Saturday, June 02, 2007

Another Pathetic Excuse for Coercion (APEC).

There are types of laws, those designed to punish the guilty, those designed to hurt both the innocent and the guilty and those designed to hurt only the innocent. The new laws put in place for the APEC summit are the latter. Nobody who should legitimately be detained will be detained by these laws, nor will these laws serve any purpose other than to prevent the exercise of a persons rights. Nor is it the case that this is the result of ignorance or stupidity on the part of legislators, it is the sole consequence of malice. Put plainly these laws are acts of conscious evil.
When people are arrested under these laws they are detained for a period determined by politicians with no fair trial, either to determine guilt or an appropriate period of detainment. Judges will be required to have a presumption in favour of jailing people, who have not been convicted of anything. This is not only a blantant violation of their right to due process and presumption of innocence but wholy unneccesary for punishing the legally guilty. The legally guilty are by definition provably so, and therefore evidence of their wrongdoing can be put before a judge. Judges routinely remand defendents in custody if the benefit to the public interest outways the private interest in not being detained. Not only are the legally guilty detainable by this but those who the judge thinks are likely to be guilty and to reoffend while on bail. The new laws do not affect this, they only affect those a judge would not think are likely enough to offend that their remanding is justified. Only those the judge thinks are not a threat suffer. They suffer at the sole behest of the police, with no judical input whatsoever, contray to the Magna Carta. That’s happening a lot lately mostly (although not in this case) due to a ruler called John. Gee what happened the last time we had a ruler named John and our rights weren’t being respected? Could we do that again? Would that work?
The argument will be advanced that these measures are neccesary to protect the public, but as I’ve shown they only affect those who are no identifiable threat to it. So how do they protect anybody? Well perhaps they protect us against people who are a threat but can’t be proved as such even to the low standards of a bail hearing. This is a rediculous argument, the whole point of a bail hearing keep people in jail where the cost to the community of being free until trial is higher than the cost to them of letting them free until them. Therefore this law only results in detaining those who it is not worth detaining, thus costing the community through detention of it’s members. So the protection is evidently not worth the cost as judged even by those the state hires to make such judgements. Bear in mind these are people are paid by the government, not the community and responsible to the government not the community. So it’s asking for the power to lock people up when even people it pays won’t back it’s decision to lock them up without a required presumption (i.e. prejudice) against them!
However there’s one intelligent suggestion Iemma and co., random police searches. I’ve wanted to randomly search police for years. It’s amazing how often they’re carrying dangerous weapons. They claim they carry them to defend themselves and enforce the law. However I’ve checked and according to the new laws I’m not allowed to have guns for that purpose. Some people have suggested that the police randomly search people in the city, which makes no sense. It’s an admission that you have no idea how to stop terrorism and now you’re just guessing what might work. Even inveterate sociopaths do not generally have incriminating evidence right on them. The terrorist population is less than 1/100,000th of the population, unless there’s more than 40 terrorists in Sydney right now. So clearly if the aim is to catch terrorists the resources wasted will be massive. Since any terrorists will be aware of these searches they will have scouts out to guide them away from points where they might be search. Of course if the idea is to get the populace used to warrantless, unjustified searches and random police harrassment it’s brilliant.
Those who drafted and passed these law are not ignorant of the law, most of them are qualified lawyers and/or experienced legislators and those that aren’t have the advice of others that are. It is ludicrous to expect that legislation to could reach parliment without a lawyer examining and advising it’s proponents on it’s actual effect. This is particularly true regarding the NSW labour Right who excel in intelligence and knowledge, if not morality. So we cannot conclude that these laws were a mistake, they were a deliberate attempt to subvert our freedoms for political gain and thus a violation of the oaths of office of all the legislators who either voted for them or advanced them. Simply put they are immoral and somewhat treasonous and those who voted for them mostly knew it.