end of mischief possible if judges can hand out punishments to people who have never been convicted of a crime. A criminal trial is supposed to be your protection against that sort of thing.

  • Phil B

    “It requires the man disclose any planned sexual activity to the police or face up to five years in prison.”

    Two pints:

    1) It specifically refers to PLANNED sexual; activity so unplanned or spontaneous sexual activity SHOULD be OK, no?

    2) How about masturbation? Pre reporting every act of (ahem!) self abuse should tie the Police up in so much paper and procedural activity that it becomes unworkable.

    The only solution to industrial strength stupidity is industrial strength mockery and sarcasm. And (IMHO) you can’t get much more stupid than that nonsense.

  • Incunabulum

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    January 22, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    So we are going down the same dismal route as the USA: the state can impose penalties on you without actually convicting you of anything.

    Seriously? Because from my point of view you guys are waaaaaaaay out ahead of us in this. We got nothing like ASBO’s or this stuff here.

  • Incunabulum

    Lee Moore
    January 22, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Er, I’m afraid I don’t find the “after acquittal” bit particularly shocking in itself. Acquittal is supposed to mean “not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” hence there is plenty of room for a Chief Constable to believe it is very likely that you dunnit, even if he himself sat on a jury that acquitted you unanimously. To equate “acquitted” with “almost certainly didn’t do it” is a basic error.

    The shocking thing is all the other stuff – ie punishment in the absence of a conviction on the say so of a state official. Whether you’ve stood trial for something in the past and been acquitted or not.

    And that should also mean that since the state hasn’t been able to successfully prosecute its case you walk – otherwise what’s the point of the trial in the first place if the magistrate can turn around and say ‘well I think he’s guilty so I’m going to fuck him up anyway’. May as well cut out the circlejerk and get right to it.

  • Incunabulum

    Lee Moore
    January 22, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Mr Ed : “There is a fundamental error in that passage, as in the criminal law, acquital is the end of the matter.”

    I don’t follow you – to what error do you refer ? In the criminal law, acquittal is the end of the criminal law matter – the matter being whether the state can punish you. But neither acquittal nor conviction affects the facts – whether you did or didn’t in fact do the deed. I’m simply saying that acquittal is entirely consistent with a high probability of having, in fact, done the deed. Do you disagree ?

    I certainly do. An acquital only shows two things – that the prosecution can’t prove its case ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ and the defense can’t show clear evidence of innocence. Neither say anything about the likelyhood of you having done the deed, only that the evidence for either other verdict is lacking.

  • Mr Ed

    Laird,

    The enforcement of a breach of the order is subject to a criminal burden of proof, but the substantive offence is the breach of the order, so in effect his only defences to an alleged incident if sexual activiity, and I think we need to infer that it is ‘activity with a female’, judging by the other terms of the order we have seen are:

    A) it was unplanned, as Phil B points out, with what one would hope was a high threshold for the Crown to prove that it was ‘unplanned’, although arranging a meeting or even buying his intended some chips might all be evidence of a ‘plan’.

    B) He was ravished by a female and did not ‘plan’ it.

    C) Were he married, his wife would not be a compellable witness against him, but she would be able to choose to give evidence.

    Lee:

    Sorry if I have been opaque, but an act itself is never a crime unless the law so makes it, so whatever he did, if not all the elements of the crime are made out (actus reus and if needed mens rea) then there is no crime, and a tort is no business of a criminal court.

    Now imagine this power in the hands of a politicised Chief of Police after a political sex scandal… Field Marshal the Lord Brammall MC won’t be the last person dragged through the mud over lies.

  • Rob Fisher

    Well, I am surprised that such a thing exists. It’s perverse. A cruel and unusual punishment, surely.

    And there is more: “It also contains restrictions on his use of the internet and mobile phone devices and requires him to inform officers of any change of address”.

  • bloke in spain

    I’m surprised no-one’s picked up on the “The man, in his 40s, who cannot be named for legal reasons” aspect.
    Not only’s the bloke been shafted but he’s effectively prevented from disputing it. Shades of the Family Court trials in camera.

  • It is sinister that so bizarrely-phrased a law could appear on the books without the sort of public discussion that would get it mentioned long ago in this blog. I could have missed it – I was working outside the UK for half of 2005 – but I note all the other commenters seem equally surprised. Vehmic law is the worst law. The quoted phrasing _suggests_ this could be done with much less preliminary than was provided here, where there were two trials, so two reviewed decisions to arrest, to prosecute, etc., plus probably some court-established facts about some of what happened agreed by both prosecution and defence. If there had been public discussion, we’d at least have some idea whether real use of this law could be done only after that at least, or as casually as its words suggest. (We might also have avoided it in favour of saner laws, of course; one may hope.)

    Some commenters, while deploring the law, note the defendant may well be guilty of the crime for which he was twice acquitted. I certainly hope so: things will be worse if the state gets accustomed to any convenient way round juries and even worse when someone in power consciously abuses it. May that day be far off.

    As regards some commenters’ comparisons with the US, maybe we should ask if the whole UK is now like one vast US university campus – one that gets a very red light from FIRE. In some ways we’re not that bad yet: I strongly suspect what the defendant actually did went _far_ beyond “forgot to give her a breathalyser test before sex”.

    Civil actions have lesser penalties than criminal and shift the balance of proof from ‘reasonable doubt’ to ‘more probable’, so are exactly the kind of thing that might succeed when a defendant did indeed “just get off on a technicality”, the only circumstance where this kind of thing could be just. A civil action has a jury and a trial, which are some limitation against abuse. They have their double-jeopardy-style dangers, and also the danger of being abused by fanatics; I might like the law better (dislike it less) if it were merely the right of a magistrate to allow or deny a post-acquittal civil action. If this ever became a public political debate (fat chance?), I’d bet (a reasonable sum, not my life savings) that the actual defendant in this case will prove to be an obvious scumbag, in the frame for several other crimes and plainly guilty of this one (and that’s assuming he does not reside in Rotherham or similar). The question, “So what would _you_ do about him?” would be asked, so I’m thinking about possible answers.

  • Alisa

    If this ever became a public political debate (fat chance?), I’d bet (a reasonable sum, not my life savings) that the actual defendant in this case will prove to be an obvious scumbag, in the frame for several other crimes and plainly guilty of this one (and that’s assuming he does not reside in Rotherham or similar).

    My thoughts exactly (which, of course and as Niall notes, does not make this law any less odious. Incidentally, this is also what makes Bobby B.’s suggestion above impractical).

    Which leads me to Lee’s first comment:

    I’m afraid I don’t find the “after acquittal” bit particularly shocking in itself.

    The acquittal is not the only point here, it is the trial itself and the suspicions on which it was based. Meaning: if there were no suspicions and no trial, the whole thing would have been moot, as it would be if the man was found guilty. The whole point is that this law only applies to cases where suspicions have been raised, but guilt was not proven, it does not apply to all heterosexual men living in the UK (although it may only be a matter of time). The latter fact – namely, that guilt was not proven, resulting in acquittal, is therefore crucial.

  • Lee Moore

    I don’t really follow your argument Alisa. Unless you are operating in the Scottish system – as Incunabulum may be – there are only two verdicts. Guilty means the jury was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that you did the deed. Unless you feel that jury decisions are pretty much random, that means that it’s fairly likely that you did it. Not guilty implies a lower probability that you did it (or else you would probably have been convicted) but it doesn’t imply a low probability. It implies a greater probability than if you had been arrested and charged, but the prosecution dropped the charges. Which itself implies a greater probability than if you had been arrested but not charged, accused and interviewed but not arrested, and so on. Bottom of the pile is the random guy in the street who hasn’t even been accused. There are reasonable inferences we can draw from court verdicts and police actions. Among them is that – absent detailed knowledge of the facts, which would allow us to escape from mere statistical expectation – a guy acquitted of rape is more likely to have committed a rape than a guy who has never been accused of a rape. No legal petticoats need be swished in horror at this – for this belongs not to the world of law, but the real world, where people can form their own views on how to treat you (within the law) regardless of what the courts say.

    We all (on here) disapprove of the state punishing people who have not been convicted, but there’s nothing magical about not having been convicted after a trial and an acquittal as against not having been convicted after nothing at all. The law applies where there is a suspicion, but is certainly not limited to cases of trial and acquittal. It would be just as bad if the fellow had had this order slapped on him without him ever having been brought to trial.

    (Laird’s point about “double jeopardy” is of course out of date from a UK point of view. That ship sailed several years ago.)

  • Alisa

    for this belongs not to the world of law, but the real world

    This is the world of law, as we are discussing a law. It is entirely reasonable for you or me (especially me, as a woman) to steer clear of this guy because of the suspicions and the accusations brought against him, even though he was acquitted. But that’s us acting as private persons, and is totally different from the state doing the same by means of a whole new law.

    It would be just as bad if the fellow had had this order slapped on him without him ever having been brought to trial.

    No, it would not be just as bad, because then it would be just another randomly intrusive law. What makes this one worse is the fact that not only does it intrude into people’s sex lives (admittedly non-randomly, but that is neither here nor there), but it also undermines the whole idea of being innocent until proven guilty, in the legal sense.

  • Alisa

    And, of course, even if the ship of double jeopardy has sailed a while ago in the UK, this particular law only makes things worse in that regard – which, again, hinges precisely on the point of the guy having been acquitted in the court of law.

  • Lee Moore

    this particular law……hinges precisely on the point of the guy having been acquitted in the court of law.

    All together now……oh no it doesn’t !

    The law says :

    “if it appears to the chief officer or the Director General that the following condition is met.
    (2) The condition is that the defendant has, whether before or after the commencement of this Part, done an act of a sexual nature as a result of which there is reasonable cause to believe that it is necessary for a sexual risk order to be made”

    Trials, convictions, acquittals, arrests, accusations are not mentioned. What is required is “if it appears to the chief officer…”

    The law can very definitely apply – for example – to a man who has been accused and arrested, but where no charges are brought (perhaps because the accuser withdraws the accusation.) It’s difficult to see how the necessary appearance could, in the absence of even an accusation, reasonably appear to a chief officer – and though ‘reasonably” doesn’t appear in the text of the law, the judiciary’s enthusiasm for judicial review would almost certainly write it in.

    But with at least an accusation, the necessary appearance might well appear to the chief officer without there ever having been a trial.

  • Alisa

    OK, that helps. So let me rephrase that, with emphasis added for clarity:

    …hinges precisely on the point of the guy having not been convicted in the court of law.

  • Lee Moore

    From the excerpt provided even “…hinges precisely on the point of the guy having not been convicted in the court of law” is not right. The legally necessary matters can appear in the chief officer’s mind when there’s a conviction too. Indeed, assuming chief officers to be at least slightly rational, you’d expect them to be most confident of the need for an order when there has been a conviction.

    I think the point is that it all hinges on what is going on in a state official’s mind, and the only relevance of any prior court proceeding is the effect that proceeding has had on the official’s mind.

  • Laird

    Re Lee Moore’s comment at 2:58: He says “Not guilty implies a lower probability that you did it . . ..” Up until that point his statement is correct, but thereafter it falls off the rails. That “lower probability” ranges all the way down to zero. A verdict of “not guilty” does not imply anything; it is an absolute statement that the prosecution failed to make its case. The jury might have concluded “this guy is an absolute scumbag and probably did it, but there’s not quite enough evidence to convict him” or “this guy is clearly innocent, the police arrested the wrong man, the case should never have been brought, and we would impose sanctions on the prosecutor if we could”, or anything in between. We don’t know. It is wholly improper to infer anything from an acquittal; to do so is rank speculation.

    As others have said, if the state can’t sustain a criminal case against someone (either because the evidence is so weak that the prosecutor won’t take the case or after an outright acquittal), the proper course of action is for an aggrieved party (i.e., victim) to bring a civil action. (That’s precisely what happened in the infamous O.J. Simpson trials over here.) Indeed, that’s why prosecutors will generally load up the complaint with a whole host of “lesser included offenses”; if they fail to get a conviction on the main charge they might still achieve it on one or more of the lesser ones. But for the state to hail the poor fellow back into court yet again after failing the first time around is precisely what the law is supposed to prevent. And if, as you say, the double jeopardy ship “has sailed” over there, I feel even more sorry for you than I did already. That bulwark against a vengeful and powerful state is an ancient feature of Anglo-Saxon law, tracing back (if I recall correctly; I haven’t looked this up) to the Magna Carta. If you have truly abandoned that, all hope for your society is lost.

  • Alisa

    I agree, and my original point was that the actual trial (resulting in an acquittal) was what put the guy on that official’s mind. If it wasn’t for the trial/arrest/formal accusation, the official would not have even considered him or probably would not have been aware of his existence, unless the law applied to all heterosexual males in the country as discussed earlier. If, on the other hand, the guy has been convicted as a result of the trial, this whole discussion is again moot. That is why the acquittal is of essence in this discussion: it is the result of legal proceedings, without which the law simply would not have applied to this man.

  • Laird

    Correction: that should have been “hale” into court, not “hail”. My bad.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Niall and Alisa will correct me if i read them wrong, but they seem to assume that, given that the Rotherham gang got away with it for so long, then the fellow in York that we are talking about is likely to be even more guilty. That is a serious misunderstanding of the working of modern government.

    Consider the rape cases on US campuses that got the biggest publicity in the last 10 years or so: Duke Lacrosse, Lena Dunham, Mattress Girl, Rolling Stone/UVA. They all turned out to be fabrications, and in some cases that would have been blatantly obvious from the start, if the reporters had done their job. Does that mean that there is no rape on US campuses? no, it means that there is no incentive for the press to report on actual rape: the incentive is to report on sensational cases of rape (especially if the accused are middle class white men) no matter whether the evidence is sound.

    Some people here will be familiar with the concept of anarcho-tyranny, if not i highly recommend following the link. Paleocons are usually better than economists (except Austrianists) at diagnosing social ills; even though paleocon prescriptions are often insane, and never far from it.

    One thing that is missing at the link is the class analysis. The way i would describe anarcho-tyranny is: anarchy for the underclass, tyranny for the middle class. I’d be willing to bet that both the victims and the abusers in Rotherham were lower class/underclass, while the fellow in York is middle class.

  • Lee Moore

    Laird : It is wholly improper to infer anything from an acquittal; to do so is rank speculation.

    I think this is where we will have to agree to differ. It’s improper for the state to punish someone who has been acquitted. It’s not remotely improper for the man in the street to infer whatever he likes from what information is available to him. The man in the street may quite properly speculate – how rank his speculations are will depend on the circumstances. Bill Clinton has never been charged with rape. He’s just been accused of it. The man in the street can speculate as he pleases. If Bill Clinton is ever charged with rape, I expect more people will regard the speculation as reasonable. Even more so if he is ever tried, and even more so if he is convicted.

    Laird runs through the full range of possibilities that are encompassed by a “not guilty” verdict. If we have listened to the trial – eg as was possible with OJ Simpson – we (the man in the street) can filter “highly likely” from “not a chance” for ourselves. But if all we know is “not guilty” then that full range of possibilities remains in an undifferentiated state, and will be factored into our speculations in that state. And speculating that someone who has been accused, arrested, charged, tried and acquitted is more likely to have done the wicked deed than someone who has never been accused, arrested etc, while it may be speculation, is a perfectly logical speculation. To speculate that the acquitted man was no more likely a rapist than the median man in the street would be entirely illogical.

    Usually. As Snorri suggests, sometimes being arrested and being tried may indicate something other than a higher probability than the median of actual guilt. It may merely indicate being an Enemy of the People.

  • Laird

    The “man in the street” can (and will) speculate about anything he chooses; he has no ability to divest anyone of his property or his freedom. The State cannot so speculate, however, because it does have that power. This is precisely what makes this law so heinous.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Perry (and Ed) – the Common Law is dying if not actually dead.

    It is not insane statutes (although that is par of it) it is too many lawyers and judges being “educated” into a false understanding of what law is.

    Although Mr Ed shows there is still hope for the legal profession – as does Laird.

  • bobby b

    Alisa:

    Many years ago, a woman who thought I had treated her badly (by not returning her feelings) went to an industry trade show in another city, where we ran into each other. Awkward.

    The next night, she called the police and told them I had just left her room after assaulting her.

    Luckily, I had left the city that morning for another show in Miami, where i had been partying remarkably, in the company of many friends and acquaintances.

    The prosecutor in NYC had actually issued charges against me for rape, before someone called me down in Miami to let me know what was going on. I contacted him, and eventually satisfied him that the woman was lying.

    It saddens me to understand that, in your eyes, this episode of my life makes me into a scumbag to be avoided.

  • Lee Moore

    bobby b : It saddens me to understand that, in your eyes, this episode of my life makes me into a scumbag to be avoided.

    Assuming your story to be true – note that for us listeners the possibility that you are lying needs to be factored in to our calculations – this episode in your life doesn’t make you a scumbag to be avoided, because now we know more about you than that you were accused. But if all we knew about you, and the relevant facts were that you had been accused of rape, arrested, charged, tried and acquitted, it would be perfectly reasonable to suspect that you had a considerably greater chance of being a scumbag to be avoided than the average Joe. Because for everyone who is acquitted because a false accusation is exploded by contrary evidence (eg the testimony of your friends), there will be others who are acquitted for less conclusive reasons, eg the evidence was just he said she said. If we only know “acquitted” then you have to sit in the statistical mix with the others.

    In fact, your case demonstrates precisely what I have been saying. You weren’t arrested or charged because there was plenty of contrary evidence that led the police early on not to proceed. If you had been arrested, charged and tried that would indicate – discounting Snorri’s political prosecutions point – that the evidence was more heavily weighted against you, even if in the end it was insufficient to secure a conviction. Hence the chances of you being a scumbag would have been considerably higher.

    This is no different from car insurance. If you have an accident, absent detailed and conclusive evidence that it was the other guy’s fault, you are statistically a worse risk for the purposes of next year’s premium. If in fact it wasn’t your fault, that’s jolly unfair. Tough. The insurance company doesn’t know that, and can’t know that, so it proceeds based on what it does know. You’re a worse risk than they thought you were last year.

  • bobby b

    When principle deserts you, you can always do statistics.

  • Lee Moore

    When mathematics hurts, you can always hide.

  • Alisa

    What principle, Bobby? Of course there are and always have been false accusations of rape, you told us nothing new, as unfortunate as it was for you to be on the receiving end of that. Everyone with a brain cell knows that. So what? Does it mean that just because some people are some times falsely accused of crimes, I, in the absence of any additional information about the accused, should not exercise caution if I know that he may be present in my vicinity?

  • Alisa

    …where by ‘he’ I mean the actual accused, whoever he may be.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Following up on the suggestions of Bobby’s 1st comment, and Phil’s, i have come up with another way of throwing a spanner in the works: the fellow in York (as i shall continue to call him) should look up on the internet all female providers of, er… adult services, whom he can easily reach from his place of residence, and then send to the police every day a list of 10 names of such women, saying that he is contemplating the use of their services the next day, and he has not yet decided which woman to approach. Presumably there is no obligation for him to actually have sex every time he gives advance notice to the police of his intention to do so: he can keep doing this for months or years, without ever actually visiting a prostitute. (Or he can visit a few, just to keep the police on their toes.)

    Then i thought: in the UK, there is almost certainly a way to penalize the fellow in York for this form of nonviolent resistance. So here is another scheme: a network of supporters, all UK men above the age of consent. If the fellow in York can find, let’s say, 10K such supporters, and each of them sends notice every day to the York police of their intention of possibly visiting 10 prostitutes in York, then the York police will have to deal with 100K notices every day, to be sure that none of them is from the fellow in York. I know that i’d have trouble if 100K emails got into my mailbox every day.

    Perhaps Milo Yiannopoulos should take the lead in this initiative.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Alisa: in the UK and US, you should exercise particular caution in company of a man who has not been accused of rape.

  • Mr Ed

    What is the purpose of this Order, in respect of the subject, Mr (se)X?

    It is not to prevent the commission of a further criminal offence, no initial offence has been committed, as the acquittal shows.

    It is not to prevent the commission of a criminal offence, as Mr X has not been instructed not to commit a criminal offence (unlike may be the case in the event of the Attorney-General seeking an injunction). Granted it might actually prevent Mr X from committing an offence, but so might banning him from driving, if he has a licence.

    It’s purpose is to prevent Mr X engaging in sexual activity with females (see above), should he plan to, and even if the woman consents, until the police have been informed, and know the identity and age (how ungallant) of the woman, and the police have had a chance to intervene.

    What has Mr X done that is unlawful to justify this action?

    Nothing. There was no crime, and if there was a tort, a civil wrong, then there has been no such finding.

    The justification can only be ‘he might..do whatever.‘. And even if he doesn’t, he may get 5 years in prison.

    So Her Majesty’s judges and magistrates may order us not to do harmless things, without any person’s private interest being threatened, because we might….

    The rule of law is dead in England and Wales.

  • thefrollickingmole

    I suppose “Id like to report Ill be having a wank tomorrow morning and every day thereafter.
    BTW Im your new milkman/pizza delivery guy, have a nice day..