UK Liberty

This may come as a surprise

Posted in law and order, politicians on liberty by ukliberty on October 10, 2008

The name of a law has little if anything to do with how it will be applied:

The Government used anti-terrorism powers to freeze an estimated £4 billion of British financial assets in Landsbanki, Icesave’s parent bank. A spokesman for the Treasury said that the 2001 Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act was invoked as a “precautionary measure”. (the Times)

If the law itself, in this case (s4) Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, does not say something along the lines of, “this may only be used against people or organisations reasonably suspected of terrorism, crime or acting against national security” (s4 doesn’t), it will be used against other people or organisations.

Likewise,

“We have had plenty of examples recently of local councils using existing anti-terrorist legislation for completely different purposes than the legislation was ever set up to do,” Tory peer Baroness Hanham said. (the BBC)

Promises that a law will only be used against terrorists are worthless.  What matters is what the legislation itself says.

We have problems if legislators don’t understand how legislation works.

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2 Responses

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  1. […] suggests otherwise!  Assertions and promises are worthless – we must wait and see what is in the Bill. Local authorities do not have the power to listen to your calls now and they never will in […]

  2. On the freezing of Iceland « UK Liberty said, on October 26, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    […] the freezing of Iceland Posted on October 26, 2008 by ukliberty Following up on This may come as a surprise, an article briefly outlining why we should be careful about what legislation says as well as what […]


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