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CPIR: Deformed Justice from Two Deformed States

category national | crime and justice | press release author Monday January 21, 2013 19:02author by CPIR Report this post to the editors

Statement of the Communist Party of the Irish Republic: Deformed Justice from Two Deformed States

Last week yet another miscarriage of justice in the war in Ireland was exposed. Brian Shivers' unjust conviction in respect of the killing of two British soldiers was overturned. It appears that the initial judge, sitting without a jury, had not identified one single criminal act that Mr Shivers had committed. Regardless of this most simple legal requirement, the judge had determined that Shivers should spend the rest of his life in jail.

However, rather than show any remorse for the injustice which was done, the British legal system then refused a bail application. This in itself would not be unusual, but Shivers who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis was released by a judge while waiting for his original trial and had complied with bail conditions for three years without posing any risk of flight.

These kind of decisions are common in the deformed state that calls itself Northern Ireland. It is a regular occurrence for Irish Republicans to be arrested and charged for so-called "terrorist" offences with no evidence ever produced before a court. In nearly all of those cases where the Republicans defendants have contested the charges, they have been acquitted, often in circumstances where the prosecution offerss no evidence, or where a judge directs that the evidence offered is so pitiful that there is not even a case to answer.

Despite the remarkably low conviction rate, it is also rare for Republicans to be granted bail by the courts. The combination of charging young men and women who it is clear will never be convicted, and the decision to refuse them bail, amounts to a form of internment, internment by remand. This internment regularly lasts more than a year, and has on occasion exceeded three years. Years of lives which cannot be replaced. Perhaps even more remarkable than this blatant abuse of process, is that national and international human rights groups have said virtually nothing about it.

And where this system of internment by remand is not able to garner even the minimum of suspicion that a Republican has broken British law, the Secretary of State retains the power to imprison them directly without charge. Martin Corey was detained in this manner in April 2010, Marion Price in May 2011. Both remain detained without charge and without being provided with any evidence to justify their detention.

While convictions or even formal charges are apparently not required by the British state to lock up Republicans, two other notable convictions did occur in 2012. These convictions too, like that of Brian Shivers, are being appealed. John Paul Wooton and Brendan McConville were convicted in circumstances that so clearly resonated with past examples of British injustice that Gerry Conlon, who lost so many years of his life in similar circumstances, has called for their release. The campaign for the Craigavon Two is gaining momentum and all those with a concern for miscarriage of justice should get behind it.

Some Republicans like to blame "political policing" for all of this, but this is only one part of the problem. For political policing to turn into internment and injustice, you need a political prosecution service and political judges. The British judicial system has never been short of any of these. The problem has always been the deformed British state in the north. A deformed state will always lead to deformed justice.

But even where the British political system is supposed to be removed, its injustice continues unabated. The Free State that was created to look after British and Irish capitalist interests is in many ways more deformed than its northern equivalent. The word of a Garda Superintendent is enough to secure a conviction of membership of the IRA. No jury would consider this to be a reasonable way to conduct a fair trial. That doesn't matter because just like in the north, trials of political prisoners are held without a jury. Political policing, political prosecution and political judges are as active in Dublin as they are in Belfast.

Nearly everyone in the 26 Counties recognises that they also live in a deformed state, that the politicians who govern and the bankers who rule do not represent the Irish people. Many fail however to draw the obvious comparison with the deformed northern state. Civil rights organisations in Dublin and political groups on the Left are muted in their criticism of the "Special Criminal Court" in the same way that they fail to tackle issues relating to the occupied north east, while many in the north are simply unaware of the southern version of Diplock courts.

The nature of the deformity is clear. Partition has divided our nation into two deformed states. In such circumstances deformed justice north and south is inevitable.

Páirtí Cummanch na Poblachta
Communist Party of the Irish Republic
21ú Eanáir 2013

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanch na Poblachtapublication date Mon Jan 21, 2013 20:29Report this post to the editors

What is it about the Irish Left that they can hold such a cozy collaboration with imperialism in Ireland? Is this the source of their recent collaboration with the imperialists in Libya and Syria? After all, if you have no sympathy with anti-imperialist action in your own country, you will not have sympathy with anti-imperialist action anywhere. Which leads to the question - why is Palestine the exception? Why is Palestine the only place in the world that the Irish Left will unanimously oppose imperialism? Could it be a case of plain old anti-semitism, dressed in fake anti-imperialist cloths?

author by fredpublication date Thu Jan 24, 2013 22:43Report this post to the editors

No, I don't think anti semitism is the driving force here. And I don't think they are collaborating with imperialism. I think maybe the left in Ireland is afraid to confront US and the complexities of it's new tactics through the likes of NED for fear of being called "conspiracy theorists" which is their greatest fear. So they only come out strongly in cases like that of palestine where there is some clear cut wrong being perpetrated and no fear of being called "conspiracy theorists".

The left have been paralysed and manipulated by two little words "conspiracy theory"

It's time the analysis of imperialism by the left in Ireland became a little more sophisticated and they stopped letting their fear of possibly looking foolish paralyse them and allow them to be neutralised.

They need to look at the work of right wing think tanks, the sponsoring of jihadist groups to destabilise countries like Syria, Libya. And they need to stop letting fear of ridicule control them.

author by W. Finnertypublication date Fri Jan 25, 2013 06:04Report this post to the editors

Article 9:
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

=====

Article 10:
"Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him."

=====

Article 11:

"(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence."

"(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed."

=====

Why, well into "The Internet Age", and as this Article very strongly suggests is the case, are "the people" of both jurisdictions on the Island of Ireland STILL allowing their respective governments, and their respective legal professions (leaving aside rare exceptions such as the two remarkable people mentioned below), to violate the above mentioned set of Universal Declaration of Human Rights principles with impunity?

The full text of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which came into being on December 10th 1948, and which is supported by national legislation in both Irish jurisdictions, and by international legislation, produced since 1948, can be viewed at:
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

I'm well aware of course that the murders of Irish human rights lawyers Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson -- in the line of duty, and allegedly with the supportive involvement of the corruption/crime/arrogance-ridden UK Government (http://tinyurl.com/aoxas7s) -- has presented a huge setback to progress in this crucially important area of human activity.

Even so, with the relatively recently arrived, new, and much improved communications services provided by the Internet, and with the "strength of numbers" of potentially well-informed groups of "the people", relating to human rights law, my hope is that "the people" will soon -- gently but firmly, and by peaceful and lawful means -- show themselves superior to the cowardly injustices and abuses (described in this Article) of both the governments now operating on the Island of Ireland.

Perhaps we, "the people" of Ireland, all owe it to the spirit, and to the memory, of Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson to now try our best to make this worthwhile aim a reality?

They, as lawyers, both did their part to support human rights law: and sadly paid for it -- totally unjustly, and totally unlawfully -- with their lives, no less. Provided enough of us now "put our shoulders to the (Internet) wheel" of collectively gaining a reasonably good knowledge and awareness of human rights law, none of our personal losses might ever need to be anywhere nearly as great as theirs, or as permanent as theirs.

Related Link:
"Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights Ireland, William Finnerty":
http://tinyurl.com/by5vxqy

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanch na Poblachtapublication date Sun Jan 27, 2013 19:46Report this post to the editors

Yes, comrade, the term "conspiracy theorist" has taken the place of the word "heretic" held in the medieval period. Its a word the ruling class and their cowardly footmen use to shut up anyone who dares to state the obvious.

There were brave people who rejected this terrorism in the medieval period, and there are brave people who reject this same terrorism today. Its time the Irish Left joined them.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanch na Poblachtapublication date Sun Jan 27, 2013 20:32Report this post to the editors

Yes, the UN has many lofty sounding documents, but, in reality, it is a club for the powerful. UN documents are interpreted as the powerful wish to interpret them. We had a prime example of this when the civilians of Bani Walid were under indiscriminate bombing from mercenaries gangs, loyal to the Nato NTC, in October 2012. UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon, claimed that the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine does not apply when a "democratically elected" government is massacring its own citizens - only when a dictatorship is doing it. Bahrain, for example, is not counted as a dictatorship - its is a monarchy, therefore it can also massacre its people with impunity - according to the UN.

For more on Bani Walid, please see this CPIR statement:

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102638?condense_comment...false

 
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