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atmosphere of injustice

“The way the prosecution is conducted, the way the judge handles the case and prevents people from speaking to the jury, if you do make your case, you run the risk of being in contempt of court.”

Heavy hand

John Spencer, a retired law professor at the University of Cambridge, said he was “surprised” by the Solicitor General’s decision, which he said was “too harsh”.

“The question is, what is the legal status of a jury’s power to acquit someone regardless of the law and the judge’s conscience-based instructions to the law?

“Whether this is an unpleasant anomaly in the legal system, it should be minimized in every possible way and certainly not brought to the attention of the jury, in which case doing so might amount to contempt of court. Or is the law An important guarantee for the system?

“The judgments in the main case so far have held that this was a second case. If that is indeed the case, it seems extraordinary to treat it as contempt of court. I think the Solicitor General’s approach to bringing the case for contempt of court It’s too harsh,” he said.

in an article barrister magazine: Richard Vogler, professor of comparative criminal law and criminal justice at the University of Sussex, said: “George Orwell observed that when truth turns into lies and common sense becomes heresy, repressive laws have the tendency to degenerate into farce. Trend. “

He added: “I wonder whether displaying other fundamental principles of the common law near the court of first instance would be considered a criminal offense by Mr Tomlinson?

“For example, would expressing support for the presumption of innocence or the right to a fair trial on a similar sign seek to pervert the course of justice? Does it mean that these principles no longer apply? Or that we simply do not allow mention of it anywhere close to an actual trial? Them?”

international condemnation

Britain’s treatment of climate protesters has come under international scrutiny.

Earlier this year, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Walker Türk Write to the British Government Expressed concern over the UK’s Public Order Act, which received Royal Assent in May 2023, describing it as “deeply disturbing legislation” that is “incompatible with the UK’s international rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association” human rights obligations”.

Turck also wrote: “I am also concerned that the law appears to specifically target peaceful actions taken by those protesting for human rights and environmental issues. As the world faces the triple global crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, governments should Protect and promote peaceful protests about these existential themes, rather than hinder and prevent them.”

Crossland called the overall situation “a trajectory toward authoritarianism.”

He added: “The purpose of juries is to prevent abuses of power by the state. We have international organizations such as the United Nations wondering what is happening in the UK now. This is a very terrible situation – a government that is completely intolerant of anyone holding it to account.” ”

this author

Catherine Early is a freelance environmental reporter and chief reporter Ecologist.She tweeted at @Cat_Early76.

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