Thirteen Years: that is a long time

Totalitarian regimes brook not dissent, ever. Democratically elected regimes also brook no dissent, but have to find ways do quashing dissent without appearing to infringe the rights of the dissenters. Shaker Aamer is a dissenter, it would seem, but I cannot say that he is, because his views have never been given a platform. Continue reading

Human Rights Rule the Common Law

I have spent much of my life in courts and seen how the law works in criminal and (mostly) civil cases. I have watched judges make good decisions and bad decisions, and served on a jury which impressed me with the desire of every member to come to the right decision, taking great care and trouble and using all of our ordinary skills and experience of life. The law is an odd taskmaster. Continue reading

Gossip and the Presumption of Innocence

There are so many allegations of criminal behaviour against those who are living and those who have died. We can defame the dead with impunity, but to defame the living is morally reprehensible, even more so if that is done as a result of someone wanting to further their career thus gaining material reward, or out of simple spite. Continue reading

Obama’s broken Guantanamo promise

President Obama promised that the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba would be closed within a year of his assuming office. A year has come and gone and the prison is still open. There are about two hundred people held in that prison, and all of them have been held without trial, guilty of no offence, we are taught to assume under a presumption of innocence built into the laws of every country that has adopted the common law of England as its foundation. Continue reading