What is Moral Panic and why does it occur?

According to Stanley Cohen, author of Folk Devils and Moral Panics (1972), a moral panic occurs when:

“[a] condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests.”

Analyses of different quotes have a common contemporary theme of core components, which are; escalation of fear or misunderstanding; about an imminent deviant threat to societal norms; about a certain labelled entity, which is; propagating a stereotype through the mass media. This can be seen in the usual political propaganda squeezed out over an election. The Sydney Morning Herald ran the headline:

“Stop boat people getting on boats – Julia Gillard PM”

This simple headline shows the escalation of fear or misunderstanding of illegal immigrants. The word ‘stop’ is a call to action and implies that something needs to be done. ‘Boat people’ is the label which implies the threat of illegal immigration and it ran in a national newspaper, purportedly endorsed by the PM and used to bring to the attention of the voting public an issue which is considered to be of grave concern. In reality, a study conducted by UQ research group says there were only 1033 boat people out of 48,700 illegal immigrants in Australia.

It must be argued that moral panic could occur as a catalyst to sway the majority into backing an idea that contravenes our human rights or not opposing oppressive draconian statute. This is not meant to imply that any of the immoral or socially unacceptable actions are engineered, simply that a situation might be manipulated to better serve the manipulator. In this paper it must be argued that moral panic is fundamental in allowing legislature to demonise a sector of society, highlight a ‘problem’ and then provide us with an oppressive solution which we must accept.

Morality is a very complex issue with no definitive answers, however there is some consensus that morality is subjective, normative and relative. The fact is that a moral action is relative and can become immoral or vice versa and subsequently, an act that was not deviant suddenly becomes so and there is ebb and flow with regards to laws and legislation. It should be argued that everyone can see the relative nature of morality throughout their life time, within woman’s rights, civil rights, rights in the workplace and human rights.

What are human rights? It must be argued that human rights are inalienable; they are innate within us as a sovereign inhabitant of Planet Earth. Proponents of the concept usually assert that everyone is endowed with certain entitlements merely by reason of being human. The right to liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and art are a few examples.

The result of moral panics which contravene our human rights include the censoring of classic books and art, legislature creating oppressive statutes regarding peoples’ private sexual practices, restrictions in adult entertainment, over sensitivity to perfectly normal practices like kissing your own children on the lips and taking photos of them at school. Also, there are those which border on the ridiculous, for example, Tinky Winky the Teletubby and Dumbledore from Harry Potter being gay and the banning or censorship of these materials.

By distorting statistics or omitting the whole truth politicians can play to whatever emotion or sense of moral righteousness they want. It must be argued that the concept of moral panic is one of the most important factors in the public acceptance of normally unacceptable behaviour. For example the continued detention of prisoners under the Dangerous Prisoners Act in Queensland allows for the indefinite lawful detention of prisoners after the completion of their sentence. This reduces rights by the deprivation of liberty but most importantly it contravenes the doctrine of the separation of powers, a fundamental principal of democracy.

Other oppressive practices such as the mandatory internet filter contravene our basic rights. It should be argued that the internet is an amazing instrument for free speech and freedom of expression and therefore net neutrality is a vital ‘even and level’ playing field. It is because of this equal playing field that enables access to some information of a questionable nature. The moral panic over online sexual predators can be seen in a Perth Now headline saying:

“POLICE have issued a warning to all parents after identifying disturbing new tactics being used by sexual deviants to entrap children”

And then in their next breath make the claim that;

“Police have not yet arrested or charged anyone for directly grooming children through X-Box 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles”

It is understandable that the most vulnerable members in our society need protection from a very small minority and the topic of sex offender rights is never going to be popular, however the draconian measures given by our politicians and the unabashed trampling underfoot of the most precious and fundamental human rights, need to be seriously questioned. It was William Blackstone who wrote:

“[t]he law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer”

So what is the process?
The press create a “Folk Devil” or something which is instantly identifiable as a problem, for example Islamic people as terrorists, Dennis Ferguson as the face of a child predator or the baby face of Jon Venables as the poster boy of moral decay in society. At the height of the moral panic, after a scapegoat has been demonised, the press or politicians introduce an otherwise unpopular solution that will save us from this again in the future. Because of the panic created, the fear, the twisted statistics, omissions and sometimes bare faced lies, the public willingly give away something that should not be so easily given. It was Benjamin Franklin who said:

“They, who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

What have we given away? As well as the examples mentioned already, there are hundreds of examples of human rights erosion, for example in terrorism legislation. The Australian Human Rights Commission states that:

“Counter-terrorism laws can have a profound impact on fundamental human rights and freedoms, including: the right to a fair trial, the right not to be subjected to arbitrary detention, freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to freedom of expression, the right to freedom of movement, the right to privacy, the right to non-discrimination, the right to an effective remedy for a breach of human rights.”

Would we have been so keen to hand all of these rights over if not for the scare of 9/11, 7/7 or the Bali bombing when in reality, since 9/11 not a single Australian has been killed on Australian soil from terrorism?

It must be concluded that the moral panic surrounding terrorism, the demonization of Islam and the fear drummed up in the press was an integral part of the process. The same must be argued for refugees arriving by boat that are essentially locked up in prisons while they are being processed, and sex offenders being tortured in jail by inmates with the possibility they may not be released and many other examples.

A question must be raised when addressing these issues, which is, why are the government and legislature throwing away fundamental human rights? The answer is something which cannot be answered here; however, a concise suggestion might be that in an attempt to establish a social order within a landscape of an ever changing society and the instant gratification of the masses that get their information about the world from TV and the tabloid press, measures are enforced quickly rather than thoughtfully.

It must also be concluded that without moral panic and the trial by media, we would not be so quick to give away our basic human rights, rights that our forefathers fought for and rights that we should be protecting for our children.



Avoiding Discrimination Lawsuits

Sometimes its very difficult when you have a business to know what is going to rub someone the wrong way when you are advertising or writing descriptions of the products you sell. Its easy enough to make the mistake of attempting to describe a product as one that will appeal to certain groups of people and causing others to feel you are discriminating. Cosmetics and hair products that are designed for hispanics and blacks are the most common. Sometimes its difficult to know how to write a description of a product without offending someone, so you must be very choosy with the words you use.

Besides, advertising employment is another area that faces discrimination lawsuits on a regular basis. Although some of the cases are valid, most are frivolous cases that involve a disgruntled employee who has been overlooked for a promotion or has been reprimanded for job related issues and is looking for something to justify their anger. Employers have to be very careful today to make sure that any time they have dealings with a minority employee over promotions or job performance, they have the documentation to back up their decision.

For example, if you have a choice between a black and white employee for a promotion and they are equally qualified, do not use seniority as an issue if that is not your customary policy. In this case, to avoid a potential lawsuit, you must look at other issues such as punctuality, loss of time, production standards if applicable, ability to work well with others and overall attitude. Although you may believe that because you own your own store, you can choose your customers, that is only partially true.

If someone comes in to buy something and is belligerent and unruly, you have the right to ask him or her to leave but on the other hand, you cannot refuse to sell to someone because of his or her race, religion or national origin. You can not put a sign in your window that says you refuse to serve certain groups of people. If you own a bar, you can refuse to serve people who are already intoxicated but you can not refuse to serve Italians for example. On the same score, you can not remove blacks that become unruly while letting whites stay no matter how boisterous they become. The rules you make must pertain to everyone or you open yourself up to a lawsuit.

On the other hand, that does not mean you can not open a hair salon that is predominantly for black women as long as you do not refuse service to other groups who may wish to use that shop. After all, some women from other ethnic groups may wish to use the shop just for a hair cut or style without needing the special treatments that the texture of a black womans hair needs. Its important to understand all of the issues surrounding potential discrimination lawsuits in order to avoid them.

Obinna Heche. Los Angeles – California Delivering the best home based business ideas and opportunities so you can work at home successfully.. http://www.home-incomeportal.com

The Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW)

The Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW) commenced operation on 15 August 2005. The Act represents a major progression in the regulation of civil litigation in NSW. For the first time in history civil proceedings in the Supreme, District and Local Courts and the Dust Diseases Tribunal will be governed by one set of common rules. The sections of various Acts that have been moved into the CP Act are largely sections governing common procedural, as opposed to substantive matters. Those sections include matters of common concern to all the courts such as, case management regimes, costs and interest.

The Act will also streamline and simplify procedures and remove unnecessary differences between courts. It will lead to time and costs savings for the courts, the legal profession and the public. The Act also makes provisions allowing courts to utilise new technologies such as electronic lodgement of documents by clients and more efficient court management practice.

The Uniform Civil Procedure project, which formulated the Act and its accompanying rules, commenced in early 2003. A working party was established and chaired by Justice Hamilton of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The party consisted of representatives of the District Court, the Local Court, the Bar Association, the Law Society of New South Wales and the Attorney General’s Department.

The guiding philosophy of this process was to deliver a common set of rules across the various levels of jurisdiction within the NSW judicial system. Under this policy three specific goals were targeted; to provide a common set of rules, simplified where possible, but without radical changes in substance or form.

The Civil Procedure Bill was finalised in September 2004.

The new Act and rules generally apply to civil proceedings in the Supreme, District and Local Courts and the Dust Diseases Tribunal. The Act and rules largely reflect existing provisions and continue to use phrases that have a settled legal meaning. The Civil Procedure Act contains some provisions moved form the Supreme Court Act 1970, the District Court Act 1973 and the Local Courts (Civil Claims Act) 1970.

A number of acts have been repealed in the wake of the new Act. Statutes that regulate civil procedure such as the Arbitration (Civil Actions) Act 1983, the Damages (Infants and Persons of Unsound Mind) Act 1929, the Judgment Creditors Remedies Act 1901 and the Local Courts (Civil Claims) Act 1980.

The relevant provisions of these Acts that have survived the consolidation process have generally been moved into the CP Act and rules and the Local Courts Act 1982.

Despite the prevailing policy of the project to streamline civil procedure and create a uniform regime, some differences between different courts have been maintained. In most instances this was a matter of practicality. The approach adopted recognises the fact that not all proceedings are the same. For example simple debt claims in a Local Court should not be subject to the same requirements as complex proceedings in the Supreme Court.

In other cases time constraints prevented the working party from moving specialist civil rules regarding probate and appeals to the Court of Appeal into uniform rules. It is intended that work will commence on moving these specialist rules into the uniform rules after the commencement of the initial set. The Corporations Rules and the Admiralty Rules, will not be moved into the uniform rules because they operate on a federal basis and are therefore apply nationally.

The main changes in terms of structure are moving directions and case management rules to an early position in the CP Act. This step was taken to embody the overriding purpose to give effect to the requirement of a just, quick and cheap disposal of proceedings.

Apart from the above alteration to structure the order of the Supreme Court Rules and the District Court Rules has essentially been maintained, that is, the process from beginning to end. This has been done to keep the rules both logical and familiar to users.

The CP Act gives a statutory basis for the issue of practice notes and regulates the relationship between itself, the CP rules and the remaining balance of the present rules. The senior judicial officer will be able to issue practice notes to deal with specific aspects of civil proceedings in a court. Under the operation of s 15 of the Act the practice notes will be subject to the CP rules and they will be disallowable under Part 6 of the Interpretation Act.

Furthermore s 17 allows the Uniform Rules Committee to approve forms for use in civil proceedings. New simple common forms address a number of concerns that have been raised about the existing forms and will meet future electronic filing requirements. The forms are available on court websites, at court registries and via legal publishing companies.

This simplified set of common forms will be used in all courts. This helped to give effect to an important objective of the project as it will save on costs. Practitioners will only have to keep one set of forms on their records and fill the required categories depending on which court they were in.

In all three courts there are to be two forms only of originating process, that is, statement of claim and summons. Additionally the rules as to pleadings and discovery and interrogatories are to be maintained.

The recently harmonized rules that have been adopted on a federal level regarding subpoenas are to be adopted by the CP Act.

Frank Egan is the Chief Executive Officer of LAC Litigation Lawyers Sydney and has over 27 years of experience as a lawyer

Racial Discrimination and the Law Behind It

Still in our times, the battle against racial discrimination is yet far from being settled. This is very much evident on the large number of job discrimination cases which were filed in courts across the United States and most especially in the state of California. Typically, equal employment rights and opportunities should be handed down to everyone regardless of his race or color and his association to a certain ethnic group. To provide protection in the workforce from employment discrimination on the basis of their race and color, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been used as a refuge against unruly employers. This law also safeguards the employees as well as the applicants regarding hiring, promotions, compensations, privileges, terminations and other factors which may affect an individual’s performance in his or her work. Moreover, this law results to the prohibition of labor assessments and resolutions about a person’s capabilities on the sole basis of his acquaintance to a certain racial community. To add, this also asserts that it is unlawful for any company or employer to implement a variety of job rulings and regulations which mainly intends to discriminate minorities. Furthermore, this statute covers the prohibition of racial jokes in the workplaces such as ethnic slurs, offensive and derogatory remarks and other verbal and physical acts which may constitute to an illegal harassment if ever the actions intimidates an individual and subsequently affects his work performance.

On the other hand, classifying or segregating workers on the basis of their race or color is also an unlawful act as prescribe by the said law. This means that any employer who will be proven to physically isolate his employee from his co-workers or from the customer’s sight or contact shall be held accountable for violating this statute. Besides, the law also forbids the employers to assign their minority workers to marginal job coursework or workplace which hinders them of obtaining professional growth. This also covers the rights of the applicants of being fairly considered by the employers or an employment agency in a job post regardless of his race or color.

Racial discrimination cases rather should be dealt with accordingly. And in doing this, the victims may seek legal counsel assistance to know more about one’s rights and what legal actions one may pursue in order to acquire justice. Notwithstanding the intricate process of filing a lawsuit may be, an eligible employment lawyer taking charge in one’s pursuance of the case will undoubtedly bring good outcomes in their cases. Thus, the discriminated employee may demand for just compensation as stated in their severance package.

Finally, racial discrimination incidents in the workplace can still be lessened, if not totally eradicated, if only people would cease from condemning other individuals from a different race. Above and beyond, the ability of a person to exceed in his work does not necessarily rely on his color but rather in his skills and attitude in performing his assigned duties.

Our Professional Los Angeles Lawyers specialize in all fields of Personal Injury, Employment, and Disability Laws.

“Rainier used to work in a publishing company as a writer and eventually became an associate editor. He dealt in writing instructional materials for secondary and tertiary students. His passion in writing inspired him to read a lot and subsequently enabled him to gain more knowledge and skills.”

Discrimination based on Physical Disability

An employee faces so many challenges in the work place. This may include the rigors in the employment process itself, such as the meeting of a particular deadline, or the reaching of a particular quota. However, aside from this production related challenges that a worker is faced, an employee also encounters certain problems referring to his or her relationship with the employer and certain occupational hazards that he or she may experience along the way.

As stated, the employment atmosphere is such a jungle that if you are inattentive and unaware of the dangers that are lurking within it then you could be a victim of a work hazard and suffer the consequences thereof. Such drastic consequences may include physical disability that would preclude the employee from doing what is incumbent upon him or her to perform.

The office of an employee requires him or her to be productive in the work place, and if the employee no longer functions as is expected of him or her, then the employer has the option of eradicating the services of the latter. However, as like any other right this prerogative of the employer to terminate the services of an employee could not be exercised without regard to the basic constructs outlined by our laws and the Constitution.

Discrimination because of physical disability is a prohibited act under our laws, and it is considered as an unfair labor practice that would actually bring about liability to the employer if the same is being practiced.

The fact that an employee has a disability is not a sweeping and roving justification that he or she may be dismissed at the whims and caprices of the employer. In fact, termination of services, or even constructive dismissal of an employee on the sole basis of his or her physical disability alone would be considered as falling within the confines of discrimination on the basis of physical disability and an unfair labor practice.

Disability is considered as an ample ground for the termination of the employee’s services. It must have the following characteristics: the said disability must be grave enough to cause the inefficiency of the employee, meaning that if an employee although having a physical disability can function and produce as like any other employee then there is no justification for his or her termination.

Another is that the disability although grave enough to decrease production must not be brought about by the hazards of employment, meaning that it must not be considered as an occupational disease, if so then the disability cannot be a ground for dismissing the employee’s services.

For more information about Employment Discrimination visit our Los Angeles Attorneys

Discrimination based on Age

A person’s willingness to continue working in order to provide for the needs of his family is admirable. However, when one reaches a certain age, it comes to a point when a body fails and unable to do the things it can when young. That is the time when a person must forgo of his or her employment. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that age is not major factor in determining if an employee can no longer comply with the demands of his occupation. The condition of the body that determines whether one is qualified to continue with his job.

As always, the employer has ample authority to terminate an employee and break the employer-employee relationship, especially if the production process is already affected by the incompetent acts of the employee. Yet this power granted to the employer cannot be exercised without due regard to the regulations contained in our Constitution and laws.

This means that if an employee has been terminated on the sole basis of his or her age, then such act amounts to unfair labor practice or labor law violations. It is also tantamount to employment discrimination based on age. If this case occurs, the employer would be liable for any untoward damages that may be experienced by the employee.

To further stress the point, if an employee reaches a certain age wherein he would be considered rather old, and then he were terminated from work or become subject to a constructive dismissal by the employer which primary factor solely depends on his age, then the act would fall under discrimination in employment on the basis of age.

An employer has the prerogative to hire or fire an employee, however, this prerogative cannot be used as basis for discriminating against an employee, whether basing on his age or other notable factors like gender, race and religion.

A termination would be valid if it is based on acceptable reasons like if the employee is considered as a liability, already rather an asset to the company. These reasons and other civil wrongs and criminal acts can be the valid reasons for an employee to be dismissed.

An employee who is a victim of discrimination for his or her age and is unlawfully terminated for this reasons, can file for labor law violation claims and can be actually given a higher settlement amount if it is proven that the employer acted beyond his or her jurisdiction. Usually, the reason for the high claims is when an employee is discriminated for his old age and he finds it difficult to find another job again.

For more information about Employment Discrimination visit our Los Angeles Attorneys

The European Convention and the Court of Human Rights

The European Convention of Human Rights is an expansion of the United Nations General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights ~an enhancement to it and all others –in its Court anyone anywhere may sue any European government with the ultimate sanction for non-compliance of expulsion.

All 47 countries of the continent of Europe are bound by this protocol, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, commonly referred to as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) -with legal effect on still more countries on other continents.

It was introduced by Europe and influenced by the European Union peoples’ decision to make themselves extinct as nations to become a single nation as a ‘United States of Europe’.

After the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 the Council of Europe in 1954 enhanced that with the European Convention of Human Rights even more to protect against abuse of any person or group of persons anywhere by any European person or government -prohibiting also co-operation by commission or omission contrary to the letter or the spirit of the Convention ~of which the essence is human dignity.

(The Council of Europe was set up in 1949 following Briand’s proposals in 1930 for the integration of Europe as envisioned, e.g., by Victor Hugo and called ‘É tats-Unis d’Europe’ [The United States of Europe -‘U.S.E’], a considerably established future name for the European Union [which in 2007 a British-French-German amendment as a Reform Treaty has removed reference to most state-like terminology and symbols of, e.g., the word ‘constitution’, its flag and anthem]).

The Convention is Europe’s peoples’ decision on the lines pursued by John Locke four centuries ago to extend the operation of human rights from their present form as civil liberties with state discretion to civil rights incorporated rather like the Magna Carta into laws at state level and directly binding on governments.

The European Convention of Human Rights is unique. It not a pressure group as the Asian Human Rights Commission; neither as the African Charter on Human & People’s Rights and the African Court of Justice, nor as the American Convention on Human Rights, nor as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, does it limit complaints of specific human rights to violations of the citizens of and within the borders of and by a member state with the specific agreement of both sides with hearings in closed meetings.

The European Convention’s member states under Protocol 11 of 1998 may not opt out of agreeing to any state’s or body’s or person’s direct and public access and evidence and argument for a desired remedy against any member state including itself for any act or omission or co-operation with any state or body or person anywhere in breach of the Convention violating any right of anyone anywhere (including in respect of rights minor by comparison, e.g., state legal aid to sue for defamation of character by another individual), to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) -and are bound by the Court’s judgements, with a duty also to accordingly amend their laws.

The European Convention of Human Rights sets out peoples’ freedoms and rights to be commonly enjoyed by the individual persons in the world (Article 1) in the acts or omissions of its 47 countries. These include the right to life and prohibition of capital punishment, prohibition of extradition by any European government of anyone to a country that has not formally by legislation abolished the death penalty and life imprisonment without parole and in state security courts in any capacity the involvement of the military if it might be faced, to fair civil and criminal public court hearings, right to privacy of one’s family life and home and communications -and that one shall enjoy these freedoms and rights, with more set out in its Articles, without discrimination on grounds of, e.g., race, gender, religion, nationality, political or other opinion held or expressed.

The Convention in effect is binding on the member states ~each has undertaken (with judicial and political Russian moratorium not to use capital punishment) to abide under Article 46 (1) & (2) by the final judgements of the European Court of Human Rights supervised in their execution by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, with the ultimate sanction of expulsion.

There is an expectation that not only individuals but each member government itself also will bring before the European Court of Human Rights a signatory government to the Convention that fails in respect of these freedoms and rights.

(While governments are considered rarely to have lived up to that expectation and proposals in Protocol 14 [pending ratification] are considered capable of limiting individual redress for human rights violations, the proposals include empowering of a Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe [without effect on states who have not yet ratified the convention in full, e.g., Britain’s position on Article 4 of Protocol 7 of the Convention in respect of double jeopardy] to bring before the Court any governments that refuse to enforce any judgements against themselves.)

Where a member state has incorporated the Convention into its laws (e.g., Britain’s Human Rights Act 1998 making its courts [as public bodies] bound by the Convention) its national courts must operate as though they were local branches of (with a right on one to directly challenge them at) the European Court of Human Rights and declare ‘not law, not of legal effect’ any national laws involved but incompatible with the Convention.

In the case of the European Union there is an expectation to seek to centralise and equalise the laws and the legal standards in respect of all of the Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, formally adopting by 2017 also the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights (EUCFR), to be followed by the European Union’s Court of Justice (ECJ) -where disagreed with (by the European Union Reform Treaty amendment in 2007 by British-French-German governments with an express right [Articles 1 & 2] on the part of the United Kingdom not to comply) possibly tolerably not bindingly.

(In line with this expectation has come about through the European Union Council, e.g., the repeal of the Romanian Penal Code’s Article 200 [public manifestations of homosexuality], and in the course of the processing of its application to join it the formal abolishing in Turkey of the death penalty.)

(The European Convention itself also enjoys indirect but effective influence in the upholding of those rights, and, e.g., in the constitutional Monarchies of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand [each with also a British Governor-General], and where in the British Commonwealth appeal lies to the British Monarch the United Kingdom’s membership of the Convention would normally be a consideration and indeed the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has been responsible, e.g., for blocking death-sentences passed by the courts in Trinidad & Tobago.)

In 1950 the peoples of the signatory countries to the Convention established in Europe the European Court of Human Rights which in 1998 was instituted permanently with full-time judges equal to the number of the signatory countries elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) but with no nationality requirement (i.e., not as representatives of member countries -e.g., in respect of Liechtenstein a Swiss national) and considered impartial (also not having disregarded criticism of undue consideration for some states’ preferences in respect of, e.g., family re-unification [Article 8] –although it is difficult to see how in applying the Convention it has not been regarded incompatible with the spirit of it where the state represents the society such state interest as by prosecution appeals once those representing the society at trial level by acquittal have expressed the end of their interest in the mater, or such state interest as increase of sentence which only comes into play upon the convict’s exercise of a right given by the society by his own appeal.).

The Court rules on such issues as below:-

Civil Law: Sex discrimination also in the case of immigrants breaches Article 14, Abdulaziz -v- UK 1985… Denial of right to family reunification Article 8 breach, Şen -v- the Netherlands 2001… Right to life in Article 2 (1) does not apply to fetus as much as to pregnant woman, Paton -v- UK 1980… Lack of civil legal aid (for, e.g., libel) limits the right to fair trial and freedom of expression under Articles 6 & 10, Steele -v- UK 2005… Article 6 breach of Employment Appeal Tribunal who took nine years to decide a case, Darnell -v- United Kingdom 1993…

Criminal Law: Under Article 6 not fair to try children in adult courts, Bulger & Venables -v- UK 1999… Convict entitled to privacy in dealings with lawyer, Golder -v- UK 1975… Unlawful to beat prisoners, Ireland -v- UK, 1978… Discretionary interception of telephone communications breached Article 8, Malone -v- UK 1984… Requiring disclosure of journalistic source beached Article 10, Goodwin -v- UK 1996… Detention with delay in bringing suspect before judge in Brogan -v- UK 1998 beached Article 5 -which Britain has since opted out of…

Application of Convention: Human dignity is immanent in private life [Article 8] which includes physical and psychological integrity, Botta -v- Italy 1998… Its is “the very essence of the Convention”, Pretty -v- UK 2002… Prohibition of discrimination (Article 14) applies to all of the Articles of the Convention, Airey -v- Ireland 1979… Application of national law must not negatively affect in circumstance of vulnerability, e.g., re. the right to remain silent (Article 6 [1]) by compelling a convict to disclose information -or, e.g., re. the right to privacy (Article 8) by disproportionate search of one’s premises, Funke -v- France 1998… A State’s responsibility extends not only to individuals also outside its territory, nor only to acts or omissions of its own, but anywhere where in the eyes of the Convention in practice it has control, Cyprus -v- Turkey 2001… This responsibility exists also where a State has no control over matters which is wholly in control of another State but may be involved, e.g., re. extraditing to a jurisdiction where a possibility is foreseeable of treatment incompatible with the general spirit of the Convention, Soering -v- UK 1989…

Reparation: State laws must allow for and make reparation which is not partial and which does not fall short of being an effective remedy (Article 13) and this applies also to claims with a clearly casual connection to the violation, Mikheyev -v- Russia 2006… Just satisfaction (Article 41) includes compensation for loss of future earnings, Barberà -v- Spain 1994… There may be damages also for distress suffered and psychological trauma, M.C. -v- Bulgaria 2003… Allegations may imply remedies for the benefit of relatives, Kaya -v- Turkey 2000. (Legal costs are recoverable if they relate to violation found [Beyeler -v- Italy 2002], may cover domestic court costs [Kyprianou -v- Cyprus 2005], for non-pecuniary compensation there must be ‘real loos of opportunity’ [Ezeh -v- UK 2004] ~cost & compensation calculation is in EuroDolar convertible to complainant’s currency and include any taxes payable -default interest is at the European Central Bank lending rate plus 3%.)

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg previously had a two-tier structure and involved the European Commission on Human Rights set up in 1954, but since 1998 it operates as a single court with a Grand Chamber composed of 17 members -a President and a Vice-President and the 5 Section Presidents (all for a term in such office of 3 years) and 10 justices from its gender and geographic balanced 5 Sections (each of which has 6 under its President) who rotate 9 monthly, the Court’s members sitting full-time each with a 6 year term of office, dismissable with two-thirds majority vote if and fails to meet the required criteria.

The procedure of the European Court of Human Rights has been to ascertain complaints by 3 judges (who only unanimously may reject them) to be put before 7, if precedent may be departed from or appealed 17, judges to be heard.

(Protocol 14 of the Convention awaiting ratification proposes admissibility of cases to be decided by a single judge instead of 3, and in cases arising from failure of a member state to amend its laws in line with an earlier judgement by 3 judges instead of 7 -and interpretation by the Court where it may help enable a government to determine how best accordingly to amend its laws ~also [as favoured on grounds of expediency by Britain and France and supported by Germany -more on the lines of the American and UN Conventions] less access by individual persons on significance basis at admissibility stage and un-enforcing state representation at judicial level.)

(The Holy Sea has Observer status [which also the USA has been given -together with Canada, Mexico and Japan] and membership status is enjoyed by all of the countries of Europe, i.e.: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Britain, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marine, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine –Belarus being a candidate, Kazakhstan having received confirmation that may apply.)

With such a multitude of member states of the European Convention the European Court of Human Rights is charged with the duty to reflect the common views and the shared values in the Convention as are held by and are the united will of the peoples of Europe.

The author has a website at: http://www.geocities.com/eoa_uk