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13 May 2006

Comments

APL

Would you agree, the first duty of the state is to protect its own citizens?

Has it ever been the case in English/British law that one may benefit from an unlawful act?

Might you describe the coercion of the pilot and crew of an aircraft to change their flight plan, under threat of physical violence, as a lawful or unlawful act?

Might you even describe such behaviour as an ´hijack´?

Tony Hatfield

Yes indeed it is the first duty BUT, and it's a big bugger, this must be done within the law yes?
t

MatGB

Tony, thank you for the analysis, I was hoping someone with a blog and a better trained legal mind than I would be able to do the legwork. As you've (understandably) switched TB off, I've posted on the subject (again):
http://not-little-england.blogspot.com/2006/05/afghan-hijackers-legal-and-human.html and also wonder if you have any experience with the PCC? This is disgusting:
http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/carolemalone/tm_column_date=14052006-name_index.html

APL

TH: ¨..BUT..¨

So Tony, has it ever been the case in English/British law that one may benefit from an unlawful act?

Tony Hatfield

APL,
That's a fucking great sweep of history.
I'm off to Sicily Thursday, I may hay have time to give this the thought it deserves.
t

Tony Hatfield

APL,
Afore I go.
Are you suggesting that the act(s) which gave rise to the arrest of the Afghan 9 were unlawful/illegal? If so I may be able to spend more time getting pissed on that beautiful island.
Their convictions were quashed. That, I think, means that they were effectively never convicted. The acquittal puts them into a position immediately before the act was committed. It was not illegal.
Compare it to a punter of mine charged with assault who was aquitted because the jury/Court of Appeal found that he/she acted in self defence. The assault took place, but it was not illegal.

t

APL

TH: ¨Their convictions were quashed. That, I think, means that they were effectively never convicted.¨

Ok. But their convictions were quashed because the judge f***** up. Incorrectly summing up, No? How an experienced judge can comtemplate his summing up and leave it open to legal challenge is an interesting question in itself. It is not as if it was a rush job now was it?

Anyway, just for fun, suppose the judge had directed the jury to find not guilty. Would the jury have been obliged to follow his instructions?

TH: ¨The acquittal puts them into a position immediately before the act was committed.¨

Does it? I would have thought it put them in a position immediately before the trial, suspected of air piracy but not proven yet?

TH: ¨It was not illegal.¨

Interesting, are you saying that quashing a conviction because of a legal technicality, makes the offence they were charged with legal?

In the ruling quashing the judgement, was any of the evidence brought into question? Or was it just the fact that the trial judge screwed up?

Have a great time in Sicily.

Tony Hatfield

APL,
Let me try this again.
Whatever position the quashing of the conviction put the nine in, I hope you agree that innocent fits the bill.
I think you're not giving sufficient weight to the importance of the "technicality".
Image you have been charged with assaulting me.You claim you had to use violence, not because I'm a twat, but because I threatened you with a knife. You end up in court. And in his summing up, the judge failed to direct the jury correctly about the law of self defence.The Court of Appeal quash your conviction.
Now I don't suppose you'd be too chuffed of the Sun referred to you as guilty of the offence would you?
Now I'm off....really.

APL

TH: ¨Whatever position the quashing of the conviction put the nine in, I hope you agree that innocent fits the bill.¨

Yes indeedy. But we still have to explain how a civilian aircraft was diverted off course, without the consent of the pilot, or any other legal authority.

If it turns out to have been a pleasure jaunt by the pilot then it clearly is a matter for his employers. I don´t think anyone is actually suggesting such a thing, do you? If he was coerced into changing his flight plan, then it seems to me prima facie, an unlawful act has been committed. Rightfully we ought to put the people who are suspected of the act on trial.

Since, as you say, they havn´t been tried, they ought to be tried.

Anything wrong with that?

Tony Hatfield

apl,
I can't recall saying they haven't been tried they clearly have-and their convictions have been quashed. End of story.
And yes, the plane was diverted, but what took place did not constitute an offence. The lawyer in me would say there was an actus reus-a guilty act, but no mens rea- no guilty mind. See Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actus_reus

Back to the assault example.
t

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