How Low Can Anarcho-Tyranny Go? By James Reed

     None of this is in Australia yet, and hopefully we will never get to this level, not merely of simply shooting those who do not do what the state dictates, but the abandonment of fundamental legal protections, such as trial by jury, as has been done in Scotland:

“The new legal powers sought by Scotland’s devolved law-makers undermine ideas of justice in place for hundreds of years, according to the Scottish Criminal Bar Association. The new Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill grants sweeping powers to Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Parliament, and makes dramatic changes to the criminal justice system. Among a long list of changes, the Bill seeks to:

•    Replace trial by jury with bench trials, presided over by a Judge or local Sheriff
•    Remove the maximum time of 140 days an accused can await trial
•    Relax hearsay evidence law, allowing judges to hear pre-recorded witness statements that are not open to cross-examination

The new rules, unlike similar Diplock rules used in Northern Ireland in 1970s, do not guarantee an automatic right of appeal. The Scottish Judiciary claims these powers are vital to protecting people from potential coronavirus infections, whilst following the European Convention on Human Rights requirements for an “effective justice system”. But the Scottish Criminal Bar Association strongly disagrees. In a statement on their website, SCBA President Ronnie Renucci QC wrote: The SCBA believes that these draconian measures seeking to bring about seismic changes to our system of justice are premature, disproportionate and ill-advised. They are at best a knee-jerk reaction to an as yet unquantified problem instigated by panic or at worst, something far more sinister.”

     That puts it mildly. Eliminating the legal protection of trial by jury is way lacking in proportionality, since juries could be protected from virus infection by technology which exists and could be supplied to courts. Who is to say that bench trials are any safer? No, we are seeing the hidden agenda being rolled out very quickly now. Who would have thought that all of this could be pushed through with no resistance in such a short space of time?



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Sunday, 21 July 2024

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