Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How the world changed in the Past Decade. Part 4 - The English are all criminals until proven otherwise.

The presumption of innocence – being considered innocent until proven guilty – is a legal right that the accused in criminal trials has in both countries This presumption is seen to stem from the Latin legal principle that ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies committed the crime with which he is charged. The presumption of innocence is in fact a legal instrument created by the law to favor the accused based on the legal inference that most people are not criminals—whether the crime charged was committed and whether the defendant was the person who committed the crime—the state has the entire burden of proof.
With respect to the critical facts of the case, the defendant does not have any burden of proof whatsoever. The defendant does not have to testify, call witnesses or present any other evidence, and if the defendant elects not to testify or present evidence, this decision cannot be used against him.
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe says (art. 6.2): “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law”. This convention has been adopted by treaty and is binding on all Council of Europe members.
In the United Kingdom, statue law provides for criminal penalties for failing to decrypt data on request from the Police. If the suspect is unwilling (or unable) to do so, it is an offence. [6] Citizens can therefore be convicted and imprisoned without any proof that the encrypted material was unlawful. Further, the onus is on the defendant to decrypt the data, and having lost the key or the password is not considered reasonable excuse.
Modern practices aimed at curing social ills may run against presumption of innocence. Some civil rights activists feel that pre-employment drug testing, while legal, violates this principle, as potential employees are presumed to be users of illegal drugs, and must prove themselves innocent through the test..

More pressing for me is that in England I am now a paedophile, money launderer and illegal immigrant unless I prove otherwise..

After the murder of two young girls in Soham, a crime which could have been prevented if police forces shared information, anyone working with children has to have a criminal Records Bureau Check. Our church complied. You correspondent resisted as he has no more contact with church children than does any visitor to our fellowship. But the church needed to register with the Charity Commission. They require all church charity trustees to have a CRB check. Elders are ex officio trustees. So in what I regard as an interference of state in church, this elder has had to have a CRB check. I was not aware that the pastoral Epistles list this as a qualification to be a presbyter. Of course once you introduce silly laws stupidity knows no bounds. If you pass a CRB check for your church you will have to take another for any other contact you have elsewhere with children. It turns out someone with a resemblance to me has a criminal record so my CRB clearance requires fingerprinting. Does Plod really have a record of someone with my full name and the same date and place of birth?

After 9/11, to prevent money laundering by Islamists, I have to have my identity checked when opening a bank account and even to give money to my son to buy a house. The latest fiasco I unearthed when I was told to check the identity of all my employees. I asked it this was only non British citizens. No I was informed. Equal Opportunities means you must have ID from everyone and best check it each year.

I am also suspected of drink driving. Plod can pull me over at any time for no reason whatsoever and make me blow into a breathalyser.

I nearly forgot. I am a suspect terrorist too. I photographed the pub after I took my stall for lunch there. I was questioned by a police officer as to why I was using my camera. The Chief Rabbi’s office is down the street and Islamists placed a bomb there some fifteen years ago. Well I suppose I do have a big beard as well as a camera.

Our innocence has gone. A bishop about to place his hands on a child to give his blessing was shocked to hear the child say,'Get your hands off me dirty old man'. A cardinal archbishop no less was told by parents they had trained their child not to accept an embrace from any stranger when their toddler ran from his approach. We have become an unfriendly police state.

Last of all my professional competence is questioned. When I qualified as a pharmacist, that was it. No more checks. Now there is annual fitness to practice declaration, compulsory continuing education and a paper trail for all my activities including an annual report of written complains when I have never had one in 41 years since I qualified. I have to make an annual survey of customer satisfaction when anyone not satisfied can merely go to the next pharmacy. The country is run by bureaucrats to keep public sector bums on seats. All professions are expected to do more writing about work than actual work. Trust is no more.

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