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xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’

by : John Gardner
Tuesday July 26, 2005 - 19:03
16 comments

John Gardner is the Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Oxford, and occasional Visiting Professor at Yale Law School.

Police state: Like many of my fellow-Londoners I am less alarmed by suicide bombers than I am by the police’s Mossad-style execution of a ’suspect’ (who turned out to be a completely innocent passer-by) on Friday 22 July. This is not because we are at greater risk of death at the hands of the police than at the hands of the bombers. (Both risks are pretty tiny, but of the two the risk posed by the police is clearly smaller). Rather, it is because, all else being equal, it is worse to be killed by one’s friends than by one’s enemies, and worse to be killed by people in authority than by people not in authority.

Here are some other important things to remember in thinking about the police actions of 22 July:

(1) There is no general legal duty to assist the police or to obey police instructions. Rice v Connolly [1966] 2 QB 414.

(2) There are special police powers to arrest and search. But there is no special police licence to injure or kill. If they injure or kill, the police need to rely on the same law as the rest of us.

(3) The law allows those who use force in prevention of crime to use only necessary and proportionate force. Jack Straw and Sir Ian Blair say that officers are under great pressure. But this is no excuse. In law, as in morality, being under extra pressure gives us no extra latitude for error in judging how much force is proportionate or necessary. R v Clegg [1995] 1 A.C. 482.

(4) Arguably, the police should be held to higher standards of calm under pressure than the rest of us. Certainly not lower!

(5) The necessity and proportionality of the police use of force is to be judged on the facts as they believed them to be: R v Williams 78 Cr. App R 276. This does create latitude for factual error. In my view it creates too much latitude. The test should be reasonable belief. The police may be prejudiced like the rest of us, and may treat the fact that someone is dark-skinned as one reason to believe that he is a suicide bomber. But in court this reason should not count.

(6) It is no defence in law that the killing was authorised by a superior officer. A superior officer who authorises an unlawful killing is an accomplice. R v Clegg [1995] 1 A.C. 482.

(7) The fact that those involved were police officers is irrelevant to the question of whether to prosecute them. It is a basic requirement of the Rule of Law that, when suspected of crimes, officials are subject to the same policies and procedures as the rest of us.

(8) Some people say: Blame the terrorists, not the police. But blame is not a zero-sum game. The fact that one is responding to faulty actions doesn’t mean one is incapable of being at fault oneself. We may blame Tony Blair for helping to create the conditions in which bombing appeals to people, without subtracting any blame from the bombers. We may also blame the bombers for creating the conditions in which the police act under pressure, without subtracting blame from the police if they overreact. Everyone is responsible for their own faulty actions, never mind the contribution of others. This is the moral position as well as the position in criminal law.

Proposed new anti-terrorist offences: The one that has been variously labelled as ’condoning’ or ’glorifying’ or ’indirectly inciting’ terrorism gives cause for concern. It is already an offence to incite another person to commit an act of terrorism (Terrorism Act 2000 s59). In which respects, we may wonder, is the scope of this offence to be extended? The word ’indirect’ suggests that they mean to catch those who incite the s59 inciter. But under general doctrines of English criminal law it is already an offence to incite the s59 inciter. So one suspects some other extension of the existing offence is being cooked up. Is the plan to criminalise the mere defence or endorsement of a terrorist act? If so we are in for trouble. Terrorism in English law is defined to cover all modes of political violence, however trifling. Are academics and commentators no longer to be permitted to defend any political violence? Is Ted Honderich’s Violence for Equality, or Peter Singer’s Democracy and Disobedience, to be put on the banned books list? The only thing protecting these books at the moment is that, in the eyes of the law, an argued endorsement is not an incitement. The thought that the government may be thinking of changing this should send a shiver down the spine of anyone who still has a spine (damn few).

Lord Hoffman in A v Home Secretary [2005] 2 WLR 87: ’The real threat to the life of the nation ... comes not from terrorism but from laws like these.’ Quite right. Some extra risk of being blown up by fanatics on the way to work is one of the prices we pay for living in a free society. Let’s make sure we keep it that way.

http://users.ox.ac.uk/ lawf0081/ind...

Related:

Seattle Police Officers Begin New Anti-Terror Training

http://www.komotv.com/stories/38161.htm

... by the same people who taught the London cops how to shoot an innocent Brazilian man 8 times while he was pinned to the ground.

http://whatreallyhappened.com/



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Commentaires de l'article
 

> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Wednesday July 27 - 08:04 - Posted by 27137ac02089d7f2...

Face it, it is holocaust what happens. They (Europeans) want the refugess and silom seekers out.
Obviously is Britains so called booming economy no capable of carrying social burdens.




> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Wednesday July 27 - 17:25 - Posted by 6719107fb27b4d2e...

Please put the glue bottle away. Learn to spell while you are at it, too. Your comment was uncalled-for, irrelevant and hard to understand. If you have something of value to say, please do so; if not, please shut up.



> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Wednesday July 27 - 23:16 - Posted by 27137ac02089d7f2...

Adolf is it you? Or Goebbels?



> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Thursday July 28 - 06:24 - Posted by 26617ee0084bc3ea...

Racist. How many languages do you speak? Or perhaps you are too busy to care about multi-ethnic studies because you are role playing shooting a foreigner in the head while attempting auto-erotic asphyxiation. Back to your Nazi “wannabe” dictator dreams, single track sycophant.



> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Thursday July 28 - 09:59 - Posted by 6719107fb27b4d2e...

Actually, I was agreeing with everything that Professor Gardner said, and pointing out that the poster was being irrelevant (and probably irreverant). Attacking me as a racist (which I am not, speaking as I do four European languages, and having lived in more than half a dozen countries) or comparing me with Hitler or Göbels (spelling is again a problem here) is only pointing up what I was saying. It seems that those who have no good arguments attack personally those who do. It is ever thus.



my 2p
Wednesday July 27 - 17:48 - Posted by b61b0bdd42434697...

well said, that’s what goes through my mind about this. The atmosphere in London on the tubes, and generally, is horrible now. There was zero justification for what happened and it has made people very scared. I worry just carrying my work bag around - I’m a computer engineer and I always have wires with me. Do not want to be shot in the face for having a dangling ethernet lead coming out of my bag at all.

This can only be the start of much worse racial tensions.




> my 2¢
Thursday July 28 - 19:52 - Posted by 4cc39d19a8a0483e...

As I’m not living in London, I cant comment on how life must be there. However, I am aware of what its like to have aircraft flown into skyscrapers. Yes, your lives have changed... get over it. Nothing will be the same again. Sorry ’bout your luck. At least youre alive enough and free enough to sit there and type.

About the ’innocent’ that was gunned down in cold blood. Ya know, I have a real big problem with how this ’innocent’ reacted when told to drop or die. Run? Are you kidding me? Had this airhead simply obeyed orders, he would be alive now. Really rudimentary, doncha think? I’ll love the comments that maybe he didnt have a good command of the English language. Sorry, but when in Rome.... you get the picture.

The good prof says we dont have to obey? I’m thinking that is terminalistic thinking in the real world. Maybe he needs a few months of front-line duty to cure him of his in-the-womb view of reality.

If any of you would like to take this a step further and place blame on the US/Bush for stirring the pot, lying about WMD to gain access to Saddam, etc, allow me to remind you that he was #1 in funding and training terrorists and gee, doesnt it seem fitting to kill the bees at the hive instead of individually as they fly about?

Again, I am truely sorry for your luck. I applaud your LEA’s efforts to keep the peace. Remember, they were trained by the best in the world to combat terrorists one-on-one. I just wish we had the ’jewels’ to do that here. This is the new world order, folks. Take it in stride.

Oh, one more thing. Don’t let your CAT5 dangle, nor should you wear abnormal dress such as a huge overcoat on a hot day. Things like this bring unwanted attention to you...



> my 2¢
Friday July 29 - 18:49 - Posted by 4cc39d19a8a0483e...

As a footnote, 4 suspects have just been arrested due to the diligence of your protectors in uniform. How many of you now wish to line up behind the good professor who’d rather sniff lillies than ensure his family is and remains protected from harm?

...I thought so.

Way to go, LEA! Maybe we’ll have to borrow your services one day when it all hits here again due to the fact we’re still seen as fat and soft here in the States.



> my 2¢
Friday July 29 - 23:33 - Posted by faac04efe984ef6f...

....spoken like a loyal boot-licker



> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Wednesday May 10 - 15:29 - Posted by f5b802883b1746d8...

maybe he didnt have a good command of the English language. Sorry, but when in Rome.... you get the picture.

No I didn’t .

So you mean we can’t go to Africa or any where eles cos we have to do as Roman do or will be killed, any one buy this?

To those who haven’t seen the loose change I will highly recommend them to spend time and see it through:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?d...

I am sure the main stream media coverd the

Full Text : The President of Iran’s Letter To President Bush

http://www.informationclearinghouse...

this how on put it:

"One day the Americans will wake up from their nightmares and rebuild the USA all over again. The White House will be turned into a museum and renamed The House of Whitewash and in it will be exhibits that detail all the evils that the USA had committed inside and beyond America. The Ahmadinejad-to-Bush letter would most likely occupy a niche in it, representing one of the many advices from the forces of good to the occupiers of the former White House who had been responsible for the anihilation of a large part of our world during the early 21st century"




> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Sunday May 14 - 20:46 - Posted by 265ffdc8ca20eedd...

Review: Ahmadinejad’s
Letter to President Bush
http://www.wingtv.net/todaysshow/to...




> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Thursday May 18 - 09:09 - Posted by 5e3ff9a03f8bf13e...

Can we in this civilized world answer some questions?
Who is responsible for the major wars in the past 200 years is it the East or the West?
All wars in Europe, the WWI and WWII and The Palestine Afghans, Iraq and new coming Iran’s Wars?
Who is responsible?
Why we want to destroy a complete nation and bring her to the Stone Age?
Who is benefiting from all of that?
Why we have to punish Palestinian if some one else committed crime against them?
Why they have to be the victims?
Have the Palestinian had the gas chamber and made the Holocaust, or in fact they living in the holocaust since than?
Why they have to be scattered to all over the world, what is their crime , As far as I know cos they born Palestinian?
So is it a crime if u born as British? Why than it’s a crime to be Palestinian?
And now all the civilized world punishing the Palestinian because they refusing to recognize their occupier?
The whole world want them to starve , is this the civilization what the western world want to lead?
The Iraq’s had no problems before USA invasion, Neither the Palestinian (Jew and Arabs before the Zionism) why they have to wipe their history and way of life for some one else mistake?
If Germany did the crime let German give the Zionist a piece of land in Germany, but the Jew and Arabs can co exist as they were.
Can we have a brave leader in the west to correct this criminal act.
If hamas is a terrorist organization why Israel want hamas to recognize her ,We all have to laugh , why we want a terrorist recognize us if we r legitimate?




> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Thursday May 18 - 14:23 - Posted by 5e3ff9a03f8bf13e...

In 1948 the aparthat system born in south Africa. . Do we know which yr Palestine wiped off the Map?
Adam




> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Monday May 22 - 12:05 - Posted by 99ce812133e15e56...

http://www.informationclearinghouse...

Confessions Of An Iraqi War Veteran

Jessie Macbeth - Former Army Ranger and Iraq War Veteran, Tell it like it is
"She was begging me, begging me to save her and to save her kids, but, I didn’t you know. I wanted to be , ah, I killed them. You know?

This 20 minute video will change your life.. A PepperSpray Production

http://www.informationclearinghouse...

I beg you as media and the reat to expose this video to max if we realy want to have peace in this wolrd , other wise we will be part of crime, please please please watch and disterbute and cover to max.

"What we are doing over there is wrong"

what r u doing about it?

sam




> xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Sunday July 23 - 02:48 - Posted by f73faf57844d4d8c...

For the past 2 months, Yahoo has been busily blocking all my accounts, one after another, from posting messages on Yahoo boards.

I have been creating new accouting almost every week. One by one, Yahoo blocks my accounts. At the beginning, they sent me a warning about my breaching of their rules (I post about Larry Silverstein’s confession to Pull Down his Tower), later, they just silently blocked my account.

Today, they have come out with new scheme, knowing that I will create new account If they block my account. Yahoo simply blocks my posts. I cannot post anymore on Yahoo board.

Why Yahoo is busily protecting Larry Silverstein who has confessed his own crimes against Americans?




xford Law Prof alarmed at "police’s Mossad-style execution" of innocent ’suspect’
Saturday March 3 - 09:39 - Posted by 680065dfdd041b83...

when the world can lebirate the white house from the unlawfull occupation?
what r the American people do to free the whitwe house, i sugest the new president should be given a small house or a flat like any other cetizen so that he can feel the way rest of us live .
and I wish Ameica will produce a presdint without the multi millions bribe given by big company, If u buy yr president by these millions, do u call that a democracy?
why cant USA lern and produce a brazilian Lula or H chaves?
these r real people president.
or what Palestinian people produced but instead we lable them terrorist cos we cant afford to match them.
BZ USA







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