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Some arguments for 'Common Law' being a cult/psyop


neonbelly
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Hi everyone, this is my first post here and I just wanted to share some blog posts I wrote a while ago to see if they might be of interest to any of you as I read a number of interesting posts here while I was researching them that influenced how they ultimately turned out.

 

I saw that there were a number of posters on here who were beginning to question the validity of much of the 'common law' ideology which is being presented to people as a solution to the problems we are currently facing. Recently(ish) I wrote a couple of blogs looking into this ideology a bit further as I had grown increasingly frustrated with how 'common law' had come to dominate the local, let's say, 'freedom' movement in which I had become somewhat involved as a result of the lockdown situation and had made it increasingly less effective and increasingly more cultish and cliquish to the point where myself and others basically stepped back entirely. What I found, when I tried to find a clear explanation of what 'common law' adherents actually believe was a tangled mess in which certain indisputably true things (historical common law) were mixed together with bizarre interpretations of existing laws (e.g the lost at sea stuff) and a lot of interesting but impossible to prove esoteric wordplay. I strongly suspect that many, if not most, of those pushing this ideology as figureheads and speakers are either grifters or are deliberately pushing a psyop that is designed to siphon people's energy into paths that don't fundamentally challenge the regime or expose its real mechanisms of power (most of which couldn't give a damn about 'sovereign beings' and special legal formulas as witnessed by the illegal wars they wage, the treatment of political enemies like Assange and countless other things) and ultimately lead to financial ruin for those who pursue them to their logical conclusions. This suspicion was only heightened when I discovered that many 'common law' gurus first popped up at the precise moment when the system was expediting its last major crisis (the 2008 financial disaster) and many were becoming aware of the fraudulent nature of its fractional reserve banking system and were demanding real change.

 

For those who already have similar suspicions/ideas I would highly recommend checking out Mark Window's work which I also discovered while writing the blogs (his site is ...and he does an excellent podcast every Sunday which can be found on there along with archives of all of his shows). Unlike myself, he has a deep knowledge of real common law and I believe has actually been involved in trying to win cases with it for years and so understands where it is and isn't applicable/effective. There is a link to both of my blog posts below and I would appreciate any feedback that people have as I'm still trying to get tot he bottom of whether there is anything in this 'common law' stuff or whether its all just a big con/psyop!

The Common Law Cult Part One

The Common Law Cult Part Two

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The common law is not the con. The con is statute law which is created in parliament

 

These statutes along with 'precedent' law created by judges decisions in court form our 'legal system' and then lawyers and judges join the 'law society' in order to uphold that legal system

 

They claim that the authority to do this comes from 'the crown' but we, the people, might reasonably ask 'what exactly IS 'the crown?''

 

So for example if the politicians tomorrow made a law that everyone who had posted on this forum must be rounded up and shot the police, acting under the authority of 'the crown' would then come round to your house and arrest you and bundle you into a police van to be taken away to be shot. If you said that it was unlawful to do so they would simply answer 'we are just following the law'

 

But they wouldn't be following THE law as THE law is the ancient common law of this land. What they would be following is STATUTE law made by politicians

 

So in my mind what this all really boils down to is whether we, the people, believe that parliament can make whatever rules they like and get policemen and women to enforce them using violence or if there are limits on that. Historically the limit to that is your common law rights but all the people invested in statute law including all of those people who are part of the law society will try to tell you that all that matters is what is 'legal' but as i illustrated above that is really just a slippery slope to tyranny

 

Now the reality of the situation is that for as long as psychopaths can get people to carry out their orders (realpolitik aka 'might is right') your common law rights can be trampled on. So the only ACTUAL safeguard you have is your WILLINGNESS to defend your common law rights. The el-ites who run the country know this which is why they took your guns away

Edited by Macnamara
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1 hour ago, Macnamara said:

all of those people who are part of the law society will try to tell you that all that matters is what is 'legal' but as i illustrated above that is really just a slippery slope to tyranny

Public Officials: How to Hide Evidence That You Are Being Bribed

October 9, 2022

By Janet Phelan

The promise of America lies specifically in these words: “With Liberty and Justice for all.” Through a balancing of the three branches of government, meant to act as checks on each other, this promise is to be protected and maintained.

But what if the promise has been broken? What if the three branches, executive, legislative and judicial, have been tweaked and compromised? What if they have been captured, to use the present parlance. What would this look like and how would we know?

In fact, we know through experience. Our own, and that of others. The springing up of grassroots groups, throughout America, attempting to deal with the overwhelming abuse of power now seen in the judiciary, is one big clue.

 

The judiciary was originally seen as the weakest branch of government. Through absolute judicial immunity, coupled with some complicity and collusion by the other branches, the courts have emerged as one of the most powerful arms of the growing hegemony of the state.

If a judge makes a ruling, however far it departs from the law, that ruling has the weight of law. Of course you can appeal, and will find yourself in front of…another judge. If in fact there are “underground guidelines” running the courts now, the previous irregularity of the first judge may be endorsed by the appeals judge. And there goes your “Liberty and Justice for All.”

If judges are now “wired” to accommodate certain prerogatives of the state, then it would stand to reason that they are being compensated for so doing. These black-robed individuals, who are every day now “executing” the law (pun intended) are not some sort of freedom-hating, law-abusing freaks. They are political operatives who are paid to accommodate certain agendas. And lo and behold, it appears they are indeed being paid off, under the table.

https://www.activistpost.com/2022/10/public-officials-how-to-hide-evidence-that-you-are-being-bribed.html

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7 hours ago, neonbelly said:

Hi everyone, this is my first post here and I just wanted to share some blog posts I wrote a while ago to see if they might be of interest to any of you as I read a number of interesting posts here while I was researching them that influenced how they ultimately turned out.

 

I saw that there were a number of posters on here who were beginning to question the validity of much of the 'common law' ideology which is being presented to people as a solution to the problems we are currently facing. Recently(ish) I wrote a couple of blogs looking into this ideology a bit further as I had grown increasingly frustrated with how 'common law' had come to dominate the local, let's say, 'freedom' movement in which I had become somewhat involved as a result of the lockdown situation and had made it increasingly less effective and increasingly more cultish and cliquish to the point where myself and others basically stepped back entirely. What I found, when I tried to find a clear explanation of what 'common law' adherents actually believe was a tangled mess in which certain indisputably true things (historical common law) were mixed together with bizarre interpretations of existing laws (e.g the lost at sea stuff) and a lot of interesting but impossible to prove esoteric wordplay. I strongly suspect that many, if not most, of those pushing this ideology as figureheads and speakers are either grifters or are deliberately pushing a psyop that is designed to siphon people's energy into paths that don't fundamentally challenge the regime or expose its real mechanisms of power (most of which couldn't give a damn about 'sovereign beings' and special legal formulas as witnessed by the illegal wars they wage, the treatment of political enemies like Assange and countless other things) and ultimately lead to financial ruin for those who pursue them to their logical conclusions. This suspicion was only heightened when I discovered that many 'common law' gurus first popped up at the precise moment when the system was expediting its last major crisis (the 2008 financial disaster) and many were becoming aware of the fraudulent nature of its fractional reserve banking system and were demanding real change.

 

For those who already have similar suspicions/ideas I would highly recommend checking out Mark Window's work which I also discovered while writing the blogs (his site is ...and he does an excellent podcast every Sunday which can be found on there along with archives of all of his shows). Unlike myself, he has a deep knowledge of real common law and I believe has actually been involved in trying to win cases with it for years and so understands where it is and isn't applicable/effective. There is a link to both of my blog posts below and I would appreciate any feedback that people have as I'm still trying to get tot he bottom of whether there is anything in this 'common law' stuff or whether its all just a big con/psyop!

The Common Law Cult Part One

The Common Law Cult Part Two

 

Welcome to the forum neonbelly and thank you so much for your insightful post and sharing your blogs which I must say are brilliantly written.

 

As far as I understand mainstream law school teaching, common law is defined as honouring the precedent case by case. This is where judges have made rulings and such decisions are binding on lower courts. Judges often have to settle the actual meaning of legislative wording and from this a body of case law (common law) builds up. There is also the matter of our constitution which is a common law one - it has never been codified and the British legal order is such that any adjudicators are "Umpires" rather than "Inquisitors". Parliament doesn't need to define every little thing because principles of justice, fairness and mercy should prevail.

 

From a philosophical point of view, I certainly see merit in "natural law" which essentially means to do no harm. I would also agree that each of us have, as part of the natural order of things, inalienable rights including to life, free movement, freedom of speech, conscience, association and the right to a fair trial. A universally acknowledged natural law which is common to all could be one definition of common law. So I can find some common ground with some of what is being said by those who promote "common law" - namely, inalienable rights which cannot be taken away by any government.

 

But, similar to the experience you describe, I have distanced myself from our local "freedom" movement because the focus is becoming increasingly about a different concept of "common law" with workshops being organised by the latest pop up guru or local enthusiast. This alternative understanding of "common law" was something I was initially open to exploring but I quickly found it failed to live up to its hype especially when I researched the failings of the Freeman of the Land movement which cropped up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

 

Whilst "common law" is promoted as a means to living in "honour", I have concerns about some of what is being touted. Much of the focus is about getting out of paying bills and debts etc which some may be pursuing without entirely honourable intentions. I have first hand seen the consequences of people not paying their bills, especially to priority creditors which comes with significant risk. Some people do win small victories and manage to get debts written off but it is probably because they have made a nuisance of themselves and the creditor in question has, rather than suddenly acknowledging previously unknown ancient common law rights, merely decided not to pursue the debt further.

 

There is also a penchant for sending "conditional acceptances" including of taking the vaccine. Why is this necessary - why not just simply say no? Common law proponent David Adelman has said it is the most honourable thing to do but hasn't explained why whereas I see issuing a conditional acceptance of something you have no intention of doing as dishonest.

 

I really haven't been able to find any evidence of so-called "Admiralty-Maritime" law. I can certainly see parallels between maritime terms and commerce (e.g. bank, current-sea / currency, birth / berth etc) apparently dating back to the ancient sea-faring Phoenicians, but that is not solid enough for me to jump on board with it to the point of seeing it as dominating our legal system.

 

Much of the "common law" content being touted involves grandiose, or as you describe it, "esoteric" language rather than simple plain English - this contradicts the message that the law should be easy to use and common to all, especially when the mainstream legal system is criticised as using complicated language aka legalese. This "word magic" seems akin to mental gymnastics and trying to look clever whilst glossing over a foundation which is lacking in substance.

 

Like you, I have witnessed an apparent brainwashing of people, who consider themselves to be "awake", into the "common law" cult. I have tried warning people of the potential ramifications of certain "common law" strategies but sadly my concerns have fallen on deaf ears and critical thinking has been absent. You consider in part one of your blog where the "common law" appeal lies, and I would add to your thoughts that it provides a form of hopeium and false empowerment in order to channel energies into a dead end. What I have observed in the keenest, well intentioned "common law" proponents is that they are those who really feel they need to be doing something in the face of tyranny and "common law" gives them something they can actually do to feel like they are bucking the system. It is a bubble that is hard to burst as cognitive dissonance sets in as equally as it did with the general population when it came to the Scamdemic.

 

I find the whole field misguided, piecemeal and confused. The underlying concept of natural law and inalienable rights is sound, but the way in which so-called "common law" is being practiced seems somewhat removed from its philosophical underpinning. And, in any event, it won't be recognised by the courts and police who hold the powers of enforcement backed up by the consent of most of the general population and, for that reason, I see little use for it in practice.

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So we have an ancient 'common law' tradition in this country. We also have a constitution

 

However some conspirators who want to enslave the people in this country have been working to subvert those because they are an obstacle to what the conspirators want to achieve

 

Covid has now got people wondering exactly what their rights are. Now without going into the argument over natural law we are able to see in the covid era that our parliament is occupied territory. The conspirators are in control of it and they are using it to create laws that are enslaving us

 

So the question is whether or not the british people are going to accept that or not. If people do not want to be enslaved then they have to ask themselves what tools they have at their disposal to push back with. One tool they have is the common law and also the constitution but these need further clarification so that people can stand on solid foundations

 

It also needs ENOUGH people to then make that stand and it needs for the police themselves to learn about these things so that they don't allow themselves to become the instrument of the conspirators

 

So we need to find clarity over our constitution and over the common law and we need to spread that awareness far and wide and then we need to stick to our guns, so to speak.

 

Think about it this way....if we do not assert our ancient common law rights then what exactly do we have left?

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1 hour ago, Macnamara said:

One tool they have is the common law and also the constitution but these need further clarification so that people can stand on solid foundations

 

I read a few weeks ago that the United Kingdom does not have a written codified constitution - is that true? If so then a written document spelling out peoples' rights would be a good step, I would think.

 

Quote

The UK has no written constitution. Nor does England have a constitution, neither written nor formulated. The United Kingdom is one of the few countries of the world that does not have a written constitution: it just has what is known as an "uncodified constitution".

https://about-britain.com/institutions/constitution.htm

 

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6 hours ago, JCP said:

I read a few weeks ago that the United Kingdom does not have a written codified constitution - is that true? If so then a written document spelling out peoples' rights would be a good step, I would think.

 

Its more that it is spread over different documents over a period of centuries. So key documents are the magna carta of 1215 and the declaration of rights of 1688. The declaration of rights was then given parliamentary recognition with the Bill of rights so if parliament breeches the constitution it becomes illegitimate

 

With the common law there is JUS COMMONE which is that law that we all know to be universally acknowledged which is to say what we all know with our conscience to be wrong for example that you shouldn't kill someone or do them harm or harm their property or rob them.

 

Then there is HONOURING PRECEDENT which is to say the CUSTOM that is built up in court cases from what is decided in each case. That then creates a precedent that subsequent judges are supposed to follow

 

However a KEY piece of that process is the idea of ANNULMENT BY JURY which is where a person is entitled to be tried by a jury of their peers and if the jury decides against the statute law in that case then the statute law is then annulled. This means that common law custom is created by THE PEOPLE.

 

Judges and lawyers are members of the law society however and they don't want the people to make the law so they are pushing for more and more areas of law to be decided by judges alone, in closed courts, with no jury made up of the public

Edited by Macnamara
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Mark windows isn't saying the common law doesn't exist or that the common law is a psyop; he's saying that people have misunderstandings about what it is and therefore develop unrealistic expectations

 

If the JUS COMMONE aspect of common law isn't written down but is part of custom and boils down to:

-don't harm others

-don't harm the property of others

-honour your contracts

 

Then in the covid, biosecurity state era where the police will stop you talking a walk in the countryside or running your business then this is where we need some clarity on this issue and i don't pretend to have all the answers. I'd love for someone who really knows their stuff to bring clarity to these issues. I'm just rushing to fill in gaps in my knowledge the same as many others

 

So for example if you are walking in the countryside and the police stop you under some sort of covid regulation, under my current perception, it would be perfectly reasonable for the person to say to the cops 'i am going about my lawful business. I am not harming anyone or anyones property and you are impeding my lawful progress'

 

Of course this doesn't mean that a police person is going to respect your common law rights but this is the whole point about this issue.....this is where the rubber meets the road: it boils down to whether you and every other individual in society, including the cops themselves believe that parliament has the absolute power to do whatever it wants just because they put it in a statute or if you have higher, unassailable rights such as a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (to borrow from the american constitution). Do you have a right to walk in the countryside if you are not harming anyone or anything or can the state lock you in your home on a whim

 

So my concern is that when people seeing activists unrealistically expecting the common law to be some sort of cure-all to their problems they may be tempted to throw the baby out with the bath water and deny the common law altogether but if we do that we really have no defence left in the war of words. I personally think it would be better to invest energies into establishing exactly what the common law IS and IS NOT rather than trying to drive a stake into its heart altogether because that will only play into the hands of the satanic cabal who are the ones pushing for the absolute power of parliament (because they control it)

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23 hours ago, Macnamara said:

it boils down to whether you and every other individual in society, including the cops themselves believe that parliament has the absolute power to do whatever it wants just because they put it in a statute or if you have higher, unassailable rights such as a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (to borrow from the american constitution). Do you have a right to walk in the countryside if you are not harming anyone or anything or can the state lock you in your home on a whim

 

an individual in the law society breaks out of the covid intoxication and has a sober moment of reflection on the over-reach of parliamentary power:

Boris Johnson’s Covid laws took away our rights with flick of a pen. Don’t let that happen again

Ministers were able to rule by decree for more than two years. That’s not true democracy and it remains a risk in the future
Thu 13 Oct 2022 10.07 BST

It is almost three years since the first case of a novel coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China.

It’s just over two and a half years since Boris Johnson gave us a “very simple instruction”, that we “must stay at home”, followed – three days later – by a law that for the first time in our history would impose a 24-hour curfew on almost the entire population. The years, months, weeks and days since have been so relentless – and at times almost beyond belief – that it is difficult to begin to process them. Many of us have experienced personal bereavement, and everyone has been touched in some way.

But as tempting as it is to move on, to focus on other important issues vexing our society, there are some aspects of the past three years we must face up to.

There are a hundred lenses through which to view this important period in modern history, but as a barrister I have looked at the more than 100 laws that placed England in lockdown, imposed hotel quarantine, international travel restrictions, self-isolation, face coverings and business closures.

These were probably the strangest and most extraordinary laws in England’s history, imposing previously unimaginable restrictions on our social lives, bringing into the realm of the criminal law areas of life – where we could worship, when we could leave home, even who we could hug – that had previously been purely a matter of personal choice.

By early 2020, the Johnson government already had form for seeing democracy as a gadfly to be swatted away, having tried, and failed – thanks to the supreme court – to shut down parliament for weeks to ram through a Brexit deal. When the pandemic hit, it is no surprise that it took the same approach to involving parliament in the most consequential decisions and laws in living memory.

The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 allowed for ministers to enact the coronavirus regulations with almost no parliamentary scrutiny. Of 109 lockdown laws, only eight were considered by parliament before coming into force, usually only a day before. The rest became law (literally) as soon as Matt Hancock, the then health secretary, put his signature at the bottom of the page.

I am not suggesting that emergency law-making would ever be straightforward and neat, following all the processes of ordinary legislation. During public emergencies, events move swiftly and mercilessly. But it did not have to be like this.

Also troubling was the constant refrain that the government was “following the science”, by which it meant its scientific advisory group, Sage. But decisions were ultimately taken in the extremely powerful but opaque Covid-19 cabinet committees, presided over by four ministers – Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove. No minutes were released and no explanation offered of how decisions were made. This was the most powerful government committee since the second world war, but received no scrutiny. Important political decisions need to be understood, scrutinised and tested. These hardly were.

We still live in the state that permitted ministers to rule by decree for more than two years, and where basic freedoms were removed without democratic scrutiny or accountability. In 2008, the Public Health and Wellbeing Act was amended to include vast powers for ministers to use in the case of a public health emergency. And because ministers would have the power to impose laws without parliament having to review them for four weeks (or sometimes longer), they could, as one prescient member of the House of Lords put it during the brief 2008 debate, “at the stroke of a pen … limit and constrain the daily lives and freedoms of citizens”.

Parliament, meanwhile, allowed itself to play the role of a 1,400-person rubber stamp. The police, tasked with enforcing the ever-growing mass of legislation, often being changed more than once a week, floundered between excessive and unjustified intrusions into our private lives, or – as was initially the case with the Partygate investigation – attempting to stay out of the fray altogether. The courts, for their part, also played a limited role, ruling repeatedly that pandemic policy – even when it interfered with fundamental rights – was a matter for government and parliament, not judges.

Why does this matter now? Because the pandemic – and the ease with which ancient freedoms such as the right to protest, to worship, to see our families, were removed essentially by decisions of a tiny group of ministers – should be a wake-up call. It is only a matter of time before a new crisis will arise – either connected to Covid-19, to another virus or to another kind of emergency altogether.

We must face up to the fact that we are not well protected from a government if it wanted to use a state of emergency to corrode our freedoms. We have no written constitution, meaning it is more difficult for people to claim their rights, and – unlike in many other democracies – the courts are reluctant to become embroiled in cases involving fundamental rights that involve political controversy. Government power has been on the rise for years, not least through the ever increasing use of secondary legislation to set policy. And our public health legislation remains extraordinarily broad.

CK Allen, scholar of the vast emergency powers built up during the second world war, reminds us that freedom “is not easily gained, and, once surrendered – however necessary the surrender may be – is even less easily regained”. As tempting as it is to put this dark period in our history behind us, it is only by looking back that we can, finally, hope to move forward.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/oct/13/boris-johnson-covid-laws-rights-decree-two-years-democracy

 

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I find the whole field misguided, piecemeal and confused. The underlying concept of natural law and inalienable rights is sound, but the way in which so-called "common law" is being practiced seems somewhat removed from its philosophical underpinning. And, in any event, it won't be recognised by the courts and police who hold the powers of enforcement backed up by the consent of most of the general population and, for that reason, I see little use for it in practice.

 

Completely agree with this and also with Macnamara's point in terms of the 'rubber meeting the road' at the point of enforceability/willingness to enforce on the part of those who have the power to - this is where I have constantly hit a brick wall with the 'common law' types in my local freedom movement: why does it help us to understand their particular version of 'common law' if the authorities will simply ignore it and carry on anyway? Also re: Mark Windows, I might have unintentionally misrepresented his position a bit as I agree he is an advocate for the useful 'core' of (real) common law but also warns that there are many charlatans around using the name 'common law' to push totally unrelated and often extremely risky ideologies (for instance I know one person who got the impression that they could dispense with car insurance because they were a 'traveller' not a 'driver' or something and then ended up having to pay a substantial fine when this didn't hold up in court - the 'common law' truthers response to this essentially being to ostracise/smear the person involved, who had been one of their biggest supporters and claim that they simply weren't 'doing it right' whilst also shutting down any discussion of exactly WHY their approach didn't work in this case or any others they have tried). I think the historical common law IS an important thing for us to defend/uphold but I believe the whole 'common law' movement simply reveals the general confusion about how power works amongst the truth movement as a whole - which is something we urgently need to correct before TPTB try and pull another 'covid' style coup and we find ourselves unable to respond effectively again!

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On 10/12/2022 at 5:19 PM, neonbelly said:

Just realised that I didn't add the link to Mark Window's site in the original post so here it is: https://windowsontheworld.net - highly recommend to those in this movement who are a bit more skeptical or who have seen strange behaviour and ideas start to creep in and derail the activities of otherwise effective local freedom groups.

Cheers...Just went and got a brief impression^^ ....hmmm, good to know I guess.

 

Ahem, common law, aside a moment, (ah that big concrete slab now taken off our backs.... BUT ONLY just a few seconds, muhahah, J/K)
So, as if this could help relieve us even further, whilst not pleasant in nature it could be insightful if I can think where to post this other than in Common Law subforum..... Maybe you neobelly would wish to do that instead of me anyhow since you got "Windows on the World" up in our sights if that takes your fancy?....🙂

ie, OFF TOPIC:-
Still, I put a brief look here now anyway for a quick glance~ just leaning over ever so slightly into the Brimstone & Hellfire, pointing by my surprise to this topic, anyone seen this? https://windowsontheworld.net/video_type/demons-are-real/  Quite the eye opener wouldn't it be but at least a relief for *paranoid schizophrenics* in some way perhaps? (*as the empty hearted punitive establishment calls them*) --- A licenced retired psycho-therapist says so about the matter, named Jerry (clear to see)........ Just saying, 😙 besides it was World Mental Health Day recently on 10th of October gone....

 

Now returning to weighted slabs on our backs Common Law.... 

Edited by TetraG
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Interview with a Stormtrooper revisited: Do we have rights?

Friday, 14th October 2022

Oath

At the individual level, every police constable swears an oath (amended in 2005 for England and Wales, and in 2012 for Scotland) to ‘serve the King in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people’. The Scots oath omits reference to the monarch but has the same substantive wording on the performance of the constable’s duties as the England and Wales oath. The episode at Holyrood was an exhibition in sending the Constable's Oath up in a puff of smoke. 

In the UK, each of the four nations issued different Covid safety guidance and drew up different policy (which articulates, perfectly, the absurd suggestions that there is such a thing as ‘The Science’, or that a ‘virus’ may be kept in abeyance by penalising those that break ‘the rules’). Indeed, police were mobilised, but with no regard for the possibility that this might not help. Powers conferred upon police are shown below, drawn from the House of Commons Library Briefing Paper 9024.

Common law not wanted

In his encounter with the liaison officers, David Scott made repeated references to common law, which dates back to the eleventh century (iūs commune). In the whole of Blackstone’s Handbook for Policing Students, common law is afforded just one paragraph. It is more or less cast aside by the final sentence of the paragraph:

In the UK new common law offences are no longer created, but courts continue to interpret existing laws when setting precedents.

David’s encounter with the police was of course in Scotland, which is often wrongly described as not having common law, merely because some maxims of Roman law have also been incorporated into Scots law. Common law is in fact the bedrock of Scots law to this day, as Lord Cullen, when he was Lord President (Scotland’s top judge), had to point out to the justices of the UK Supreme Court a few years ago in a House of Lords committee session after they had declared that Scotland did not have the common law.

Part of the reason for the lack of engagement on the issue of common law would have been the absence of knowledge—it is simply not learned by police. However, there is a terrific degree of wariness surrounding common law and police are, consciously and unconsciously, biased against those that cite it. The belief is that people interested in common law are troublemakers and that they are concerned with freedom and all sorts of other problematic notions.

That this can be the case, in twenty-first century Britain, is an indictment of the quality of police leadership and the wider criminal justice system. I believe police constables should consider themselves in breach of their oath of allegiance when actively seeking to inhibit the very fundamental human rights they are avowed to uphold. At the very least, they should be able to justify, with no ambiguity, their decision to restrict freedoms, just as they have to when removing a person’s liberty via arrest. Simply putting this mode of policing down to being told what to do by government, science and medicine represents a serious failure, at the individual and corporate level.

 

The difference between rights, rights and rights

Despite ‘fundamental human rights’ supposedly forming the backbone of the 21st-century oath sworn by all British police constables, there is very little attention paid to the exact meaning of this during police training. The construct of rights, in every jurisdiction in the United Kingdom, is dealt with by the legislation contained within three (now endangered) all-UK acts of parliament: the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998, the Equality Act 2010, and the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984. Rights are split by these statutes into three categories; and it is this categorisation which tells police whether they may, or may not, interfere with the particular right in a lawful manner.

Absolute rights—such as the rights to life, to freedom from torture, slavery and forced labour and the right to freedom from punishment without law—may not be interfered with by the state under any circumstances. The UK’s commitment to these absolutes, at least in theory, has been reaffirmed multiple times through the jurisdiction of such structures as the Council of Europe (a treaty organisation older than and separate from the European Union).

Limited rights may be restricted in a particular situation: for instance, the right to liberty when a person is detained following arrest.

Qualified rights, which are what was referred to in David Scott’s police encounter at Holyrood, are rights that may be removed from the individual to ‘protect the rights of other individuals or the public interest’, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. For a much deeper examination of the constitutional background to rights as we think we know them today, I would encourage you to listen to A Dissident’s Guide to the Constitution, an ongoing podcast series produced by UK Column.

If the nebulous concept of ‘public health’ is taken as the qualifying criterion for restricting the right to the freedom of assembly and association (Article 11 of HRA 1998), then it stands to reason that there must be a cast-iron case underpinning ‘public health’. This, I believe, is what David was driving at. The Government’s own statistics, at that exact time, did not suggest an emergency of the type that would appear to be necessary to justify such measures being taken. If this were the case, how is it in the public interest to restrict this right?

There is a wider issue here, which pertains to the enduring relationship between choice and risk. If, as is the case in Britain now, qualified rights must balance the needs of one individual against another, why should this balancing be done in favour of the individual with a diminished appetite for personal risk? One for another day.

Returning to Blackstone’s and the onus on police to use their judgement in these situations, I will cite the considerations given as regards qualified rights. Before attempting any action which will restrict or qualify the rights of an individual, a police constable should be able to answer ‘yes’ to the four questions below:

  1. Are my actions lawful? Is there common or statute law to support my interference with his/her rights?
  2. Are my actions permissible? Am I permitted to interfere with his/her rights because it is in support of a duty, such as preventing crime?
  3. Are my actions necessary? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few; in other words, must I take into account the interests of the community and balance one individual ‘s right against another’s?
  4. Are my actions proportionate? Having considered everything, will my actions be excessive or could I do something less intrusive and more in proportion to the outcome I need to achieve?

At a pinch, the answers to considerations 1 and 2 could in the Holyrood encounter be ‘yes’. Yet, whilst I accept that context is everything, it is extremely hard to see how the answers to considerations 3 and 4 could be anything other than a resounding ‘no’. All police actions should be conducted with necessity and proportionality in mind.

The same could be said of the actions of governments. If the provisions, regulations and guidance which came from the Coronavirus Act 2020 are examined under considerations 3 and 4, how would the governments of the UK respond, honestly? The statistics used to bolster the actions of the state were almost exclusively driven by a non-diagnostic PCR test and a serious amendment to the process by which a death was registered.

I am not aware of any real-world evidence, then or now, of the sort of emergency which would merit discussing the qualification of certain rights. People were not dying in the streets. The average age of a so-called ‘Covid death’ was above the average age of death. The consequences of the response to the suggested threat are a different matter altogether. However, as soon as police became involved, the actions taken to support the new legislation were in the name of duty; a new tasking. The word ‘crackdown’ is usually bandied about at times like these, when there is a great shift in operational focus. And a crackdown it was, with the entire population on the list of potential suspects.

 

Human rights honoured less the more they are talked about

So, at the individual level, it really is incumbent upon the individual police constable to ensure that what they are doing is with their oath in mind.

https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/interview-with-a-stormtrooper-revisited-do-we-have-rights

 
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