Opinion - Magnus Linklater Times Online
rightly roughs up Blair on his plans for bypassing the courts:
.. what a strange concept this is. It presumes that crimes like mugging, theft or drunken brawling pose threats to society so much greater than those of previous centuries that they require new concepts of justice to combat them. It believes that “the community” is more likely to be reassured by the summary powers of the police than by the open administration of the courts. And it argues that a system that addresses the circumstances of each individual case, weighs them openly and treats them on their merits lets down the community, because it places the rights of the accused before those of the victim.
This is just the latest in a series of deeply illiberal proposals by this Government. From the attempt to reduce trial by jury to the removal of the right to silence, the “rebalancing” of justice in favour of the victim, the use of hearsay evidence on character, the introduction of previous convictions into the evidence and the undermining of the reputation of judges, the Blair administration has steadily undermined civil liberties and left an indelible stain on its reputation for fair dealing.
Worse, Mr Blair has called Hobbes in its defence and distorted his evidence. In Leviathan, Hobbes wrote: “If a man be interrogated by the sovereign or his authority, concerning a crime done by himself, he is not bound (without assurance of pardon) to confess it; because no man . . . can be obliged by covenant to accuse himself.” My case rests.
This needs saying over and over again, because Blair continues to revisit his vision for "Community Justice" which bypasses all those inconvenient safeguards that have been established for centuries - As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. "Proverbs 26:11"