Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The very long arm of the law

Meet Tzipi Livni, former Israeli foreign minister and currently leader of an opposition party in Israel.

Tzipi Livni: war crimes?

At the weekend Palestinians living in London obtained an arrest warrant, for alleged war crimes during last year's Israel-Gaza conflict, from a London court when they discovered that Livni was planning a visit to England. Livni was tipped off and immediately cancelled her travel plans.

This is somewhat reminiscent of General Pinochet's arrest in London in 1998, on a warrant issued by a Spanish court for crimes allegedly committed in South America. Pinochet was eventually released two years later without having been convicted of any offence.

It is not at all obvious why any English court should consider itself competent to try a crime that did not take place on English soil. Courts have important powers to ensure that fair trials occur. One of the most important of these is the power to compel witnesses to attend court and testify. Clearly witnesses in a foreign land cannot be coerced into attendance.

Additionally there is the issue of legal domain. If a person is tried in an English court for a crime in a foreign land, which law applies - English law or the law of the foreign land? If Livni had been tried in England could she have defended herself using the small-print of Israeli law? Would an English court have to conduct its proceedings in Hebrew?

Clearly this would be a nonsense. English courts are now too big for their boots. At the moment they aren't even managing to keep our home-grown criminals off the streets; they should stop trying to police the world and do the job we pay them for.

3 comments:

Woden said...

I dont understand what you are trying to convey? Are you saying that the English courts should allow war criminals free access into our land?

Anonymous said...

Labour will change law to protect Israeli war criminals from arrest

The Government will consider changing the law to ensure Israeli politicians can enter the UK without fear of arrest, Jewish Harriet Harman confirmed yesterday.

The Commons Leader made the promise after a British court issued an arrest warrant for former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni at the weekend. Jewish Foreign Secretary David Miliband also backed calls for legal reforms, saying it was vital that senior figures from Israel could visit the UK and have a 'proper dialogue'.

Harman told MPs yesterday 'We should be in no doubt that it's important for Israel's leaders to be able to talk to Government ministers in this country. They are important strategic partners.' Her pledge followed a warning from the Israeli government that without changes to the law Britain would cease to have a major role in the Middle East peace process.

The warrant against Miss Livni, now the Israeli opposition leader, was apparently granted by a London court at the request of Palestinian plaintiffs over claims of war crimes in Gaza --claims she denies. It was revoked on Monday when it emerged she was not due to visit Britain after all.

The International Criminal Court Act 2001 allows anyone to apply to a court for a warrant on war crimes.

The new law will allow war criminals who are from Isreal,no where else!
More proof that the Jews control the UK.

Nationalist said...

All I am saying is that we shouldn't try to police the world when we can't even police ourselves. If we did try foreign war criminals here we wouldn't be able to give them a fair trial anyway. That's not to say we have to let them into our country if we don't want to.