LA News Release, "Even Mr Big Has Rights: Plans to Lower Burden of Proof in Criminal Cases Utterly Wrong" (February 2004)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
London, Monday 16th February 2004
Contact Details: Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Even Mr Big Has Rights: Plans to Lower Burden of Proof in Criminal Cases Utterly Wrong", Says Free Market and Civil Liberties Think Tank
Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to lower the burden of proof in criminal cases, to allow conviction on the balance of probabilities, rather than beyond reasonable doubt, as at present. He says: "To require everything beyond reason able doubt in these cases is very difficult. I think people would accept that within certain categories of case, provided it's big enough, you don't take the normal burden ... It requires a different court process."
"Nonsense", says Dr Sean Gabb, Director of Communications for the Libertarian Alliance. "Crime is crime. Bringing in a different process for different crimes is a further nail in the coffin of liberty in this country. We were told a fortnight ago that "terrorist" offences might need a lower burden of proof - and by people who have been surrendering part of the United Kingdom into the hands of the IRA. Now we are told that this may apply to non-terrorist offences.
"The truth is, this government wants a police state and will use any excuse to get one. This legislation, if passed, would soon become the normal mode of trial of all offences. I predict it would be extended at first to politically correct crimes - I bet it would take a year for the proposals to be floated. Then it would be proposed for "paedophile" offences. Then to drinking and driving. Within a decade, we would all be subject to trial by kangaroo court.
"The Libertarian Alliance is utterly opposed to these proposed measures, and to any others that have been proposed or enacted so far. No one, however grave his alleged offence, should be subject to such breach of traditional rights. Even Mr Big has rights.
"The politicians and police in this country are out of control. These people will not stop until they are stopped."
Sean Gabb is available for media comment on 07956 472 199