Category Archives: Human Rights

New Career Path? Buy a Football Club – Then Have a Warrant Granted For Your Arrest!

Regular readers will recall that Craig Whyte, the former owner of Rangers (or to be accurate the person believed to be the ultimate owner of the company which owns the company which owned 85% of the shares in the company which formerly owned the assets and business which make up Rangers Football Club) had a warrant for his arrest granted at Inverness Sheriff Court recently.

However, despite the numerous demands for him to be strung up for what he supposedly did to Rangers, and the various police investigations which are apparently ongoing, the warrant did not relate to that, but rather to his failure to come to court as a witness in a criminal trial.

He was able to resolve the matter, arranging to appear at court to surrender to the warrant, and then being granted bail. The Sheriff will deal with the imposition of any penalty for his failure to attend when the criminal case in question is concluded. Continue reading

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Filed under Criminal Law, Human Rights

Daily Mail Wrongly Castigates “Human Rights” and “Travellers” in Article re Stolen Caravan

The good old Daily Mail never ceases to disappoint. Each day it shows that it is in fact a very clever spoof newspaper, seeking to poke fun at the prejudices of some of its readers. After all, the alternative, namely that the editorial line of the Mail is genuine and that it means what it says is too horrible to contemplate.

As well as the BBC being a target for Mail disapproval, readers might perceive that the paper also does not like those perceived to be “non-British”. I would never accuse the Mail of racism, so please do not take that implication from what I say. However I can see how a misguided soul could take that impression from some of its articles.

On Monday the Mail published a piece which is now under the headline:-

“Police won’t hand stolen caravan back to couple to protect human rights of the travellers living in it”.

The headline originally referred to “gypsies” and not travellers. At some point over the last day or so that has been changed. Sense prevailing perhaps? Continue reading

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Filed under Civil Law, Criminal Law, Daily Mail, Human Rights, Press

How Unreasonable is the Offensive Behaviour etc Act – Guest Post by searriagh

In a continuation of the Scottish government’s determination to bludgeon football fans with their Offensive Behaviour at Football Grounds and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, Mr Joseph Anthony Cairns, recently acquitted of the heinous crime of singing two Irish Republican songs at a football match is to be dragged once again through the courts.

After an appeal by the Prosecutor Fiscal’s office, three law Lords, Brodie, Phillips and Lady Paton have decide to overturn the original Sheriff’s decision in the trial. Mr Cairns was charged with breaching Section 1(2)(e) of the Act. That is to say he allegedly indulged in behaviour that a reasonable person would be likely to consider offensive.

The original Sheriff had decided that Mr Cairns had no case to answer as the evidence showed that there had been no obvious reaction from the opposition supporters to the songs sung, possibly due to the fact that they could not sufficiently hear the lyrics being chanted and therefore could not possibly be offended. Continue reading

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Filed under Football, Guest Posts, Human Rights, Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill

Daily Mail Human Rights Nonsense Part 2 – This Time from Chris Grayling

I wrote last about the nonsense from the Daily Mail’s columnist Max Hastings about the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in connection with the application by three convicted murderers challenging the practice in England and Wales of imposing life sentences where there was no prospect of release. The so-called “whole life tariff” was determined by the Court to be in breach of the murderers’ human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”).

This prompted various outpourings of rubbish from newspapers and politicians. Much of the comment was undoubtedly ill-informed, rather than being deliberately twisted to suit political purposes. Ignorance of the issues is slightly more excusable than deliberate misrepresentation of the decision.

The piece I quote in full below is (a) an example of a politician in the media talking nonsense and (b) almost certainly a deliberate misrepresentation. I say “almost certainly” as the writer in question, unlike every one of his predecessors for the last 300 years, has not got a legal training and therefore, being charitable, one must keep in mind the chance that he simply does not understand the verdict. Continue reading

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Filed under Daily Mail, Human Rights, Politics

Is It A Crime To Wear A T-Shirt Supporting the INLA at a Rangers v Celtic Game? The High Court Says Yes

On 18th September 2011 Kevin Maguire attended the Rangers v Celtic match at Ibrox. One assumes he is a Celtic fan. One wonders if he had carefully chosen his wardrobe for the occasion.

As the High Court stated in its decision which can be found here in Maguire v PF Glasgow, Mr Maguire:-

“was wearing a black top which, in bright green letters approximately 3 to 4 inches in size, displayed the letters “INLA”. On the back of the top was, again in large bright green letters, the slogan “F… YOUR POPPY REMEMBER DERRY”. As is well-known, the initials INLA refer to the Irish National Liberation Army, which is a proscribed organisation in terms of schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act 2000. The reference to Derry is, of course, to the events in that town on 30 January 1972.”

Two officers from Strathclyde Police saw Mr Maguire’s attire as he left the ground amongst the 3,000 Celtic fans present at the game. The officers considered that his T-shirt posed a threat of disturbance to public order. Continue reading

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Filed under Criminal Appeals, Criminal Law, Human Rights