Monday, February 25, 2008

Last of the Few: Presumed Guilt

I have been offered the chance to compose a semi-regular rant over at Theo Spark's Last of the Few: my first post, on this hideously illiberal proposal, is now up.

I may write something a little less sanitised for The Kitchen, depending on the time available to me.

I am still very busy—not only do I have a lot of paying work to do, I am also writing a briefing paper for the Libertarian Party's first policy...

4 comments:

Mike Blessing said...

They've been doing this sort of thing in the States for about twenty years now (probably where the asswipes on your turf got the idea). One state legislature (Utah?) had the bright idea to allow officers to get a cut of the value of items seized in their paychecks -- that one died in committee (for the time being). At first it started out with seizing assets from "drug lords." Now they'll seize assets in just about any case that's felony-related.

Ed said...

I assume that if found not guilty they will get their assets back with interest?

Kay Tie said...

"I assume that if found not guilty they will get their assets back with interest?"

No, probably not. See comments on Tim's piece (cited) for an example. The reason is that the assets are seized (currently) on balance of probabilities. Since the CPS won't bring a criminal case unless there is a 50:50 chance of winning it, it tends to mean that the civil burden of proof is exceeded by the case being prosecuted.

The above applies to the existing law. The new proposed law allows a police officer, rather than a court, to make the seizure. As I said in the comments to Tim's piece, I have faith that the HRA will slap this down. The HRA requires that property cannot be confiscated without following the law. The HRA also determines that you have a right to a fair trial, and for civil cases (which the Government has shoe-horned this issue into) you still have a right to an independent tribunal. A police officer is not, and never will be, an independent tribunal.

verity said...

I am convinced that this is something to do with Jacqui Smith being fat. Fat people - probably due to greed and mental imbalance - are often extremely illiberal and controlling.